9 Astonishing Data Visualization Projects You Can Replicate [2020]

Data visualization is an art. Mastering this art requires a lot of patience, effort, and time. You can become a skilled data visualization expert by working on data visualization projects. In this article, we’re sharing some of the most stunning data visualization projects in the world. You can take inspiration from these project ideas and practice your skills effectively. 

We hope you’d like the examples we’ve shared here. Not only are these visualizations amazing to look at, but they also give creative ways to present data. The data visualization project ideas we’ve shared here are of various sectors so that you can choose one according to your interests and experience. 

Let’s get started!

Excellent Data Visualization Projects

1. Create a Viz on Cricket Stadiums 

Source: England’s Cricket Stadiums (BBC Sports)

Cricket is a passion for many people. In this project, a group of cricket enthusiasts and Google Maps worked together to show the different shapes of cricket stadiums in England. The above visualization is a product of BBC Sports Edition and Google. The best thing about this visualization is its level of detail and simplicity. It is based on a straightforward premise yet shares a lot of detail with the viewer. 

You can create a similar data visualization on other scenic locations and reflect the difference between their views. Such data visualization would help you experiment with video content and explore how you can incorporate it better in your skillset. For starters, you can create a similar viz for cricket stadiums in the Indian subcontinent or Australia. 

2. An Astronomical Viz

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Source: The Atlas of Moons (National Geographic)

National Geographic has always been a leader in photography. They are also innovators in the field of data visualization. The above display, The Atlas of Moons, shows the various moons present in our solar system and it starts with our moon. The visualization is scrollable, which makes it more immersive and enjoyable. You can navigate every moon and their orbits, finding out more information about them. 

This visualization is the perfect combination of art and data. You can try to imitate this project and create a scrollable visualization yourself. You can pick a similar topic, such as the planets in our solar system. This project can help you try out unique methods of showing data and understanding how you can represent comparisons between multiple objects. 

3. Show the Wilderness of Australia

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Source: Where the Wild Things Glow (Jonni Walker)

Nature is beautiful in itself, but in the above visualization, Jonni Walker has shown its beauty in the form of data visualization. The above viz indicates the location and extent of bioluminescence present on the coast of Australia. All the relevant data and legend is present on the map, making it easy to read and comprehend. Jonni had created it on Tableau.

You can create a similar visualization for bioluminescence on other coasts of the world (there are many). Or, you can simply try to replicate this visualization with your tools and see how it turns out. If you’re interested in nature studies and want to use your data visualization skills in this sector, then this project will help you get ahead. This project would help you in understanding how you can use data visualization to study nature and relevant topics. Try mimicking this project. 

4. Show Our Advances in Space

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Source: Leaps in Space (Bureau Oberhauser)

There’s a profound relationship between space and data visualizations. Maybe it’s the level of detail and expanse in both of these things that causes people to combine the two so often. 

The data visualization we’ve shared above is called Leaps in Space, and it’s a product of Bureau Oberhauser. The visualization shows the numerous things humans planned to do in 2020 alone. You can create a similar visualization to show the things humans have done in some other year. Or, you can take this approach to show the achievements of India in space.

Not only will this project put your creative skills to test, but it will also give you experience in uniquely showing calendar visualizations. On a side note, you can use this visualization as a wallpaper or a poster too. 

5. A Project for Culture and Art

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Source: Symbolikon (Michela Graziani)

Are you a culture enthusiast? If you are, then this is a great project inspiration. Sybolikon is a collection of various ancient symbols of different cultures. All of these symbols are artistically rendered and belong to different sections of history. If you have a designer friend who might want to use these symbols, then they can buy access to it on their website. 

You can build a similar visualization collection. As the creator of this project has used symbols in this project, you can use another cultural artwork (such as flags or emblems). It’s a great visualization project to show your knowledge of design and research. Currently, Symbolikon has more than 800 symbols in its collection. You can start with 50 or a few hundred. 

