Visualizing Data

Author: Ben Fry
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2008
Pages: 382
ISBN: 978-0596514556
Aimed at: Java programmers using the Processing language
Rating: 4
Pros: In-depth treatment
Cons: Too many examples
Reviewed by: Mike James

This is about the Processing graphical language. The most important point to note is that this is a dialect of Java and hence not attractive to everyone. This book isn’t exactly a Processing tutorial and neither is it a catalogue of finished charts and graphs for you to look at and admire. It is a fairly intelligent discussion of the problems and methods that arise in the handling and presentation of data. You might not even like some of the final results but you will have enough ideas to use them as templates and refine them.
The biggest problem with Ben Fry’s presentation is that you might find it too crammed with examples to allow you to see the general principles. Overall Processing is an interesting alternative to pre-canned graphics but not for the casual user.

<Reviewed in VSJ>