Visual Black Box: Data visualization made easy with an open source JavaScript-based data visualization toolkit
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.

Visual Black Box (VBB)

What is Visual Black Box?

This project enables quick, easy and free implementation of real-time data visualizations (example: real-time line graphs) in a web browser consumable way. Let's get right to the gist of it...

If you can create a .TSV (tab-separated values) file that looks something like this:

date close0 close1 close2 5-May-12 483.10 823.4 582 4-May-12 728.88 458 822 3-May-12 612.17 721 624 2-May-12 582.13 621 442

... then you can create web browser-enabled data visualizations that look like the examples shown on the following web page in just minutes using the built-in VBB GUI widgets:


  • Creates a small/fast Node.js web server to serve data visualizations to web browsers
  • Uses cutting edge data visualization libraries like D3.js
  • Data visualizations are SVG-based and thus are infinitely scalable to meet dashboard needs
  • Real-time data enabled by server data push (Socket.IO web sockets) to the web browser client
  • Server data pushes are multicasted to all listeners
  • Open source! Apache 2.0 license.
  • Platform agnostic - This has run on Linux, Macs and Windows with no issues
  • Pluggable architecture which will enable future seamless upgrades such as .CSV/.JSON input data formats, more d3-based data visualization widgets
  • Easy configuration through JSON or TSV files, no need for code changes

Possible Uses

  • Big data real-time visualization
  • Hackathons - Create professional GUIs to demonstrate your project results quickly, especially when under a time crunch!
  • Monitor CPU, memory, disk, etc resources remotely in just minutes
  • Create your own dashboard using many frames of resizable data visualizations

Next Steps

Please read the INSTALL.txt document for instructions on how to quickly set up VBB and a demo on your own system.

More guides will be added soon that describe configuration, software interfaces and project architecture.


Paul Montgomery

Please note that this project is in early stages so expect rapid changes and possible backwards compatibility breaking. Also, please forgive any bad style used in my code as I'm using this project to teach myself Javascript, D3.js and Node.js in my spare time.