One Picture is Worth Ten Thousand Words (a Mathematica Book review)

We are using Wolfram Mathematica to create sophisticated visualisations of accounting data or creditor claims entered into our software system INVEP. That’s the reason why I am interested in nearly every visualisation subject. Some weeks ago I have received the new book „Mathematica Data Visualization“ written by Nazmus Saquib. Now I have finished the book so it’s time to write a short review:

The book is written for persons who are new in using Mathematica and/or creating graphics (even interactive ones) using Mathematica. Beginning with simple information about how to manipulate data to create simple graphics using the Mathematicas build in features up to really big 3D and vertex visualization it covers a really big range. It contains detailed instructions about using several techniques to create some sophisticated animations. It contains details about the usage of the buildin Mathematica functions  Manipulate and Dynamic and it contains hints to other books and Web sites worth reading. Even if some chapters are not easy to understand for a beginner, the book gives several hints. It shows several ways throughout the jungle of the Mathematicas build in visualisation functions. It’s the readers job to experiment with the given code trying other options.
It’s not a book for persons who are doing visualisation using Mathematica for several years, because possibly they know all the details described, but it’s absolutely worth reading for a beginner. Especially the first part of the book describes the details of manipulating data to create (or transform) datasets that can be visualised. For an experienced Mathematica user this is boring, but for a newcomer these chapters are absolutely crusial. A novice user becomes familiar with data manipulation basics step by step.
Within the last chapters there are details about building very impressing animated 2D and 3D animations using Mathematica with only some lines of code. The following picture shows an interactive Chord-Diagram of accouting data. I have adapted the code from the book to our system within half an hour.

ChordDiagram

The book is available from the packtpub website here

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