Vega-Lite for quick online charts

Feb 25, 2016

A few years ago, Trifacta released Vega, a “visualization grammar” that lets you create charts with a JSON file. But you still have to declare a lot of things to make something standard like a bar chart. Vega-Lite, recently released by the University Washington Interactive Data Lab, lets you take advantage of Vega but with much fewer specifications.

As you might have guessed, Vega-Lite is built on top of Vega, a visualization grammar built using D3. Vega and D3 provide a lot of flexibility for custom visualization designs; however, that power comes with a cost. With Vega or D3, a basic bar chart requires dozens of lines of code and specification of low-level components such as scales and axes. In contrast, Vega-Lite is a higher-level language that simplifies the creation of common charts. In Vega-Lite, a bar chart is simply an encoding with two fields.

That sounds good to me. Gonna give it a shot.


Visualizing the Uncertainty in Data

Data is an abstraction, and it’s impossible to encapsulate everything it represents in real life. So there is uncertainty. Here are ways to visualize the uncertainty.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, …

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?