Draggable circular packing in d3.js





This post describes how to build a draggable circular packing with d3.js. It is possible to drag a circle on the chart, with position of every other circles updating automatically. See more circular packing example in the dedicated section. This example works with d3.js v4 and v6


Circular packing section

Steps:

  • This post follows the most basic circular packing, have a look to it first.

  • It just shows how to add a dragging features to the nodes.

  • Each time you use your mouse to drag one of the circle, a set of functions are triggered to run the simulation algorithm and position the circles at a position respecting the force constraints.
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<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">

<!-- Load d3.js -->
<script src="https://d3js.org/d3.v4.js"></script>

<!-- Create a div where the graph will take place -->
<div id="my_dataviz"></div>

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">
          
<!-- Load d3.js -->
<script src="https://d3js.org/d3.v6.js"></script>
          
<!-- Create a div where the graph will take place -->
<div id="my_dataviz"></div>
      
<script>

// set the dimensions and margins of the graph
var width = 450
var height = 450

// append the svg object to the body of the page
var svg = d3.select("#my_dataviz")
  .append("svg")
    .attr("width", 450)
    .attr("height", 450)

// create dummy data -> just one element per circle
var data = [{ "name": "A" }, { "name": "B" }, { "name": "C" }, { "name": "D" }, { "name": "E" }, { "name": "F" }, { "name": "G" }, { "name": "H" }]

// Initialize the circle: all located at the center of the svg area
var node = svg.append("g")
  .selectAll("circle")
  .data(data)
  .enter()
  .append("circle")
    .attr("r", 25)
    .attr("cx", width / 2)
    .attr("cy", height / 2)
    .style("fill", "#19d3a2")
    .style("fill-opacity", 0.3)
    .attr("stroke", "#b3a2c8")
    .style("stroke-width", 4)
    .call(d3.drag() // call specific function when circle is dragged
         .on("start", dragstarted)
         .on("drag", dragged)
         .on("end", dragended));

// Features of the forces applied to the nodes:
var simulation = d3.forceSimulation()
    .force("center", d3.forceCenter().x(width / 2).y(height / 2)) // Attraction to the center of the svg area
    .force("charge", d3.forceManyBody().strength(1)) // Nodes are attracted one each other of value is > 0
    .force("collide", d3.forceCollide().strength(.1).radius(30).iterations(1)) // Force that avoids circle overlapping

// Apply these forces to the nodes and update their positions.
// Once the force algorithm is happy with positions ('alpha' value is low enough), simulations will stop.
simulation
    .nodes(data)
    .on("tick", function(d){
      node
          .attr("cx", function(d){ return d.x; })
          .attr("cy", function(d){ return d.y; })
    });

// What happens when a circle is dragged?
function dragstarted(d) {
  if (!d3.event.active) simulation.alphaTarget(.03).restart();
  d.fx = d.x;
  d.fy = d.y;
}
function dragged(d) {
  d.fx = d3.event.x;
  d.fy = d3.event.y;
}
function dragended(d) {
  if (!d3.event.active) simulation.alphaTarget(.03);
  d.fx = null;
  d.fy = null;
}

</script>
<script>

// set the dimensions and margins of the graph
const width = 450
const height = 450

// append the svg object to the body of the page
const svg = d3.select("#my_dataviz")
  .append("svg")
    .attr("width", 450)
    .attr("height", 450)

// create dummy data -> just one element per circle
const data = [{ "name": "A" }, { "name": "B" }, { "name": "C" }, { "name": "D" }, { "name": "E" }, { "name": "F" }, { "name": "G" }, { "name": "H" }]

// Initialize the circle: all located at the center of the svg area
const node = svg.append("g")
  .selectAll("circle")
  .data(data)
  .join("circle")
    .attr("r", 25)
    .attr("cx", width / 2)
    .attr("cy", height / 2)
    .style("fill", "#19d3a2")
    .style("fill-opacity", 0.3)
    .attr("stroke", "#b3a2c8")
    .style("stroke-width", 4)
    .call(d3.drag() // call specific function when circle is dragged
         .on("start", dragstarted)
         .on("drag", dragged)
         .on("end", dragended));

// Features of the forces applied to the nodes:
const simulation = d3.forceSimulation()
    .force("center", d3.forceCenter().x(width / 2).y(height / 2)) // Attraction to the center of the svg area
    .force("charge", d3.forceManyBody().strength(1)) // Nodes are attracted one each other of value is > 0
    .force("collide", d3.forceCollide().strength(.1).radius(30).iterations(1)) // Force that avoids circle overlapping

// Apply these forces to the nodes and update their positions.
// Once the force algorithm is happy with positions ('alpha' value is low enough), simulations will stop.
simulation
    .nodes(data)
    .on("tick", function(d){
      node
          .attr("cx", d => d.x)
          .attr("cy", d => d.y)
    });

// What happens when a circle is dragged?
function dragstarted(event, d) {
 if (!event.active) simulation.alphaTarget(.03).restart();
  d.fx = d.x;
  d.fy = d.y;
}
function dragged(event, d) {
  d.fx = event.x;
  d.fy = event.y;
}
function dragended(event, d) {
 if (!event.active) simulation.alphaTarget(.03);
  d.fx = null;
  d.fy = null;
}

</script>

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