• vaex: visualization and exploration of big tabular data

    A billion objects per second on a single computer. Standalone or Python library.

    Download Demo movie

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    Why use vaex

    Visualize and explore huge tabular datasets interactively...

    Read more »

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    How does it work

    vaex does this by visualizing binned aggregated data...

    Read more »

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    What is vaex

    A graphical interface, or library that integrates with the Jupyter/IPython notebook...

    Read more »

    Why use vaex?

    • Visualize and explore big tabular data interactively
    • Process more than a billion objects per second on a single computer.
    • Custom mathematical expressions can transform data on the fly.
    • Explore the dataset by using visual queries and boolean expressions to visualize subsets of the data.
    • vaex has a graphical interface for most common uses cases.
    • vaex is also Python library for custom plots and applications, such as in the Jupyter/IPython notebook.
    • Client/server architecture: Delegate computations to a remote server. (in development)
    • Use a cluster to visualize and explore even larger datasets (10-100 billion). (in development)
    • With a focus on astronomy and astrophysics, but widely applicable.
    • Can visualize the whole Gaia catalogue in one second.

    How does it work?

    vaex does this by

    • Binning or aggregating the data on a grid, using simple optimized algorithms
    • Columnar storage of data avoids reading unneeded data and enables maximum performance of hard drives.
    • Memory mapped files avoids unneeded reading, and copying of data.

    What is vaex?

    • A program that
      • Visualizes 1d histograms, 2d density plots, averages quantities, and 3d volume rendering
      • Allows interactive navigation and selection
      • Overlay vector and tensor quantities in 2 and 3d.
    • A Python library/package for (data) scientists:
      • Is pip and conda installable.
      • Make custom plot and statistics.
      • Calculate statistics on a N-dimensional grid and visualize it.
      • Create interactive Jupyter/IPython notebooks.
      • Publication quality plots with matplotlib.
      • Interactive plots with bqplot or bokeh.
      • Combine the notebook with the graphical interface in one kernel
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    Live demo. Yellow taxi pickup locations in New York City.

    The demo on the right shows 140 million points, rendered real time. Zoom/pan and the plot get updated on the fly.


    Desktop user? Download the standalone OSX or Linux version. *

    For programming? Install the python package:
    $ pip install --user --pre vaex

    Or for anaconda users:
    $ conda install -c conda-forge vaex

    Latest from git:
    $ pip install git+https://github.com/maartenbreddels/vaex/

    Or see more detailed instructions.

    *Not possible to combine with the IPython/Jupyter notebook.

    Demo movies.

    Fast visualization

    Coming soon

    Selections and linked views

    Coming soon

    Notebook integration

    Coming soon

    Gaia data.


    Interactive demo showing 100 million points (10%) of the Gaia DR1 data, rendered real time. Zoom/pan and the plot gets updated on the fly.


    Vaex is funded by:



    Vaex is open source, the source code and issues live on Github. Please use github to report issues. Contributions are welcome using Pull Requests.