Quartz's Atlas becomes open platform for building charts, data visualizations

bySam Berkhead
May 12 in Data Journalism

Quartz on Tuesday announced it will be making Atlas, its in-house tool for building charts and graphs, available to use for free.

Launched in summer 2015, Atlas originally served as a hub for all Quartz’s charts and graphs created since its establishment. Since then, Quartz’s journalists have used it to bring 80 million charts to 25 million people.

Now, anyone will be able to use the platform to create, share and embed their data visualizations. Powered by Chartbuilder, Quartz’s open source tool, Atlas offers a consistent, simple and mobile-friendly — not to mention transparent — way to convey data to readers.

“Atlas is becoming an open platform because we think it has potential to become the world’s largest repository of user-generated charts and data,” wrote Zach Seward, Quartz’s vice president of product and executive director. “Imagine a network of people who work with data every day, sharing it all with each other and the rest of the world. That’s the vision we’re pursuing, and hope you’ll join us in getting there.”

For now, full access to Atlas is invite-only, but will eventually be expanded to be open to all as the platform’s capacity grows. Anyone can view, embed or download the charts and graphs already on Atlas. To begin making charts, one can simply create an Atlas account; from there, users will receive an email indicating they can get started. In the future, Quartz intends to provide support for organizations hoping to incorporate the platform into their data visualization toolkits as well.

Once that happens, it’s fairly simple for individuals to start making data charts and graphs. Tutorials for creating and editing these visuals can be found here. To learn how to organize your data before building a chart or graph, check out Storybench’s tutorial here.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Joe Lodge.