Learning D3.js Mapping

3 min read

What is D3.js?

D3.js (Data-Driven Documents) is a JavaScript library used for data visualization. D3.js is used to display graphical representations of information in a browser using JavaScript. Because they are, essentially, a collection of JavaScript code, graphical elements produced by D3.js can react to changes made on the client or server side.

D3.js has seen major adoption as websites include more dynamic charts, graphs, infographics and other forms of visualized data.

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Why this book?

This book by the authors, Thomas Newton and Oscar Villarreal, explores the JavaScript library, D3.js, and its ability to help us create maps and amazing visualizations. You will no longer be confined to third-party tools in order to get a nice looking map. With D3.js, you can build your own maps and customize them as you please. This book will go from the basics of SVG and JavaScript to data trimming and modification with TopoJSON. Using D3.js to glue together these three key ingredients, we will create very attractive maps that will cover many common use cases for maps, such as choropleths, data overlays on maps, and interactivity.

Key features

  • Dive into D3.js and apply its powerful data binding ability in order to create stunning visualizations
  • Learn the key concepts of SVG, JavaScript, CSS, and the DOM in order to project images onto the browser
  • Solve a wide range of problems faced while building interactive maps with this solution-based guide


Thomas Newton has 20 years of experience in the technical industry, working on everything from low-level system designs and data visualization to software design and architecture. Currently, he is creating data visualizations to solve analytical problems for clients.

Oscar Villarreal has been developing interfaces for the past 10 years, and most recently, he has been focusing on data visualization and web applications. In his spare time, he loves to write on his blog, oscarvillarreal.com.

In short

You will find a few books on D3.js but they require intermediate-level developers who already know how to use D3.js, a few of them will cover a much wider range of D3 usage, whereas this book is focused exclusively on mapping; it fully explores this core task, and takes a solution-based approach.

Recommendations and all the wealthy knowledge that authors have shared in the book is based on many years of experience and many projects delivered using D3.

What this book covers

  • Learn all the tools you need to create a map using D3
  • A high-level overview of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) presentation with explanation on how it operates and what elements it encompasses
  • Exploring D3.js—producing graphics from data
  • Step-by-step guide to build a map with D3
  • Get you started with interactivity in your D3 map visualizations
  • Most important aspects of map visualization in detail via the use of TopoJSON
  • Assistance for the long-term maintenance of your D3 code base and different techniques to keep it healthy over the lifespan of your project


So far, you may have got an idea of what all be covered in the book. This book is carefully designed to allow the reader to jump between chapters based on what they are planning to get out of the book. Every chapter is full of pragmatic examples that can easily provide the foundation to more complex work. Authors have explained, step by step, how each example works.

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