Flare is an ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player. From basic charts and graphs to complex interactive graphics, the toolkit supports data management, visual encoding, animation, and interaction techniques. Even better, flare features a modular design that lets developers create customized visualization techniques without having to reinvent the wheel.

View the demos and sample applications to see a few of the visualizations that flare makes it easy to build.

To begin making your own visualizations, download flare and work through the tutorial. You should also get familiar with the API documentation. Need more help? Visit the help forum (you'll need a SourceForge login to post).

Flare is open-source software released under a BSD license, meaning it can be freely deployed and modified (and even sold for $$). Flare's design was adapted from its predecessor prefuse, a visualization toolkit for Java.

Applications

2010.03.12: BBC News uses Flare to map the Top 100 sites on the Internet.

2010.01.29: Flare was used to help ABC News' Good Morning America show that George Stephanopoulos may be related to Hillary Clinton (go to 4:48 in the video).

2009.09.25: Slate magazine uses Flare for a variety of interactive data graphics.

2009.02.20: Wired Italia uses Flare for their visual interface to multimedia content.

2009.02.10: MemeTracker crawls 1.6 million mainstream media and blog sites, analyzes what people talk about, and visualizes the results using Flare.

2009.01.28: Visualizing information flow in science combines eigenfactor metrics with Flare to visualize the citation network of scientific publications.

2008.10.27: The GoodGuide Political Contributions app uses flare to visualize the amount and type of contributions made by corporations to American political parties.

2008.07.16: The Minnesota Employment Explorer (built with Flare) lets people explore employment trends and share their insights.


It's part of a piece by Minnesota Public Radio on the U.S. economic slowdown.

2008.04.02: The IBM Visual Communication Lab used Flare to build visualizations for Many-Eyes. Check out their Comparison Tag Clouds, made with Flare.

Announcements

2010.10.07: Flare development has been opened up to the community and the source has moved from SourceForge to a new home on GitHub. flare 2009.01.24 is still last official release and (at least for now) the tutorials and documentation reflect it. The development version on GitHub now contains better support for Flash Player 10 as well as many other small fixes and changes.

2009.01.24: flare 2009.01.24 has been released. This is a maintenance release with a number of bug fixes and updates. See the release notes for more details. This is the last planned released for Flash Player 9 — future versions will migrate to version 10.

2008.07.30: flare 2008.07.29 has been released. This is a major release introducing many new features and architectural improvements. See the release notes for more details. Along with the new release, enjoy the newly redesigned flare.prefuse.org.

2008.07.30: flare 2008.08.08 has been released. This release includes improved legend support, named transitions, bug fixes, and a refactoring to reduce coupling and consolidate utility classes. See the release notes for more details.

Flare in other languages: Belorussian.