About Florence

Florence is a data visualization framework, based on the grammar of graphics, built on top of Svelte’s template syntax. We designed Florence to address some challenges that we experienced in cartography education and practice. It is built on top of existing open web standards that are already in intensive use for online mapmaking today, but provides a framework that is firmly based on cartographic and visualization theory. Specifically, we adopt concepts from Bertin’s Semiology of Graphics and Wilkinson’s Grammar of Graphics to create a language with a limited number of core concepts and verbs that are combined in a declarative style of “writing” visualizations.

For a more detailed discussion of the framework and its design goals, please have a look at corresponding in article in Cartographic Perspectives.

Poorthuis, A., van der Zee, L., Guo, G., Keong, J. H., & Dy, B. (2020). Florence: a Web-based Grammar of Graphics for Making Maps and Learning Cartography. *Cartographic Perspectives*, (96). https://doi.org/10.14714/CP96.1645.

Inspiration & Foundations

Obviously, Florence is inspired by, and builds directly on top of, amazing work by a wide range of people.

Why Florence?

Florence is named after two trailblazing 19th century data visualization professionals that used visualization to great effect.

Both women were not data visualization ‘professionals’ by training but were able to adopt existing visualization practices and find novel, new approaches using relatively simple tools (pen, paper etc). Inspired by their example, we hope that our data visualization framework can help contribute to a creative and inclusive data visualization practice as well.


Florence is built by Ate Poorthuis (KU Leuven), Luuc van der Zee (KU Leuven), Grace Guo (Georgia Tech), Jo Hsi Keong (SUTD), and Bianchi Dy (SUTD). Development started in 2019 at the Singapore University of Technology and Design and is now being continued at KU Leuven.