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Data Visualization

Learn about best practices and tools to visualize data using charts and maps.

Data + Built-In Visualization

Site Where Type What it does best


Statista  Global Charts

Easily find and focus on important statistics with pre-made Bar or Line Charts by country or globally. Little customization.

Data: 80,000 diverse topics of data and facts from over 18,000 international sources.

Sage Data Global Charts

Best for line (trend) or bar (rank) chars and to compare or drill-down over time or by geography. No image export.

Data: Federal agencies, states, private organizations, and major intergovernmental organizations. State and local data on topics such as healthcare, crime, education, employment, & religion, and more. Mostly US-focused with some international coverage.

Social Explorer  Global Maps

The most user-friendly mapping tool with nice customizability and annotation. Can browse topics, but not search.

Data: Current and historical census data and demographic information. US Census (back to 1790), American Community Survey, religious data and more (library subscription)

Census Reporter  USA Charts

Best for location profiles or interactive distribution charts that show how a specific location places relative to others on multiple characteristics. No image export.

Data: US Census

SimplyAnalytics  USA Maps

Make maps through a modern slick interface. Sometimes confusing because of the many options.Can create accounts to save work.

Data: Recent demographic, business, and marketing data from Census (1980+), American Community Survey, Simmons and MRI Consumer Survey data and more.

LEHD OnTheMap  USA Maps

Make maps for labor/employment data. Best for focusing on very specific areas (e.g., towns)

Data: Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics: a combination of Federal, state, and other Census data on employers and employees

Gapminder Tools Global Charts

A great tool for examining or comparing country characteristics over time in a slick animated chart or graph. No image export.

Data: Focused on social, economic and environmental development.

Google Public Data Explorer  Global Charts

Best for comparisons with line or Bubble charts (up to 4 variables). No image export.

Data: Large, public-interest datasets including US Census Bureau, Euostate,, and the World Bank.

LandScan Global Archives Global Maps

Best for seeing population density, or counting people within an area.

Data: Population for every 30" x30" area over the entire globe, excluding Antarctica. Updated annually.

* Contact the GIS Librarian to access the raw data via ArcGIS. .