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Page history last edited by Alan Liu 10 years ago

[As of Sept. 5, 2013, this version of "Toy Chest" is superseded by Alan Liu's "Digital Humanities Resources for Student Project-Building."]


A star Red Star indicates tools that combine power (advanced, multiple, or flexible features) with ease of use. The star tends to be reserved for tools capacious enough for multiple uses or add-on uses that they might also be called "platforms" (e.g., TAPoR, Many Eyes, or Google Earth).  (Other tools may be more powerful, or more easy to use, but not in combined balance.)



aiSee (Downloadable Graphing Software)


Gallery of aiSee graph typesaiSEE visualizationPowerful graphing program for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.  "aiSee automatically calculates a customizable layout of graphs specified in GDL (Graph De­scription Language). This layout is then displayed, and can be interactively explored, printed, and exported to various formats."  The free version constrains the speed of visualizations by 10 seconds.




Circos visualizations

"Circos is a software package for visualizing data and information. It visualizes data in a circular layout — this makes Circos ideal for exploring relationships between objects or positions. . . . Circos is ideal for creating publication-quality infographics and illustrations with a high data-to-ink ratio, richly layered data and pleasant symmetries. You have fine control each element in the figure to tailor its focus points and detail to your audience."

(Suggested by Alston D'Silva)

GapMinder World (Online or Desktop Data/Statistics Animation Tool)


GapMinder animated chart of life expectancy vs. per capita income in different countries across time Created by Hans Rosling and acquired by Google in 2007, GapMinder allows users to create animated graphics of data "to build a fact-based world view.  The site also provides demo-videos (see for example, this effective demo), a downloadable desktop version of the tool, and an online GapMinder World tool. The Motion Chart Google Gadget allows users to upload their own datasets.  GapMinder first came to fame through Rosling's mesmerizing TED presentations (videos).


Gephi (Network Visualization Tool)


Gephi"Gephi is an interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs."  Applications include: "Exploratory Data Analysis: intuition-oriented analysis by networks manipulations in real time; Link Analysis: revealing the underlying structures of associations between objects, in particular in scale-free networks; Social Network Analysis: easy creation of social data connectors to map community organizations and small-world networks; Biological Network analysis: representing patterns of biological data; Poster creation: scientific work promotion with hi-quality printable maps."


Gliffy (Online Diagramming and Flow-Charting Tool)


Gliffy graphic and editing interface

Online tool for creating a variety of diagrams and flow charts.  Diagrams produced in Giffy can be either private or shared online. (The basic, free account allows "1 user, 5 diagrams, 2mb storage, public diagrams only." There is a low priced standard plan.)

History Flow Visualization (tool for visualizing the evolution of documents created by multiple authors) (download site for tool)


History flow visualization"History flow is a tool for visualizing dynamic, evolving documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors. In its current implementation, history flow is being used to visualize the evolutionary history of wiki* pages on Wikipedia."  Developed by Fernanda B. Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, the tool works with MediaWiki and MoinMoin wiki pages (including Wikipedia) as well as directories of text files to produce a "flow" visualization of changes in a document produced by a collaborative community.


((Suggested by Claire Ihlendorf; see her research report on the tool.)

ImageJ (image processing program that can create composite or average images)


ImageJ"Public domain Java image processing program [that] runs, either as an online applet or as a downloadable application, on any computer with a Java 1.4 or later....  It can display, edit, analyze, process, save and print ... images.... It supports "stacks", a series of images that share a single window.... It can calculate area and pixel value statistics of user-defined selections. It can measure distances and angles. It can create density histograms and line profile plots.... It does geometric transformations such as scaling, rotation and flips"


(Suggested by Amanda Phillips)


infoComposer (Image and Text Collection, Collage, and Annotation Tool)


Example of infoComposition at workJava-based system designed to create "a holistic, integrative representation for information collections, in which a set of visual semantic clippings and annotations is arranged to form a connected whole. "  "Once inside, collect image and text clippings, and link sources to create visual bookmarks by drag and drop from the browser. Or open a composition already saved on your computer."

