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Navigating the site

Use the menu bar at the top of the screen to navigate between the three main sections of the site. Each section contains a number of pages, linked to in the grey bar beneath the menu.

Please see our page on accessibility for more information on navigating using access keys.

Gallery of examples

The Gallery is the main way of browsing through the various visualisations available on this site. By default, all visualisations are displayed, but a variety of methods are available to help you narrow down the visualisations you are interested in.

Gallery view

Click on a visualisation's title, image, or the "View details" link to view a larger image and further information about the visualisation, such as notes on interaction, where the visualisation is from, and what levels of expertise it may be aimed at.

Click the "Source" link to open the original web page that a visualisation is from, if available. If a "Source" link is not available, then the visualisation is probably from a document or other off-line resource. View the visualisation's details as above for further information on the source.

The menu to the right of the gallery offers a number of options to display, sort and filter the visualisations displayed in the gallery, as follows:

Gallery menu

A. View list as...

  • Choose Gallery mode to see the default display with less information, and more images on screen at one time.
  • Choose List mode to view more details about each visualisation in an expanded view.

B. Sort list by... This lets you choose the order in which the visualisations are shown. Choose...

  • A-Z for alphabetical order;
  • By rating to see which visualisations have been rated highly by other users of the site;
  • By date added to find recent additions to the site;
  • Or by visual type to group visualisations by the kind of visual they are - these groups can then be hidden to filter out certain kinds of visualisation

C. Filter by visual type... (Javascript-enabled browsers only) If you have Javascript enabled, you can click Show all... in this section to reveal a list of the visual types - such as bar charts, scatter plots, maps, etc. - currently displayed in the gallery. These will be displayed at the top of the screen. Click on a visual type to narrow the current set of visualisations down to those of this type. If you do not have Javascript enabled, this list will be available at the top of the page at all times. See below for further ways to filter by visual type.

Filtering by visual type

To make it easier to browse through the visualisations example, you can display the most popular visual types - such as bar charts, scatterplots and maps - available on the website.

By default, the Visual Types page shows a word cloud of the various visual types available, but you can also view these as a bar chart or an alphabetical list.

In all three views, you can click on a visual type to view a gallery of visualisations using that type.

Visual type icons as they appear in the right-hand menu

If you have selected any visual type, they will appear as a list in the right-hand navigation menu on the Gallery page. Each visual type may have a number of icons next to them, as follows:

Icon to remove a visual type from the current filter Click this icon to remove the visual type from the filter
Icon to display notes on benefits and pitfalls Click this icon to view notes on benefits and possible pitfalls for this visual type
Icon to display notes on how to create a visual type Click this icon to view notes on how to create this type of visualisation

Clicking the Icon to display notes on benefits and pitfalls or Icon to display notes on how to create a visual type icons with a Javascript-enabled browser will display the associated notes at the top of the Gallery page, as seen below. Click the icon a second time to hide these notes.

Displaying notes relating to visual types

"Step-by-step" help on choosing a visualisation

As the suitability of a visualisation depends to a large extent on the nature of the data being presented, we offer a step-by-step guide to selecting visualisations to help focus on certain examples. This guide is based on a number of common research questions that one should be thinking about before deciding how to present data visually.

There are three steps in the guide, and any of these may be left undecided. The more selective you are, though, the more focused the selection of visualisations will be as a result. The three steps are as follows:

  1. Broad theme - what are you trying to achieve by visualising your data? For example, are you trying to understand what you need to do, or trying to report performance? Or are you simply trying to explore and understand the data that you have?
    You can, if needed, select all themes, but this will make the next step more complicated.
    Note that you can also skip the theme and question altogether, and simply choose a level of expertise as per below.
  2. What question are you asking within that theme? These are common questions that researchers often want to answer, such as "How are things changing over time?". These are listed along with some more specific sample questions to help you select the question which is most appropriate for you.
    Again, you can select all questions listed, if needed.
  3. What level of expertise will the intended audience for your visualisation have? As visualisations differ in complexity, and the type and amount of data that they show, different skills are needed to actually interpret them. By choosing a target level of expertise, you can filter out visualisations that may simplify the data too much, or that are overly-complicated for the task at hand.

When you have chosen a theme, question and/or level of expertise as desired, you will presented with the Gallery view as above, but with your chosen options displayed as well:

Gallery view following step-by-step guide

The visual types relevant to the chosen question (if applicable) are shown above the list of visualisations, and you can click these to show visualisations of each type within the chosen question.

The selected theme, question and target level of expertise are shown in the right hand menu. Clicking Change this? for the theme or the question will take you back to the relevent step of the guide. Choosing a different level of expertise and clicking Change will update the Gallery as appropriate.

Rating examples and your level of expertise

To help filter visualisations further, the web site lets users assign ratings to individual visualisations, which can then be sorted by their average rating on the Gallery page.

Rating menu

You can view the current rating for a visualisation, as well as add your own rating, using the menu on the right of a visualisation's page, as shown above.

How do ratings work?

Current rating of a visualisation

Visualisations are rated according to two criteria, both of which are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. The two criteria are:

  • Impact refers to the overall impression that a visualisation produces in the audience - does it make people take notice?
  • Accuracy refers to how well the visualisation conveys the data behind it - for example, can you infer the actual values from it?

The overall rating for a visualisation is the average of these two criteria across all ratings. This is shown as on the right, with overall rating, by the two criteria, and with the number of ratings submitted so far.

How do I rate a visualisation?

Current rating of a visualisation

To rate a visualisation, simply select how much of an impact the visualisation has for you, and how accurately you think the visualisation presents the data.

We also ask you to select the level of expertise with data that you would rate yourself as - in future, we plan to display and sort ratings according to these levels of expertise.

Once you have submitted a rating, you should see the number of votes for the visualisation increase. You can re-submit your rating by updating your vote, and clicking the button (which will now read "Amend rating"). This will replace your previous rating for this visualisation. links

The links page uses an RSS feed from the social bookmarking site to show data visualisation websites that are currently being bookmarked by users. This list can be used to view interesting sites on a real-time basis.

The page shows sites tagged with the keywords "data" and "visualisation", and displays them in order of recent popularity, starting with the most tagged at the top. To add a visualisation to this list, register with, and then tag any relevant pages with the two keywords above.

Please note that this page is subject to moderation, and any users abusing it will be banned. Should you have any queries or would like to report inappropriate content, please contact us.


To search for visualisations, use the search box displayed at the bottom of every page, or on the home page. This will return results for visualisations with matching titles or descriptions, visual types, and other keywords associated with visualisations.

Click to show all search results

Searches are not case-sensitive, and are treated as phrases rather than indiviual terms (eg. searching for bar chart will return anything matching "bar chart" as a phrase.

Where a large number of search results are returned, Javascript-enabled browsers will only show the first five results by default. Click the relevant more... to show all results.

If it looks like your search term is a plural, then we'll let you know if there are any results for the singular form of the search phrase too.