Software solutions have become increasingly graphic over time. This has resulted in an explosion of visualization packages, ranging from basic charting to 3D, big data and GIS visualization. However, these packages still treat each visualization as a separate entity, and struggle to have common behavior across visualizations and platforms. Varying requirements may also lead to the adoption of multiple visualization tools across products in a suite.
The Grammar of Graphics approach allows us to define a language for all types of visualization. This language provides a compromise between the complete flexibility of a graphics package, and the constraints of a charting package with customizable attributes. It provides standardization in configuration and behavior, and at the same time allows us to define representations of the data by simply changing the specification. The language approach to specifying visualization provides much more control to adopters while maintaining consistency. The language approach also allows the same specification to be interpreted across platforms to give consistent appearance and interaction across devices. Continue reading »