Home > Store

Visual Storytelling with D3: An Introduction to Data Visualization in JavaScript

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Visual Storytelling with D3: An Introduction to Data Visualization in JavaScript


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale



  • The perfect resource for technical, design, and media professionals who want to build the world-class infographics that are in incredibly hot demand
  • Brings together expert coverage of both infographic design and D3 JavaScript programming
  • Illuminates D3's remarkably broad capabilities, from shape drawing and manipulation to transitions, animations, and mapping
  • No other resource covers D3 in this much practical detail!


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 288
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-93317-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-93317-1

Master D3, Today’s Most Powerful Tool for Visualizing Data on the Web

Data-driven graphics are everywhere these days, from websites and mobile apps to interactive journalism and high-end presentations. Using D3, you can create graphics that are visually stunning and powerfully effective. Visual Storytelling with D3 is a hands-on, full-color tutorial that teaches you to design charts and data visualizations to tell your story quickly and intuitively, and that shows you how to wield the powerful D3 JavaScript library.

Drawing on his extensive experience as a professional graphic artist, writer, and programmer, Ritchie S. King walks you through a complete sample project—from conception through data selection and design. Step by step, you’ll build your skills, mastering increasingly sophisticated graphical forms and techniques. If you know a little HTML and CSS, you have all the technical background you’ll need to master D3.

This tutorial is for web designers creating graphics-driven sites, services, tools, or dashboards; online journalists who want to visualize their content; researchers seeking to communicate their results more intuitively; marketers aiming to deepen their connections with customers; and for any data visualization enthusiast.

Coverage includes

  • Identifying a data-driven story and telling it visually
  • Creating and manipulating beautiful graphical elements with SVG
  • Shaping web pages with D3
  • Structuring data so D3 can easily visualize it
  • Using D3’s data joins to connect your data to the graphical elements on a web page
  • Sizing and scaling charts, and adding axes to them
  • Loading and filtering data from external standalone datasets
  • Animating your charts with D3’s transitions
  • Adding interactivity to visualizations, including a play button that cycles through different views of your data
  • Finding D3 resources and getting involved in the thriving online D3 community

About the Website

All of this book’s examples are available at ritchiesking.com/book, along with video tutorials, updates, supporting material, and even more examples, as they become available.


Author's Site

Please visit the author's site here

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

An Introduction to Data Visualization in JavaScript: How to Use Data-Joins in D3

Table of Contents

Foreword         xi

Preface         xiii

Acknowledgments         xvii

About the Author          xix

Chapter 1: Visual Storytelling and D3         1

Visualization, Visualized   1

Charts Give Data a Form–That Form Tells a Story   2

Quality: It Is All about Content   5

Design: It Is All about Form   6

Visual Storytelling   7

Enter D3   7

Things You Designers Will Love about D3   8

Things You Coders Will Love about D3   8

Things for Which You Should Not Use D3   9

Notes on Using D3   9

Tools You Will Need   10

Summary   10

Chapter 2: Finding a Data-Driven Story and Telling It Visually          11

Getting Started   11

Is the World Getting Older?   12

Finding and Inspecting Data   13

Honing the Concept   15

Choosing a Form   17

The Example We Will Build in This Book   27

Summary   29

Chapter 3: Scalable Vector Graphics            31

Peeking under the Hood   31

What Is SVG, Exactly?   31

Playing with Circles in SVG   32

Inspecting SVG in the Web Inspector   34

Styling SVG Elements with CSS   35

Other Shapes 37 

SVG Text   41

SVG Style Properties   44

Drawing Order and Groups   47

Transformations   49

Building a Bar Chart in SVG   51

Summary   64

Chapter 4: Shaping Web Pages with D3 Selections          65

Getting Set Up with D3   65

Making Selections   66

Changing a Selection’s Attributes   70

D3 Strives to be Declarative   74

Chaining Methods   74

Appending New Elements   77

Putting It All Together   79

Selecting Multiple Elements with d3.selectAll()   80

Building a Bar Chart with Selections   81

Summary   103

Chapter 5: Data-Joins: Enter          105

What Are Data-Joins?   105

A Conceptual Overview of Data-Joins: Enter   106

Enter and Binding Data   107

Using a Data-Join to Make a Bar Chart   111

Using Anonymous Functions to Access Bound Data   115

Finishing the Rest of the Chart   119

Storing Data in Objects   120

Summary   125

Chapter 6: Sizing Charts and Adding Axes          127

Linear Scales   127

Using Smart Margin Conventions   132

Adding Axes   135

Ordinal Scales and Axes   144

Summary   156

Chapter 7: Loading and Filtering External Data           157

Building a Graphic that Uses All of the Population Distribution Data   157

Data Formats You Can Use with D3   158

Creating a Server to Upload Your Data   159

D3’s Functions for Loading Data   160

Dealing with Asynchronous Requests   165

Loading and Filtering a Large(r) Data Set   171

Putting It All Together   173

Summary   175

Chapter 8: Making Charts Interactive and Animated         177

Data-Joins: Update and Exit   177

Interactive Buttons   181

Updating Charts   190

Adding Transitions   193

Using Keys   196

Summary   197

Chapter 9: Adding a Play Button         199

Wrapping the Update Phase in a Function   199

Adding a Play Button to the Page   203

Making the Play Button Go   204

Allowing the User to Interrupt the Play Sequence   207

Summary   213

Chapter 10: Striking Out on Your Own           215

This Book is a Foundation for Learning D3   215

How to Get Unstuck   215

Always Be Coding   217

Summary   218

Appendix A: JavaScript for Beginners         219

JavaScript in Brief   219

Your Browser’s JavaScript Console   219

Basic Math, Variables, and Data Types   220

Writing JavaScript in Markup and .js Files   223

Arrays and Objects   224

Methods and Functions   227

If Statements and for Loops   228

Debugging   232

Appendix B: Cleaning the Population Distribution Data          235

Index           255


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020