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Data Visualization

Free Tools to help visualize your data

Library Research Guide

What are Planar Data Visualizations?

Planar Visualizations are flat, two-dimensional layers that can include map data.  They include geographic maps, floorplans, and newspaper layouts.  Geospatial examples include: choropleth, dot density, and proportional symbol mapsEach item has attributes such as name, owner, value, etc. and features such as size, color, opacity, etc.

Planar Visualization Tools


Register for a free ArcGIS Online personal account and you can create, store, and manage maps, apps, and data that you can then share with others.  If you are a student or staff member of K-State, you can Request an ArcGIS Online Account for Organizations 


Google Maps

Provides the framework to add a number of unique features and content to a Google Maps interface.

Google Fusion Tables

Store, share, query, and visualize data tables. Google Fusion Tables allow you to write queries to manage tables and data rows, and query the table for all rows that match spatial or data conditions. The results of queries can be a .CSV or used in the Google Maps API or Google Chart Tools



An open access repository of data and maps for the world, GeoCommons includes a large number of features that allow you to easily access, visualize and analyze your data.  You can also animate your data through time and space, and share your visualizations on social media.


This resource turns your spreadsheet into a map.



The Science of Science (Sci2) Tool is a modular toolset specifically designed for the study of science. It supports the temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analysis and visualization of scholarly datasets at the individual, local, and global levels.

Many Eyes

An experiment by IBM Research and the IBM Cognos software group.  View others' visualizations, upload your own data, and create your own visualizations.


Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a free tool that "brings data to life" (according to their website). View others' visualizations or create your own.  Tutorial included.



Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment is designed to enable visualization of any available dataWEAVE has a wide array of options for working with different data types.



Includes a free JavaScript library for making dynamic, interactive web-based maps. Polymaps can provide a speedy display of multi-zoom datasets over maps, and with a variety of visual presentations for tiled vector data.

Social Explorer

Includes free access to select data and resources. Contains more than 18,000 maps, hundreds of profile reports, 40 billion data elements, 335,000 variables, and 220 years of data. Interactive mapping and reporting tools let you explore a vast array of demographic data quickly and easily.