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Using Vega-Lite for Data Visualization
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Using Vega-Lite for Data Visualization

Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Angelica Lo Duca

Originally published on Towards AI.

A tutorial on how to start using Vega-Lite to draw charts.
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Vega-lite is a concise JSON representation of a Vega visualization. Vega is a visualization grammar used to represent the elements of a data visualization chart. For those who know D3.js, you can imagine the output produced by D3.js as very close to that produced by Vega. For those who are not familiar with D3.js, you can think of Vega as a description in JSON of your chart, including axes, scales, types of marks, and so on.

Since Vega is a grammar, its syntax is quite verbose, so the developers have thought to compact the syntax to make it shorter. And here is Vega-Lite.

The basic sections of a Vega-lite JSON specification are:


Let’s investigate each separately.

Start by defining the Vega-Lite version you want to use (identified by the keyword $schema), a description of the chart, its size (width and height), and the padding used in the chart. The following code shows the initial configuration:

{ "$schema": "", "description": "A basic line chart", "width": 400, "height": 200, "padding": 5,}

This section specifies the data source for the visualization, as shown in the following snippet of code:

"data": { "url": "", "format": {"type": "csv"} },

The example loads a CSV file from a URL. However,… Read the full blog for free on Medium.

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