Skip to content
This repository

WikiAPI ReferenceCoreRequests

You can’t visualize data if you can’t access it! Fortunately, there are many ways to get data into the browser. For small datasets, you might hardcode the data in your script, or embed data in the DOM using data attributes. For larger datasets, you could load an external script that defines your data as a global variable. (JSONP is a common example of this.) But, the most versatile way of loading data into the browser is using an XMLHttpRequest, or XHR. This allows data to be loaded asynchronously (so the rest of the page can display while data is loading), and is safer than JSONP. D3’s xhr module simplifies loading and parsing data.

When loading data asynchronously, code that depends on the loaded data should generally exist within the callback function. For example, see the calendar visualization on the D3 website. Code that doesn't depend on data can run immediately when the page loads. Also, you may find it convenient to save loaded data to the global namespace, so that you can access it after the initial render, such as during a transition. You can do this using closures, or simply assign the loaded data to a global:

var data; // a global

d3.json("path/to/file.json", function(error, json) {
  if (error) return console.warn(error);
  data = json;
  visualizeit();
});

By default, most browsers do not allow cross-domain requests. To enable cross-domain requests, have the server set the header Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *. For more details, see the W3C recommendation on Cross-Origin Resource Sharing. For IE9, d3.xhr uses the nonstandard XDomainRequest for cross-domain requests.

XHR

# d3.xhr(url[, mimeType][, callback])

Creates an asynchronous request for specified url. An optional mime type may be specified as the second argument, such as "text/plain". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method and the callback is invoked asynchronously when the resource is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the XMLHttpRequest object representing the response. The response is undefined if an error occurs. If the response has an unsuccessful status code, the error is the XMLHttpRequest object. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get, xhr.post or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

# xhr.header(name[, value])

If value is specified, sets the request header with the specified name to the specified value. If value is null, removes the request header with the specified name. If value is not specified, returns the current value of the request header with the specified name. Header names are case-insensitive.

Request headers can only be modified before the request is sent. Therefore, you cannot pass a callback to the d3.xhr constructor if you wish to specify a header. Instead, use xhr.get or similar. For example:

d3.csv("/path/to/file.csv")
    .header("header-name", "header-value")
    .get(function(error, data) {
      // callback
    });

# xhr.mimeType([type])

If type is specified, sets the request mime type to the specified value. If type is null, clears the current mime type, if any. If type is not specified, returns the current mime type, which defaults to null. The mime type is used to both set the "Accept" request header and for overrideMimeType, where supported. Request headers can only be modified before the request is sent.

# xhr.responseType(type)

If type is specified, sets the response type, e.g. "", "arraybuffer", "blob", "document", or "text". If type is not specified, returns the current response type, which defaults to "".

# xhr.response(value)

If value is specified, sets the response value function to the specified function. If value is not specified, returns the current response value function, which defaults to the identity function. The response value function is used to map the response XMLHttpRequest object to its associated data value. For example, for text requests, you might use function(request) { return request.responseText; }, whereas for JSON requests, you might use function(request) { return JSON.parse(request.responseText); }.

# xhr.get([callback])

Issues this request using the GET method. If a callback is specified, it will be invoked asynchronously when the request is done or errors; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the response value. The response value is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, then "load" and "error" listeners should be registered via xhr.on. This method is a convenience wrapper of xhr.send.

# xhr.post([data][, callback])

Issues this request using the POST method, optionally posting the specified data in the request body. If a callback is specified, it will be invoked asynchronously when the request is done or errors; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the response value. The response value is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, then "load" and "error" listeners should be registered via xhr.on. This method is a convenience wrapper of xhr.send.

An example using URL encoding:

d3.csv("/path/to/file.csv")
    .header("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded")
    .post("a=2&b=3", function(error, data) {
      // callback
    });

An example using JSON encoding:

d3.csv("/path/to/file.csv")
    .header("Content-Type", "application/json")
    .post(JSON.stringify({a: 2, b: 3}), function(error, data) {
      // callback
    });

# xhr.send(method[, data][, callback])

Issues this request using the specified method, optionally posting the specified data in the request body. If a callback is specified, it will be invoked asynchronously when the request is done or errors; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the response value. The response value is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, then "load" and "error" listeners should be registered via xhr.on.

# xhr.abort()

Aborts this request, if it is currently in-flight. See XMLHttpRequest’s abort.

# xhr.on(type[, listener])

Adds or removes an event listener to this request for the specified type. The type must be one of the following:

  • beforesend - before the request is sent, to allow custom headers and the like to be set.
  • progress - to monitor the progress of the request.
  • load - when the request completes successfully.
  • error - when the request completes unsuccessfully; this includes 4xx and 5xx response codes.

If an event listener was already registered for the same type, the existing listener is removed before the new listener is added. To register multiple listeners for the same event type, the type may be followed by an optional namespace, such as "load.foo" and "load.bar". To remove a listener, pass null as the listener.

If listener is not specified, returns the currently-assigned listener for the specified type, if any.

Convenience Methods

Often, d3.xhr is not used directly. Instead, one of the type-specific methods is used instead, such as d3.text for plain text, d3.json for JSON, d3.xml for XML, d3.html for HTML, or d3.csv for comma-separated values.

# d3.text(url[, mimeType][, callback])

Creates a request for the text file at the specified url. An optional mime type may be specified as the second argument, such as "text/plain". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method, and the callback will be invoked asynchronously when the file is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the response text. The response text is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

# d3.json(url[, callback])

Creates a request for the JSON file at the specified url with the mime type "application/json". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method, and the callback will be invoked asynchronously when the file is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the parsed JSON. The parsed JSON is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

# d3.xml(url[, mimeType][, callback])

Creates a request for the XML file at the specified url. An optional mime type may be specified as the second argument, such as "application/xml". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method, and the callback will be invoked asynchronously when the file is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the parsed XML as a document. The parsed XML is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

# d3.html(url[, callback])

Creates a request for the HTML file at the specified url with the mime type "text/html". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method, and the callback will be invoked asynchronously when the file is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the parsed HTML as a document fragment. The parsed HTML is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

# d3.csv(url[, accessor][, callback])

Creates a request for the CSV file at the specified url with the mime type "text/csv". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method, and the callback will be invoked asynchronously when the file is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the array of parsed rows per RFC 4180. The rows array is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

# d3.tsv(url[, accessor][, callback])

Creates a request for the TSV file at the specified url with the mime type "text/tab-separated-values". If a callback is specified, the request is immediately issued with the GET method, and the callback will be invoked asynchronously when the file is loaded or the request fails; the callback is invoked with two arguments: the error, if any, and the array of parsed rows per RFC 4180. The rows array is undefined if an error occurs. If no callback is specified, the returned request can be issued using xhr.get or similar, and handled using xhr.on.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.