Geographic Information Systems of wide usage
Data visualization tools
Commonly GIS, as ESRI company products (ArcGIS family) and QuantumGIS are desktop client applications. They offer a great variety of data visualization tools as shown on the figure below (a simple visualization sample).
These tools are usually realized with the help of plug-ins (independent compiled software components adding specific features to an existing product), installed by the user. Some plug-ins may have a high computing power consumption level while working with large datasets. Thus, certain plug-ins have specific system requirements. At present a web-based GIS concept is steadily becoming more popular. One of the most outstanding advantages of this concept is total availability of all the visualization tools to all the users. Moreover the systems requirements are extremely low as all the calculations and processing are performed on the server side.
Currently among the most remarkable visualization tools available on web-based GIS are:
It is worth mentioning CartoDB as it is almost a fully working GIS with a powerful visualization toolbox. Datasets are uploaded by the user himself, data may be later filtered, sorted and grouped. Visualization tools allow performing data classification, clusterization, color encoding, heat maps and animation. Visualization results may be easily integrated into websites and adjust their appearance with the help of CartoCSS. Developers are given an access to the API in order to create their own visualization tools.
A classic example of data visualization is a choropleth map
To be continued.