This question might not be directly connected with the statistics but nevertheless as many people here deal with data visualization, I would like to ask if anyone of you uses some special tools for visualizing data or could recommend any resources for creating special effects with data.

Here is an example video with some possible cases

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    $\begingroup$ A bit of a rant, but "special effects" is not a good motivation to visualization; good plot should tell a story about the data, like look, this is bigger, this is frequent, this is strange, this is correlated, this separates into clusters, etc. If you make a plot that just "looks good", you go nowhere, i.e. the fact that it is based on data is meaningless. Think of all those internet graphs which only show that internet is a circular tangled blob. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ The IBM software in the video looks more as a tool for producing a science fiction movie such as Star Wars. If you're looking for data visualization related to statistics then JMP has a good reputation. If you are not afraid by programming then R is fine. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ First, its worth re-reading @mbq's comment-that's absolutely critical for successful data vis. As for software, if you have Excel on your computer, you have an extremely powerful visualization tool that doesn't cost anything extra, or require learning additional programming. $\endgroup$
    – dav
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


Short list of the pure visualization and generic software I know:

  • AVS -- actually a company making few separate products, all expensive as hell, well known
  • OpenDX -- free, from IBM
  • VisNow -- free, made in my institute
  • ParaView -- also free, never used it

There is also plethora of other tools targeted for computational fluid dynamics, medical imaging, molecular biology and material science.

If you do something very novel, it is better to write a code for that purpose; some options are:

  • d3js -- JavaScript library
  • Processing -- Java & Java script
  • R with base graphics, ggplot for 2D and rgl+caTools for 3D
  • Some language + OpenGL -- last resort, but mostly unconstrained

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