EDV: The Exploratory Data Visualizer

EDV is an environment which contains a number of data views; the views are linked together via a cased-based version of data linking which allows interesting facets of the data as seen in one view to be highlighted in other views. In this way complicated dependencies can be explored without resorting to complicated views. EDV has several goals:
  • To provide a linked views analytical tool for exploring diverse, large data spaces.
  • To provide a framework for the creation of both novel visualization components and improved versions of existing views so that ideas can be tried out rapidly in a fully unctional useful environment.
  • To allow different methods for visualizing data to be compared within a common framework, so that differences between methods, rather than differences between implementations, can be explored.
Within EDV, the user can create data views on tables of information. These views are linked together so that, where possible, each view shows the same data in the same manner - same visibility, color, degree of detail, etc. The user is able to brush with the mouse to change characteristics of the data and is also able to map data variables to color, shape and other information for view displays. There are selection tools, pop-up menus and a variety of other aids to this general philosophy; increasing the power of views by interactive, dynamic linking.


The American Statistical Association occasionally provided a set of statistics for baseball players with the question: "Do players get payed according to their ability?" This analysis explores that question. State census data with some added information about voting patterns in election years. This data set was explored without any specific question in mind, just a general desire to "see what's out there".

Further information

The main reference for EDV is the following:
EDV guide, a brief tutorial and reference

The philosphy behind the selection interface is described in:

524,288 Ways to say "This is Interesting"

General papers describing or using EDV:

Visual Exploration of Large, Structured Data Sets
High Interaction Graphics

Information on the NicheWorks component of EDV:

NicheWorks page

EDV and its components form the base for much of the commercial tools from

Visual Insights