D3 is a powerful JavaScript library for creating HTML, CSS, and SVG visualisations. Getting Started With D3 provides a good introduction to the library, and guides the reader through creating charts using real data from the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The book starts off by helping you get your environment setup so you can get the most out of the book, from downloading D3 and creating a basic HTML template used throughout the examples, to setting up a basic web server using Python.

Subsequent chapters help the reader build up their knowledge of D3 by working through a series of examples. The first example focuses on using selections, and uses data from the data set to create a HTML and CSS-based bar chart. Next, the book helps you create a scatter graph, and a line chart, using SVG. It then covers making your visualisations more interactive by showing how you can add mouseover effects, and animations. The final set of examples gives you a brief glimpse of the range of possibilities D3 can open up for you by discussing force layout, histogram layout, and stack layout.

I enjoyed reading Getting Started with D3. As an introduction to using D3, it’s very good. Each chapter builds on what has been discussed before, and the examples are easy to follow along with. If you’ve always wanted to get to grips with D3, but were daunted by it’s steep learning curve, this book could be just what you’re looking for.

Getting Started with D3

Disclaimer: This book was reviewed as part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review program.