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Data Art project sponsors

Data Art with BBC Backstage

Coding Resources

As the project develops we aim to release source code using a variety of different programming languages and software libraries. There will be varying levels of difficulty, with examples for people just beginning to program to advanced visualisation apps.

For each example we'll cover the main steps in creating a visualisation: acquiring data, filtering and mining the data, presenting it in visual form, and creating user interactions.

The code can be used under the terms of the BBC Backstage license.

Code Examples //

  • Jungle Graphviz - uses the Jungle dataset to map sections of the BBC website. Programmed using Python, LXML and the Graphviz library.
  • Guardian NewsTraces - explore the Guardian's News headlines from 2000. Programmed using the Guardian Open Platform API and AS3.
  • NewsTraces 1.0 - explore BBC News headlines from the Americas since 2000. Uses the first of a new dataset of News archives, and programmed in AS3.
  • Flared Music - shows relationships between musicians as stored in the BBC Music / Musicbrainz database. Uses BBC Music API, and AS3 visualisation library Flare
  • News Globe - BBC News and Sport articles geocoded onto a 3D globe. Uses BBC RSS feed and Yahoo Geocoding API.

Development Tools //

Name Description Related Visualisations

Free Open Source code editor for developing Actionscript and Flex projects.


Design and development environment using Actionscript. Discounts are available for students and academics.

Flex Builder

Development environment for Actionscript and Flex. Flex Builder is commercial software, although Adobe provides free licenses to students, faculty and staff of eligible educational institutions.

Flex SDK

The Flex SDK is freely available software for building Actionscript and Flex source code. Setting up can be more complicated than FlashDevelop. Flex Builder or Flash, so beginners might prefer to use one of the alternatives.