This is the age of data. There are more innovations and more opportunities for interesting work with data than ever before, but there is also an overwhelming amount of quantitative information being published every day. Data visualisation has become big business, because communication is the difference between success and failure, no matter how clever the analysis may have been. The ability to visualize data is now a skill in demand across business, government, NGOs and academia.

Data Visualization: Charts, Maps, and Interactive Graphics gives an overview of a wide range of techniques and challenges, while staying accessible to anyone interested in working with and understanding data.


  • Focusses on concepts and ways of thinking about data rather than algebra or computer code.
  • Features 17 short chapters that can be read in one sitting.
  • Includes chapters on big data, statistical and machine learning models, visual perception, high-dimensional data, and maps and geographic data.
  • Contains more than 125 visualizations, most created by the author.
  • Supported by a website with all code for creating the visualizations, further reading, datasets and practical advice on crafting the images.

Whether you are a student considering a career in data science, an analyst who wants to learn more about visualization, or the manager of a team working with data, this book will introduce you to a broad range of data visualization methods.

Cover image: Landscape of Change uses data about sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate, a world in which we are now living. Copyright © Jill Pelto (jillpelto.com).

part |2 pages

Section I: The basics

chapter 1|18 pages

Why visualize?

chapter 2|18 pages

Translating numbers to images

part |2 pages

Section II: Statistical building blocks

chapter 3|18 pages

Continuous and discrete numbers

chapter 4|12 pages

Percentages and risks

chapter 5|10 pages

Showing data or statistics

chapter 6|14 pages

Differences, ratios, correlations

part |2 pages

Section III: Specific tasks

chapter 7|10 pages

Visual perception and the brain

chapter 8|8 pages

Showing uncertainty

chapter 9|12 pages

Time trends

chapter 10|14 pages

Statistical predictive models

chapter 11|12 pages

Machine learning techniques

chapter 12|14 pages

Many variables

chapter 13|14 pages

Maps and networks

chapter 14|8 pages


chapter 15|8 pages

Big data

chapter 16|10 pages

Visualization as part of a bigger package