Elijah Asaolu I am a programmer, I have a life.

Visualizing sketched charts in Vue.js with roughViz

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Visualizing sketched charts in Vue.js with roughViz

Introduction

A chart is a graphical representation of data that is used to make a dataset more easily readable, and its parts more easily distinguished. While most users are used to seeing charts that appear concise and formalized, some users prefer charts that appear hand drawn or sketched. That’s where roughViz comes in.

roughViz is a JavaScript library built on top of D3.js and Rough.js. The library is designed to help build charts that appear to be sketched or hand drawn, like in the example below.

 

 

hand drawn charts with roughViz

 

In this guide, you will learn how to display sketch-like charts in your Vue.js applications using vue-roughviz, and how to configure a Vue application using vue-cli.

Prerequisites

This tutorial assumes the following prerequisites:

Project setup

If you do not have vue-cli installed already, run the following command to install the latest version.

npm install -g @vue/cli
# OR
yarn global add @vue/cli

Now, create a new vue application:

We made a custom demo for .
No really. Click here to check it out.

vue create my-app

Note: This process might take a couple of minutes. Once it’s done, we can move into our new application root directory:

cd my-app

The process detailed above creates a new Vue.js application. To be sure everything is well set up, run npm run serve. You should see the “Welcome to Your Vue.js app page” displayed in your browser when you visit http://localhost:8080.

Add vue-roughviz

vue-roughviz is a Vue.js wrapper for roughViz.js. This makes the library accessible as components, which allows for seamless reusability in a Vue.js based project.

To include vue-roughviz in our project, run:

npm install vue-roughviz

vue-roughViz components

vue-roughviz provides components for all of roughViz’s chart styles, which include:

  • roughBar– roughViz bar-chart component
  • roughBarH– roughViz horizontal bar-chart component
  • roughDonut– roughViz donut chart component
  • roughPie– roughViz pie chart
  • roughLine– roughViz line chart component
  • roughScatter– roughViz scattered chart component
  • roughStackedBar– roughViz stacked bar chart component

Usage

Once you have added vue-roughviz to your project, the next step is to open the project folder in your preferred text editor.

When you open up the src/App.vue file, the initial content should be similar to the image below:

src/App.vue file
src/App.vue file

If your view looks like the above, go ahead and delete all of its contents and replace with the following code:

<template>
  <div id="app">
    <rough-bar
      :data="{
        labels: ['North', 'South', 'East', 'West'],
        values: [10, 5, 8, 3],
      }"
      title="Regions"
      roughness="8"
      :colors="['red', 'orange', 'blue', 'skyblue']"
      stroke="black"
      stroke-width="3"
      fill-style="cross-hatch"
      fill-weight="3.5"
      class="d-inline"
    />
  </div>
</template>

<script>
import { RoughBar } from "vue-roughviz";
export default {
  name: "App",
  components: {
    RoughBar,
  },
};
</script>

Code explanation

  • import ... – this line is to import roughBar components from the vue-roughviz we installed earlier.
  • export default {} – this block is to make the former imported component (roughBar) available for use in our app.
  • <rough-bar :data="[...]" /> – here is where we are invoking the external roughBar component. The attributes specified in these components are the required props. If you are not familiar with single file components, you might want to check out this guide.

vue-roughviz props

The only required props is data, which refers to the data with which to construct charts. This can either be a string or an object.

If you choose an object, the object must contain labels and values keys. If you use a string instead, the string must be a url to either a csv or tsv file. Within this file, you must also specify the labels and values as separate attributes that represent each column.

Other useful props includes:

  • title – to specify the chart title
  • roughness – roughness level of chart
  • stroke – color of the bar stroke
  • stroke-width – size of bar stroke
  • fill-weight – to specify the weight of inner path color.
  • fill-style – bar-fill style, which can be one of the following:
    • dashed
    • solid
    • zigzag-line
    • cross-hatch
    • hachure
    • zigzag

Visit here for list of all supported props.

Run

To preview our app, run npm run serve. If you have followed the steps above correctly, visiting http://localhost:8080 should allow you to see the charts displayed in your browser.

roughViz bar graph

Loading data from an external API

Let’s run a little experiment where we display the price history of bitcoin for the past 10 days in our chart instead. For this experiment, we will be making use of Coingecko API.

Why Coingecko? Unlike other cryptocurrency API, Coingecko is free and requires no API key to get started, which is ideal for our experiment.

Go ahead and replace src/App.vue with the code below

<template>
  <div id="app">
    <div class="d-inline-block">
      <rough-bar
        v-if="chartValue.length > 0"
        :data="{
          labels: chartLabel,
          values: chartValue,
        }"
        title="BTC - 10 Days"
        roughness="3"
        color="#ccc"
        stroke="black"
        stroke-width="1"
        fill-style="zig-zag"
        fill-weight="2"
      />
    </div>
  </div>
</template>

<script>
import { RoughBar } from "vue-roughviz";
export default {
  name: "App",
  components: {
    RoughBar,
  },
  data() {
    return {
      chartLabel: [],
      chartValue: [],
    };
  },
  methods: {
    async loadData() {
      await fetch(
        "https://api.coingecko.com/api/v3/coins/bitcoin/market_chart?vs_currency=usd&days=10&interval=daily"
      )
        .then((res) => res.json())
        .then((rawData) => {
          console.table(rawData.prices);
          rawData.prices.map((data) => {
            let date = new Date(data[0]).toDateString();
            let rPrice = data[1];
            console.log(`Price of 1btc on ${date} is ${rPrice}`);
            this.chartLabel.push(date);
            this.chartValue.push(rPrice);
          });
        })
        .catch((err) => console.error("Fetch error -> ", err));
    },
  },
  beforeMount() {
    this.loadData();
  },
};
</script>

The new changes made is – we created an asynchronous method loadData() which fetches bitcoin price history from coingecko API and looping through the returned data, we separated the date from the price, using the returned date as our chart label and the price as our chart value. And beforeMount() i.e before our app is mounted into view, we invoked the loadData() function we created earlier.

Running our app should, you should see the new changes made to our chart as below:

external API chart

Conclusion

This article has explained charts and their uses, walked you through the process of creating a Vue app using vue-cli, and showed how to display sketch-like charts in your Vue.js applications using vue-roughviz.

Further exploration

If you are interested in learning more about or contributing to roughViz, visit the roughViz or vue-roughviz projects on GitHub. This tutorial source code is also available on GitHub here.

Experience your Vue apps exactly how a user does

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The LogRocket Vuex plugin logs Vuex mutations to the LogRocket console, giving you context around what led to an error, and what state the application was in when an issue occurred.

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Elijah Asaolu I am a programmer, I have a life.

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