6 Best Books on Data Visualization with D3.js in 2021
Why Learn Data Visualization with D3.js?
Let's have a look at top reasons to learn this fascinating subject:
Vibrant open source community: Being open-source, the community is very helpful and vibrant. There are extensive free resources available online because of the very large and vibrant open-source community behind D3.
Unrivalled Flexibility: D3.js has the flexibility to display data pretty much however you want. The only limit is your imagination and your ability to manipulate the D3.js to accomplish your vision.
Knowing D3 = hirable skills: D3 is quite the feather to have in your cap when looking for roles in the programming and development industries. Because D3 is so widely used, knowing it makes you more hirable for tech jobs.
D3 experts earn a pretty penny: If your goal is to earn money and get a good salary in the coming years, then D3 becomes more vital. Across the board, whether it be a Software Engineer or any development/coding type role, there’s a salary increase of between 10-25% when that salary included a D3.js skillset as part of the requirements.
What Makes The Best Data Visualization with D3.js Books?
Here are our criteria for the selection of the books:
The book should contain a variety of instructional materials, including exercises, examples, questions, learning activities, and other features that promote the reader's engagement and active learning.
It uses clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language.
Content must be up-to-date and should thoroughly teach and explain the basic concepts of data visualization withD3.js.
Contain assignments for practice and hands-on experience.
The book should have a clear layout and strictly focus on data visualization with D3.js.
Prerequisites for Learning Data Visualization with D3.js
Check out the following articles to get started learning front-end developer fundamentals:
Best Books on Data Visualization with D3.js
Here are the best data visualization books on D3.js that are a must-read. Some D3.js books are better for beginners while others cover more intermediate examples.
1. Best book for serious learners: Learn D3.js
This practical hands-on guide provides a learning path to obtain a solid understanding of D3.js fundamental concepts, learn to use most of its modules and functions, and helps to create your own D3 visualizations. The book is packed with step-by-step tutorials and hundreds of examples. The topics are explained attractively and engagingly.
After reading the book, you'll be able to:
Learn to use D3.js version 5 and web standards to create beautiful interactive data-driven visualizations for the web
Bind data to DOM elements, applying different scales, color schemes and configuring smooth animated transitions for data updates
Generate data structures and layouts for many popular chart formats
Apply interactive behaviors to any chart
Create thematic maps based on GIS data using different geographical projections with interactive behaviors
Load, parse and transform data from JSON and CSV formats
This comprehensive book covers the following topics:
Manipulating Data and Formatting
Scales, Axes, and Colors
Shape and Layout Generators
Animation and Interactivity
Visualizing Hierarchical Data
Visualizing Flows and Networks
Visualizing Geographical Data
2. Best book for step-by-step learners: Data Visualization with D3 4.x Cookbook
Data Visualization with D3 4.x Cookbook by Nick Zhu gives you all the guidance you need to start creating modern data visualizations with D3 4.0. With this step-by-step guide, you will efficiently create breathtaking data visualization with the help of practical recipes, detailed illustrations, and code samples.
After reading the book, you'll be able by
Get a solid understanding of the D3 fundamentals and idioms
Use D3 to load, manipulate, and map data to any kind of visual representation on the web
Create data-driven dynamic visualizations that update as the data does
Leverage the various modules provided by D3 to create sophisticated, dynamic, and interactive charts and graphics
Create data-driven transitions and animations within your visualizations
Understand and leverage more advanced concepts such as force, touch, and Geo data visualizations
Depth and quality are both preserved well in this book. You can dig deep into topics and you’ll learn the right ways to actually create a visualization. The book will simply polish your data visualisation concepts from good to outstanding!
3. Best book for hands-on learners: Fullstack D3 and Data Visualization
Fullstack D3 and Data Visualization: Build beautiful data visualizations with D3 by Amelia Wattenberger is a complete guide to D3. It'll help you to convert data into an understandable format and uncover key insights and problems.
With this comprehensive book, you'll understand and apply all the data visualization tasks at ease. This book is filled with dozens of code examples showing each step and helps you gain new insights into your data by creating visualizations.
The book is divided into fourteen chapters and the topics are compiled in a well-organized way.
Chapter 0 gives you the introduction to use D3.js
Chapter 1 talks about making your first chart
Chapter 2 talks about making a scatterplot
Chapter 3 guides you on how to make a bar chart
Chapter 4 covers Animations and Transitions
Chapter 5 covers Interactions
Chapter 6 talks about making a map and learn how to plot values within a location
Chapter 7 covers Data Visualization basics
Chapter 8 covers common chart types and when to use them
Chapter 9 covers Dashboard Design
Chapter 10 covers Advanced Visualization: Marginal Histogram
Chapter 11 covers Advanced Visualization: Radial Weather Chart
Chapter 12 covers Advanced Visualization: Animated Sankey Diagram
Chapter 13 talks about D3 and React and discuss how we can create blazing fast charts using the two together
Chapter 14 shows how to create optimized SVG charts using D3 and Angular.
