Data Visualization

Vega-Altair – Declarative Statistical Visualization in Python

Vega-Altair is an open source declarative statistical visualization library for Python, based on Vega and Vega-Lite.

This means you can write Python but output Vega-Lite.

Vega-Altair is a visualization grammar (think Grammar of Graphics) that can be written as a JSON specification. Vega-lite provides most of the functionality of Vega more concisely, by relying on smart defaults and simpler encodings.

Features of Altair:

  • Simple, friendly and consistent API.
  • Built on top of the powerful Vega-Lite JSON specification.
  • Compound plot types that can be used to create stacked, layered, faceted, and repeated charts.
    • Layered charts – allows you to overlay two different charts on the same set of axes. They can be useful, for example, when you wish to draw multiple marks for the same data.
    • Horizontal Concatenation – display two plots side-by-side.
    • Vertical Concatenation – offers vertical concatenation via the vconcat() function or the & operator.
    • Repeated Charts – provides a convenient interface for a particular type of horizontal or vertical concatenation, in which the only difference between the concatenated panels is modification of one or more encodings.
    • Faceted Charts – provide a more convenient API for creating multiple views of a dataset for a specific type of chart: one where each panel contains a different subset of data.
    • Compound Charts and Data Specification – specify data in multiple places.
  • Renderers for JupyterLab, nteract, Jupyter Notebook, and Google Colab.
  • Customize renderers by allowing users to define and enable new MIME types.
  • Data Transformations:
    • Before the chart definition, using standard Pandas data transformations.
    • Within the chart definition, using Vega-Lite’s data transformation tools.
  • Save charts in a variety of formats: PNG, SVG, JSON, and HTML.
  • Support for JupyterLab/nteract through MIME based rendering.

Declarative means you only have to declare links between data columns to the encoding channels. All the plot details are handled automatically.

Support: GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Jake Vanderplas and Brian Granger together with the UW Interactive Data Lab
License: BSD 3-Clause “New” or “Revised” License


Vega-Altair is written in Python. Learn Python with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Python Visualization Packages

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments