Tools for creating simple infographics and data visualizations

Infographic-of-infographics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See original posting by Miranda Rensch at the Daily SEO Blog

1. Piktochart

Piktochart is a web-based tool that has six decent free themes (and a whole bunch more for the paid version) for creating simple visualizations. You can drag and drop different shapes and images, and there is quite a bit of customization available. You can also add simple line, bar, and pie charts using data from CSV (or manual entry). You can export to PNG and JPG in either print or web quality. Note that with the free version, you get a small Piktochart watermark on the bottom of the PNG / JPG downloads.

 


2. Easel.ly

Easel.ly is another free web-based tool for creating infographics. You cannot create graphs using real data with this tool, but its really good for conceptual visualizations and storytelling. It has a beautiful user interface and the themes you can start with are gorgeous. The themes support many common purposes: map, flow-chart, and comparison/relationship graphing. This tool has the best selection of well-design objects (people, a bunch if icons, landmarks, maps, animals, etc.) and backgrounds that I’ve seen throughout this list of tools. Additionally, you can upload your own images with the free version. You can download a web-quality version as JPG. This tool is still in beta, but it seemed to work pretty well to me!
  

3. Infogr.am

Infogr.am is another free, web-based tool with some really nice themes and a great interface for creating simple infographics. This option also allows you to create charts using real data. There are 31 chart options that offer some really cool displays, like a radial bar graph, scatter charts, bubble graphs, and map charts. You can also add your own images and video. When you’re done creating your infographic, you can embed it on a website and publish it to the infogra.am site (I wasn’t able to find a way to download). This app is also in beta, but again, seemed pretty solid to me.  

 
 

4. Visual.ly

Visual.ly (I know, these visualization tools love their ‘.ly’s!) has some simple free tools worth mentioning, many of which integrate with social networks to analyze Twitter and Facebook data. You can create fun Venn diagrams, Twitter account show-downs, visuals that analyze hash tags, and a few others, but there’s almost no customization available. However, they offer a marketplace where you can get connected with visual designers and motion graphics artists who specialize in infographics. The site itself also has a ton of great info graphics to inspire you or your designers. There is some serious data visualization eye candy in there, people.

 


 

5. Tableau

Tableau has some free tools for creating data visualizations. It is not web based, so you have to download the software. Once you do, you can upload a spreadsheet or CSV and create a variety of interactive data visualizations types, including heat maps showing density of an activity by location, Venn diagrams to show associations, bar charts, line graphs, and others. This tool is for Windows only. See Tableau’s gallery for examples of the types of visualizations you can create or learn more about how it works.

 


 

 Other tools for visual communication

Make a video

 TimelineJS

TimelineJS uses a google spreadsheet with links to YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Sound Cloud, and other media sources to create really nice-looking timelines. You could use this tool to create an interactive visualization of the starting of your company, your client’s company, tell the story of an industry, etc.

  Present.me

Present.me allows you to create presentations where you record yourself talking next to the slides you’re presenting. This tool might be a good way for people working remotely to share a proposal or concept, or for documenting presentations you’ve given on your blog or site.

 

About Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis

Cheryl Peltier-Davis is Archives and Digital Librarian at the Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center, at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
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