UW Interactive Data Lab
The Lyra Visualization Design Environment (VDE) beta
Lyra is an interactive environment that enables custom visualization design without writing any code. Graphical “marks” can be bound to data fields using property drop zones; dynamically positioned using connectors; and directly moved, rotated, and resized using handles. Lyra also provides a data pipeline interface for iterative visual specification of data transformations and layout algorithms. Lyra is more expressive than interactive systems like Tableau, allowing designers to create custom visualizations comparable to hand-coded visualizations built with D3 or Processing. These visualizations can then be easily published and reused on the Web.
Try It Now »
Lyra is available as free and open source software. Try it out or fork it on GitHub.
Note: Lyra is currently beta software, so beware of bugs! If you experience a bug, please file a bug report.
Documentation and Tutorials
Visit the wiki for documentation and tutorials that walk through the process of building visualizations in Lyra.
Join the discussion forum for any additional questions, comments, or suggestions you might have (or to share interesting visualizations you've created with Lyra!).
Example Visualizations
These example visualizations demonstrate how to construct visualizations in Lyra. Click to load them in the system.
William Playfair's Wheat v Wages
Wheat v. Wages
William Playfair, 1822
Driving Shifts into Reverse
Driving Shifts into Reverse
The New York Times, May 2, 2010
Bertin's Hotel Analysis
Hotel Analysis
Jacques Bertin
Minard's Napoleon Chart
Napoleon's March to Moscow
Charles Minard, 1869

Release Notes
  • Beta (October 20, 2014)


    • Change a mark's type (e.g., rect to line) at any time.
    • Stats/aggregation data transformation now available as a button under New Transforms.
    • Stats can be applied to grouped and ungrouped pipelines.
    • A separate data table, with draggable fields, shows calculated stats.
    • Arc marks have dropzones to simplify pie chart creation.
    • Arc marks and singleton rect marks with unbound x/y positions can be dragged around the canvas.
    • Vega specifications can be imported.
    • 3rd party systems can embed Lyra through an editor mode API
    • Native data table component with smaller memory footprint.
    • Unit and end-to-end testing framework.

    Bug Fixes:

    • Fixed rect mark x/y extents dropdown fields when switching extent types and on undo/redo.
    • Moved rect mark height dropzone to the right-hand side to prevent overlaps with vertical group-by dropzone.
    • Fixed vertical text alignment in expr fields.
    • Only used raw data sources are included in exported JSON.
    • Fixed pipeline name sometimes incorrectly selected when switching marks.
    • Fixed default symbol mark type is cross to match toolbar icon.
    • Fixed group marks may become selected when interacting with a child mark.
    • Fixed arc mark angles are entered in degrees and automatically converted to radians behind the scenes.
    • Fixed output fields for stacked layout.
    • Fixed infinite loop when looking for mark definitions in Vega scenegraph.
    • Fixed IndexDB call in Firefox for saving files in browser.


    arvind, RusselSprouts, ronichoudhury, liangkaiwen, ThomasG77.

    Try It Now »

  • Alpha (February 28, 2014)