Creating whimsical, personal data visualizations remains a challenge due to a lack of tools that enable for creative visual expression while providing support to bind graphical content to data. Many data analysis and visualization creation tools target the quick generation of visual representations, but lack the functionality necessary for graphics design. Toolkits and charting libraries offer more expressive power, but require expert programming skills to achieve custom designs. In contrast, sketching affords fluid experimentation with visual shapes and layouts in a freeform manner, but requires one to manually draw every single data point.
Aiming to bridge the gap between these extremes, the system named DataInk, supports the creation of expressive data visualizations with rigorous direct manipulation via direct pen and touch input. Leveraging our commonly held skills, coupled with a novel graphical user interface, DataInk enables direct, fluid, and flexible authoring of creative data visualizations.