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Guide to Data Visualization


This LibGuide was adapted from Lorin Bruckner's Data Visualization Guide, from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries. 

The Creative Commons license below grants you permission to copy this guide, in part or in its entirety, as a template in your own LibGuides system as long as you credit Lorin Bruckner and UNC Libraries  on your copy.


What is in this Guide?

What You'll Find in this Guide

This guide will introduce you to data visualization, explain various types of visualizations, and connect you with tools and resources. Click on a topic below to get started.

bar chart


Learn about the purpose and benefits of using data visualization. Find out what you will need before starting a project and what types of tools are available for general data visualization.



Understand the difference between data visualization and infographics. Learn about the skills you'll need in order to create an infographic and the types of tools that are often used.

online map


Know how basic mapping differs from complex spatial analysis and understand spatial data requirements. Discover web maps, story maps and the tools that are used to create them.

qualitative diagram


Learn what qualitative visualization is and the different methods for visualizing qualitative data. Find out which tools can aid in qualitative visualization.

network diagram


Discover network analysis and how networks can be visually described. Find tools for creating network visualizations.

violin plot


Understand why you might want to use a programming language to create data visualizations. Learn which programming languages and libraries are popular in the field.

book stacks in the library


Discover books and articles about data visualization available through the University Libraries. Learn about prominent data visualization authors and writers.

large network diagram with many nodes


Get links to data visualization blogs, beautiful portfolios, projects and inspirational videos.