Despite being over 1 year old, one of the most popular articles I have written is
Overview of Python Visualization Tools. After these many months, it is one of
my most frequently searched for, linked to and read article on this site.
I think this fact speaks to hunger in the python community for one visualization
tool to rise above the rest. I am not sure I want (or need) one to “win” but I do
continue to watch the changes in this space with interest.
All of the tools I mentioned in the original article are still alive and many have changed
quite a bit over the past year or so. Anyone looking for a visualization
tool should investigate the options and see which ones meet their needs. They all
have something to offer and different use-cases will drive different solutions.
In the spirit of keeping up with the latest options in this space, I recently heard
about Altair which calls itself a “declarative statistical visualization library
for Python.” One of the things that peaked my interest was that it is developed by
Brian Granger and Jake Vanderplas. Brian is a core
developer in the IPython project and very active in the scientific python community.
Jake is also active in the scientific python community and has written a soon to be
released O’Reilly book called Python Data Science Handbook. Both of these individuals
are extremely accomplished and knowledgeable about python and the various tools
in the python scientific ecosystem. Because of their backgrounds, I was very
curious to see how they approached this problem.