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Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: An Introduction to Designing with D3 Paperback – Apr 5 2013
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About the Author
Scott Murray is a code artist who writes software to create data visualizations and other interactive phenomena. His work incorporates elements of interaction design, systems design, and generative art.
Scott is an Assistant Professor of Design at the University of San Francisco, where he teaches data visualization and interaction design. He is a contributor to Processing (processing.org), and he teaches workshops on creative coding.
Scott earned an A.B. from Vassar College and an M.F.A. from the Dynamic Media Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. His work can be seen at alignedleft.com.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
NOTE: Amazon is still providing a mangled version of this book. Example text: "the paragraphs we want to seldon't exist y....Bear with me, as the answer might require bending your mind a bi"
This is not an isolated example, it happens on nearly single page. O'Reilly responded within an hour with a corrected PDF of the book. I am still waiting to hear back from Amazon but I re-downloaded the version they are providing and it is still mangled. Anyone considering the book should consider going directly to O'Reilly for their purchase.
The tone of the writing is fun and lighthearted. The pacing, interspersed with examples (which run precisely as promised, out of the box) is just great. Bite sized chunks are presented and discussed, all with an appropriate amount of repetition (to reinforce concepts, but avoiding wasting space).
My favorite aspect of the examples was that, while code was reused, later projects didn't depend on earlier ones. He wasn't building up to something, he's just demonstrating a bit here, a bit there, and moving on. By ditching earlier customizations and reverting to basics it gracefully clarified what was necessary and what depended on what.
It's a rare technical book that is so well written and accessible, being accessible to initiates and pleasant to the experiences. On top of that, it's quite rare to see color illustrations in an O'Reilly book.
I read the first version of this book and it covered D3 v3, so by the time I went to use it, a lot of the API had changed. The second edition covers V4.
I think it would be useful to compare these two great books.
D3 IDV served as a great primer. It has a little more hand holding and step by step. By the end of this book, you'll know how the API works and should be able to explore examples online to do whatever you want.
D3 in Action, on the other hand, feels more complete. It also has step by step, but takes it a quicker pace, without missing any necessary details. After reading D3 in Action, I don't feel that I have to find the examples online. We have already covered scaling, axis, bar charts, geographic maps, pie charts, nested data, graph data, layouts, you name it, this book has covered it in sufficient depth for you to get up and running.
D3 in Action is a full tour of D3, whereas D3 Interactive Data Visualization is a focus on fundamentals.
I recommend both books, but this one may help a little more if you are just getting started.
I went into this purchase wanting a printed version of his highly popular tutorial series, and that's what I got - with a bit extra. My only wish is that there had been more unique content for the book version, but the animation portions are new and helpful.
My overall sentiment is that this is worth the money ($15 US at time of writing) to have it in print.
You can see the referenced tutorials by searching for "Scott Murray D3" to get a feel for writing style and content.
I originally had thought that the animation sections were in the tutorials, but it turns out that they weren't so I revised my review.