There are many data visualization tools out there. Yet, I believe we're still lacking a robust, scalable, and cross-platform visualization toolkit that can handle today's massive datasets.
Most existing tools target simple plots with a few hundreds or thousands of points: bar plots, scatter plots, histograms and the like. Typically, these figures represent aggregated statistical quantities. Maps are also particularly popular, and there are now really great open source tools.
Perhaps contrary to a common belief, this is not the end of the story. There are much more complex visualization needs in academia and industry, and I've always been unsatisfied by the tools at our disposal.
In this post series, I'll talk about the big data visualization platform I'm currently developing with WebGL. I'll give in this first post the main motivations for this project. The next posts will contain the technical details.
We had our first official Vispy Code Camp this week. I and the other core developers of Vispy were kindly invited by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. We presented our young library to software engineers from the ESRF and other European synchrotron facilities. It was also the occasion for us to make a gentle introduction to modern OpenGL, as many attendees didn't have experience in real-time GPU rendering. We discovered various scientific use cases in need of high-bandwidth, low-latency real-time visualization of big data.