If you want to learn D3.js in the best way, this is the go-to book for you. It also comes with a wonderful online learning platform. There, along with the book, you'll get additional practical implementations of visualizations with code.
Other books you may be interested in:
4. Best book for absolute beginners: D3.js in Action
The book is packed with rich full-color diagrams and illustrations. You'll explore dozens of real-world examples, including force and network diagrams, workflow illustrations, geospatial constructions, and much more. You'll also step through a fully interactive application created with D3 and React.
It spans 350 pages teaching charts, graphs, and larger datasets with more complex visualization techniques. The book is divided into three parts and eleven chapters.
Part 1. D3.js fundamentals
Chapter 1 gives an introduction to D3.js
Chapter 2 talks about Information visualization data flow
Chapter 3 covers Data-driven design and interaction
Chapter 4 covers Chart components
Chapter 5 covers Layouts
Part 2. Complex data visualization
Chapter 6 talks about Hierarchical visualization
Chapter 7 covers Network visualization
Chapter 8 talks about Geospatial information visualization
Part 3. Advanced techniques
Chapter 9 covers Interactive applications with React and D3
Chapter 10 talks about writing layouts and components
Chapter 11 covers mixed mode rendering
The book teaches the right way to do things with D3 to get you moving down the right path. We recommend this to a beginner who’s willing to put in the work and try out different solutions.
5. Best book for fast learners: D3 for the Impatient
If you looking to pick up and go, D3 for the Impatient: Interactive Graphics for Programmers and Scientists by Philipp K. Janert is for you. The book moves quickly, emphasizing unifying concepts and patterns.
The book is divided into ten chapters and includes the following topics
Chapter 1 gives you the introduction
Chapter 2 talks about making graphs
Chapter 3 talks about Selecting and Binding
Chapter 4 covers Events, Interactivity, and Animation
Chapter 5 covers Generators, Components, Layouts: Drawing Curves and Shapes
Chapter 6 covers Files, Fetches, Formats: Getting Data In and Out
Chapter 7 covers Values to Visuals: Interpolations, Scales, and Axes
Chapter 8 covers Colors, Color Scales, and Heatmaps
Chapter 9 covers Trees and Networks
Chapter 10 covers Utilities: Arrays, Statistics, and Timestamps
After reading the book, you'll be able to
Understand D3 selections, the library’s fundamental organizing principle
Learn how to create data-driven documents with data binding
Create animated graphs and interactive user interfaces
Draw figures with curves, shapes, and colors
Use the built-in facilities for heatmaps, tree graphs, and networks
Simplify your work by writing your own reusable components
This is definitely a great book for impatient learners who want to quickly understand all the fuss around D3.js.
6. Best book for beginners: Interactive Data Visualization for the Web
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: An Introduction to Designing with D3 by Scott Murray will get you started on the path to expertise. It takes you through the fundamental concepts and methods of D3 in a friendly and accessible way.
The book is divided into sixteen chapters. Here's what you will get from the book:
Learn D3 4.x—the latest D3 version—with downloadable code and over 140 examples
Create bar charts, scatter plots, pie charts, stacked bar charts, and force-directed graphs
Use smooth, animated transitions to show changes in your data
Introduce interactivity to help users explore your data
Create custom geographic maps with panning, zooming, labels, and tooltips
Walk through the creation of a complete visualization project, from start to finish
Explore inspiring case studies with nine accomplished designers talking about their D3-based projects
More Ways to Learn Data Visualization with D3.js
So these are the best data visualizations with D3.js books. They serve as a great resource for those who want to learn best through reading. No matter where you are in your learning cycle, there’s always a book that can help.
If you have made it this far then certainly you are willing to learn more from online courses as well. Here's a list that can help:
Udemy: D3.js Data Visualization Fundamentals - Hands On teaches you to design and build beautiful data visualizations with d3.js. This is a practical hands-on approach to learning the D3 library.
Coursera: D3Js Basics is a 1.5-hour long project-based course that will show you the basic concepts to create data visualizations in D3.js.
Codecademy: Introduction to D3 helps you to learn the basics of data visualization with d3 by binding data to a web page's elements and customizing the elements based on that very data.
We also suggest over 70 coding resources here that are free online.
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