2020 was a crazy year in many ways. Fortunately, we at Datawrapper were not affected negatively (besides working from home since March). So we are proud to have managed to release quite a few new features. I took some time to summarize how Datawrapper has evolved in 2020.
Let’s start with the new visualization features we launched in 2020:
We released completely renewed annotations featuring callout lines and a more intuitive drag & drop interface for editing annotations. We also expanded them from scatter, line, and area plots to column charts and maps.
Choropleth & symbol maps
Speaking of maps, 2020 brought a range of map improvements and new map features to Datawrapper:
- We completely overhauled our map rendering to make them load faster and increase zooming performance.
- While we were at it, we also made the map color legends more flexible (and easier to use).
- Finally, we added a new symbol type to our symbol maps so our users can create spike maps now!
Our locator maps have also seen some updates over the past year:
- You can now create vignettes from area markers, for water lines or other common map effects.
- Area markers can now be filled with patterns.
- You can now highlight more than one region.
- …and use custom regions as minimaps!
It’s not so long ago that we launched our completely new tables in 2019, but last year it was time for two noteworthy improvements:
- We (finally) added a simple heatmap feature to our tables, allowing you to color cell backgrounds by the numbers they contain.
- The sparklines in our tables got a new companion: spark columns!
New grids in lines and scatter plots
We haven’t properly announced this feature yet, but you may have noticed that the horizontal and vertical axes (aka grids) in our scatter plots, line, and area charts have changed. More on this soon.
Chart editor features
We also launched a lot of features for our chart editor that helps you make better charts, maps, and tables:
- The interface of our bar chart family got a complete redesign, including dot, arrow, and range plots.
- Likewise, the choropleth & symbol map controls are now easier to use, especially the color settings.
- The tooltip editor we’re offering in maps and scatter plots also got a design update.
- Tooltips and computed columns now support a new, easier formula syntax.
Other important updates
- Users with an Enterprise account can now self-host their visualizations (we’re supporting Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage).
- We also added new image publishing options to Custom and Enterprise plans, which let our users define what images should be generated every time they publish a visualization.
- We greatly improved our PDF and SVG exporter, which now supports more edge cases than ever (thanks to our newly hired developer Jakub).
- As part of our ongoing security ramp-up, API users can now create scoped API tokens that can only access certain entities within Datawrapper, leading to more security.
A quick glimpse into 2021
As you can see, a lot was going on at Datawrapper in 2020 – and we’re looking forward to this year. While our roadmap is under continuous development, there are three exciting projects we already started working on that we can share with you:
- We’re going to significantly improve the accessibility of our visualizations for users who are relying on assistive technology.
- The data upload step of our choropleth and symbol map editor will get a complete UX/UI redesign in which we’re going to address many issues that have bugged our users for far too long.
- We’re also planning a redesign of our visualization dashboard and My Charts/Team chart pages.
If you want to get more updates on new Datawrapper features, be sure to check out our Changelog, too.
That’s it for 2020! If you found this summary interesting, you may also find some value in learning how our users have used Datawrapper in 2020.
Last but not least: We are going to launch our new website soon 🥁 ↩︎