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Data Visualisation and Digital Scholarship Research: Software Available in CUHK Library

The following software for each type of data visualisation is available at the Digital Scholarship Lab on the G/F of University Library. Designing to support digital scholarship research, the Lab is equipped with 10 workstations that are installed with these software for CUHK users. The complete list of these specialist software is available here. CUHK users may also reserve them for a longer period of time.

Planar Visualisation (GIS Mapping)

Developed by ESRI, ArcGIS is the most popular GIS software used by academics.  ArcGIS provides different desktop and online versions, such as ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS online.


Google Earth Pro
Developed by Google Inc., Google Earth/Google Earth Pro is perhaps the most well-known GIS software in the world. Google Earth displays satellite images onto a 3D globe and users can also create their own maps by creating custom image overlays and establishing links to images, videos and articles. 


GRASS GIS is a free and open-source software used for geospatial data management and analysis as well as for creation of maps and spatial modeling.  Unlike ArcGIS, it can support most computer operating systems, such as Mac OS X. Linux and BSD. 

Temporal and Multidimensional Visualisation

MS Excel
Perhaps it is the most well-known software in visualising your data.  It can make sorts of charts and diagrams for your data tables with their templates.  Advanced users can also install add-in to make other types of graphics in visualising data such as Power Map.
(Source: Visualizing Data in Excel,


Used by majority of academic statisticians and social scientists, R is a free and open source software for statistical computing and graphics. Compared with SPSS, R is more programming-driven allowing users to customize their graphical outputs.


With its user-friendly interface and similarities with Excel, SPSS is a popular tool for statistical analysis in social science. Compared with R, SPSS is easier for non-statisticans to learn because it is more menu-driven.

(Source: Statistics How To,

Network Visualisation

Gephi is a free and open source software for network analysis and visualisation. Because of the user-friendly interface, the software is easy for the users to learn. Gephi is particularly popular among social scientists who conduct social network analysis. 

(Source: Phreakocious,


Infographics and Others


​Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a package of software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro, ​for graphic design, video editing, web development and photography.

(Source: Adobe Forum,


3D Visualisation

AutoCAD is a computer-aided software for 2D and 3D drafting. AutoCAD is widely used in urban studies, architecture and engineering.

(Source: GeoEngineer,​)


Word Cloud and Other Textual Analysis Tools 

Voyant Tools
Voyant Tools is a free web-based tool allowing users to quickly visualise and analyse text data.

(Source: Voyant Tools,

NVivo (Older PC version available on 1/F, University Library)
NVivo is a software for qualitative analysis. It can work with different text formats and even multi-media materials. NVivo helps organizing, analyzing and finding insights in unstructured, or qualitative data such as interviews, open-ended survey responses, articles, social media and web content.

(Source: Weloty (2016). How to Auto Code Header Formatted Transcripts in NVivo 11​) 


Data Analytics and Visualisation

Plotly is an online tool providing graphing, analytics, and statistics tools without coding. It also offers scientific graphing libraries for Python, R, MATLAB, Perl, Julia, and Arduino.