10 Data Visualization Tools for Librarians and Educators

Data visualization and infographics tools are a great way to keep students and readers engaged. Here are ten free applications which will enable you to create your own infographics, maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams:

1. Creately

The free version of Creately enables users to design and store 5 diagrams which can include Venn diagrams, UI & Web mockups, Flowcharts, Organizational charts, UML diagrams, Mind maps, Network plans, SWOT analysis, Value stream maps, TQM diagrams and more.

2. Stat Planet

Used by the UN, NASA, and many Fortune 500 companies, Stat Planet will let you create customizable, interactive maps or graphs with data you import.

3. Gunn Map 2

Gunn Map 2 is a completely online application which also lets you create customizable maps with your own data. Watch this quick video to discover how to create your own maps in under 2 minutes!!

4. Many Eyes

Many Eyes is an online application by IBM which will let you upload data sets and create stunning visualizations with ease including bubble, bar, pie, and matrix charts, network diagrams, tree maps, word trees, tag clouds, world, country, county, and neighborhood maps, and line and stack graphs.

5. Gliffy

Gliffy provides pre-built templates to help you create incredibly professional-looking diagrams including: Flow Charts, Network diagrams, Floor plans, Org charts, Venn diagrams, SWOT analysis, Wireframes, Site maps, UML, Business process modeling, Technical drawings. The free version allows users to create 5 diagrams.

6. Wordle

Create beautiful and fully customizable word clouds with this free tool. Simply paste in your text and click "Go", or specify your own color scheme, layout, and fonts. Instantly create a word cloud for your blog or website by entering the RSS feed!

7. Visual.ly

This is a brand new online application which allows you to create detailed data visualizations and infographics. They are still in private beta-testing, however you can sign up for an invite now. And in the meantime, you can browse the Showcase of over 3,500 of the best infographics on the Web.

8. Twitter Visualizer

This fun tool quickly creates a personalized infographic of your Twitter persona based on what you tweet. You can create a solo infographic such as the one created for me, or compare yourself to tweeting celebrities.

9. Tagxedo

Create a beautifully shaped word cloud from your blog, tweets, delicious tags, news topic, or any RSS feed. Tagxedo lets you customize words into stunning images.

10. Visualize.me

Visualize.me syncs with your LinkedIn account to create a stunning infographic of your experience, education, and skills. You can customize how much or how little is displayed within the easy editing interface. Fonts, colors, and backgrounds are all editable as well. Each position and educational entry can be moused-over to view the full job/school description that is found on LinkedIn.