6. Create a Visualisation on a Book

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Source: If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler (Hanna Piotrowska)

This visualization is stellar! In 1979, Italo Calvino, an Italian writer, had written a conceptual book that discusses reading another book (interesting topic indeed). Since its release, it has become a cult book for readers, writers, and conceptual artists.

Data visualization artist Hanna Piotrowska, in 2019, used this book to create a mesmerizing data visualization project. In her work, the original text shines while her collection of data visualizations enhances its beauty further. You can take inspiration from this project and create a mesmerizing data visualization for a book. You can find other interesting conceptual books and show off your data visualization skills. A great thing about this project is you have a lot of leeway in choosing the kind of book you want to work on. In the example we shared, the creator of this project chose a book on writing. You can choose a book on another subject (such as physics or something else) to create this project. 

7. Visualize History with Data

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Source: Napoleon’s 1812 March (Charles Minard)

This project is for history lovers. Charles Minard created the above visualization, and it shows that tools aren’t crucial for communicating information effectively. Why is that so? 

Well, Charles had created this lithograph in 1869, way before HTML or Tableau existed. It shows Napoleon’s Russian army, the temperatures they faced, and their movements. The level of detail in this visualization is fantastic, and you can take a lot of inspiration from it to create beautiful visualizations yourself. This project also highlights the value of practical communication skills and knowledge of datasets. 

You can try to imitate this project and create a history-based visualization yourself. You can focus on a historical event like this (such as the Battle of Panipat). Moreover, you can highlight the instances of that event like the one in this project we’ve shared. Or, you can try to mimic this visualization by using the tools present in your arsenal. After you’ve created this visualization with your tools, try to figure out how Charles Minard would’ve kept this lithograph accurate. 

8. Show the Possibility of Life in Space

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Source: Goldilocks Exoplanets (National Geographic)

Have you always wondered if there’s extraterrestrial life? Do you think there are living beings on another planet? Well, this visualization explores just that.

It’s a product of National Geographic, and even though we have one from them, we couldn’t resist adding this one in the list too. This visualization shows the planets in our solar system and beyond which have suitable conditions to support life. They used data from the Planetary Habitability Lab of the University of Puerto Rico. Their exciting way of showing the habitability of different planets is admirable. 

You can create a similar visualization based on a similar topic. For example, you can create a small visualization for the habitability of the planets in our solar system. It’s undoubtedly one of the best data visualization project ideas for space enthusiasts. 

Read: Data Visualization Tools

9. Highlight Migration Patterns

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Source: US Migration Patterns (NYTimes)

Here is a data visualization on The New York Times where they have shown the moving patterns of Americans from 1990 to 2012. The flow of data in this viz is mesmerizing and unique. It explores where people living in a particular state were born and where they moved. You can take a similar approach to create a smaller version of this visualization yourself. The best thing about this project is, you can use it for many subjects. For example, you can show the migration pattern of birds, or, you can show the migration pattern of people living in a specific state (such as Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh). 

Nonetheless, this is a great project to get inspiration from. You’d learn a lot about representing such data by working on this one. 

Also Read: Top 10 Data Visualization Types

Time to Visualise Some Data

We’ve now reached the end of this fantastic list of data visualization projects. Remember, the projects we’ve shared here are some of the best works ever done by teams of experts. That’s why we’ve mentioned imitating them or taking inspiration from them. But now that you have some motivation to work with, we’re positive that you can build some astonishing visualizations yourself.

If you want to learn more about data visualization and relevant tools, then we recommend heading to our blog. There, you’ll find many valuable resources on Tableau, best practices, and other projects. Plus, we’re continually adding new posts there so you can find great resources like this one!

If you are curious to learn about data science, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Diploma in Data Science which is created for working professionals and offers 10+ case studies & projects, practical hands-on workshops, mentorship with industry experts, 1-on-1 with industry mentors, 400+ hours of learning and job assistance with top firms.

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