Mike Bostock

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Mike Bostock
Alma materStanford University (PhD)
OccupationSoftware engineer
Known forD3.js, TopoJSON, ObservableHQ
AwardsGerald Loeb Award
Academic background
Doctoral advisorJeffrey Heer

Michael Bostock is an American computer scientist and data visualization specialist. He is one of the co-creators of Observable and a key developer of D3.js,[1] a JavaScript library used to produce dynamic, interactive data visualizations for web browsers.[2] He also contributed to the preceding Protovis framework.

Early life[edit]

Bostock pursued a PhD in Computer Science as a member of the Visualization Group at Stanford University and was advised by Jeffrey Heer.[3][4]

In 2009, Bostock, Heer, and Vadim Ogievetsky developed and released Protovis, a JavaScript library for creating data visualizations.[5] The use of this library among academics led to additional development, resulting in the release of D3.js in 2011.[6]


For several years, Bostock led data visualization projects at the New York Times, where he developed several notable interactive news articles.[7][8][9] For this work, he shared the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Gerald Loeb Awards for Images/Visuals.[10][11][12] He left his position at the Times in 2015 to focus on other projects.[13]

Bostock went on to co-found Observable, a web platform for making and sharing data visualizations.[14] The company launched in 2020 with a $10.5 million Series A funding round led by the venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Acrew Capital.[15] Bostock has served as Chief Technology Officer since Observable's founding.

Bostock has received recognition for his work. In 2013, the influential statistician Edward Tufte predicted that he will become one of the most important people for the future of data visualization,[16] and in 2015, the New York Times' "Innovation Report" called him a "digital superstar".[17] Bostock was also interviewed by the Data Stories podcast and presented at Eyeo 2014.[18] He advised the data platform provider Trifacta, which was later acquired by the technology company Alteryx.


  1. ^ "mbostock/d3". GitHub. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Bostock; Ogievetsky; Heer (October 2011). "D3: Data-Driven Documents". IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 17 (12): 2301–2309. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2011.185. PMID 22034350. S2CID 505461.
  3. ^ "Mike Bostock". bost.ocks.org. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  4. ^ "Stanford Visualization Group". vis.stanford.edu. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  5. ^ "Protovis: A Graphical Toolkit for Visualization".
  6. ^ "D3: Data-Driven Documents".
  7. ^ Bostock, Mike; Carter, Shan (November 2, 2012). "512 Paths to the White House". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  8. ^ Cox, Amanda; Bostock, Mike; Watkins, Derek; Carter, Shan (November 6, 2014). "The Most Detailed Maps You'll See From the Midterm Senate Elections". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  9. ^ Himmelman, Jeff; Gilbertson, Ashley (October 24, 2013). "A Game of Shark and Minnow". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "UCLA Anderson School of Management Announces 2013 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". PR Newswire. June 25, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  11. ^ "UCLA Anderson School of Management Announces 2014 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 24, 2014. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "UCLA Anderson School of Management Announces 2015 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". UCLA Anderson School of Management. June 24, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  13. ^ "Bostock tweet announcing leave from New York Times". x.com. May 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "About / Observable".
  15. ^ "Observable, the Destination for Data Visualization, Launches With $10.5M Series A Funding Led by Sequoia and Acrew". www.businesswire.com. November 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Cookson, Clive (July 26, 2013). "Edward Tufte". FT Magazine. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  17. ^ Piatetsky, Gregory. "Exclusive: Interview with Chris Wiggins, NYTimes Chief Data Scientist". www.kdnuggets.com. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  18. ^ "Eyeo 2014 - Mike Bostock". Vimeo.com. November 29, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2020.

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