Many Eyes (Online Data-Set Visualization Platform)


Examples of Many Eyes visualizations

Many Eyes is a powerful, flexible, online suite of dataset-to-diagrammatic visualization tools. Originally developed by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg for the IBM Collaborative User Experience research group's Visual Communication Lab, Many Eyes allows users (after registering for a free account) to enter their own datasets in table format, generate visualizations chosen from a wide variety of styles (including interactive, dynamic visualizations), share/discuss datasets and visualizations, and create personalized "topic centers" to track data visualizations of interest.

Simile Widgets (Open-source, Embeddable Web Widgets for Visualizing Time-Based Data)


Example of Simile TimePlot Widget: New Legal Permanent Residents in the U.S. (per year)Timeline and Timeplot are "like Google Maps for time-based information" — they are interfaces for displaying interactive sets of data in human-readable forms. Additional widgets include Exhibit (for mounting interactive exhibits of images, text, and data) and Runway (for presenting images and links in a rotating carousel "similar to that of Apple iTunes known as Cover Flow."  The user creates an HTML page that includes a reference to the Timeplot or Timeline Javascript files, provides another file containing time information in a specific format (a space or comma separated file, or a special XML file), and adjusts the results. This requires some understanding of code but no actual programming. For instructions, see "Getting Started with Simile Widgets."


Tableau Public (Online Data-Set Visualization Platform)


Tableau Public visualizationsTableau Public visualizations"Within minutes, our free data visualization tool can help you create an interactive viz and embed it in your website or share it. Anyone can do it, it’s that easy—and it’s free. . . .   Tableau Public is a free service that lets anyone publish interactive data to the web. Once on the web, anyone can interact with the data, download it, or create their own visualizations of it. No programming skills are required. Be sure to look at the gallery to see some of the things people have been doing with it. . . . All content saved to Tableau Public is accessible to everyone on the internet. "

TagCrowd (Online Tag Cloud Tool)

Tag cloud of William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" created with TagCrowd

"Create your own tag cloud from any text to visualize word frequency." Online tool that allows the user to submit a text (or upload a text file) in order to generate a "tag cloud" (also called a "word cloud" or "text cloud") visualizing the frequency of words. The result is a piece of HTML suitable for embedding in other websites.

WIGIs (Network or Social Network Visualization Tool for UCSB's FourEyes Lab)


WIGIs example"WiGi . . . is capable of interactively visualizing graphs of up to a million nodes by using asynchronous technique for processing large-scale graph layouts. It dynamically switches between client-side processing (JavaScript) and remote server-side processing (Java). For the end-user, interaction with the graph is seamless and the same look-and-feel is provided for both client and server-side approaches. Using this strategy, we can provide fast interaction with graphs consisting of hundreds of thousands of nodes, and we are working on extending this number! Please, feel free to try out the graph visualization. We are always interested in testing our system on new data. So if you have something you would like to visualize (interactively or otherwise) with our tool, please contact us. We have a manual upload page that accepts formats such as Excel and CSV."

Wordle (Online Tag Cloud and Word Cloud Tool)

Word cloud of William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" created with Wordle"Wordle is a toy for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes."


WordsEye ("Create 3D scenes using language")

3D scene rendered in WordsEye from text description[The following summary and image are from Nicole Starosielski's research report on WordsEye for the UC Transliteracies Project]: "WordsEye is a text-to-scene conversion tool that allows users to construct a computer modeled scene through the use of simple text. Users describe an environment, objects, actions and images, and WordsEye parses and conducts a syntactic and semantic analysis of these written statements. The program assigns depictors for each semantic element and its characteristics and then assembles a three-dimensional scene that approximates the user’s written description. This scene can then be modified and rendered as a static two-dimensional image."


yEd Graph Editor (and other yWorks diagramming products)


Gallery of yEd visualizationsDownloadable and online diagramming tools.  Fuctions include the automatic layout of networks and diagrams: "the yFiles library offers the user many advantages, one of which is its ability to automatically draw networks and diagrams. yFiles layout algorithms enable the clear presentation of flow charts, UML diagrams, organization charts, genealogies, business process diagrams, etc."  Example humanities usage: visualizations in Ed Finn, "Becoming Yourself: The Afterlife of Reception," Stanford Literary Lab Pamphlet #3 (2011).

See also the following collections of information visualization types and examples:












































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