I recently stumbled across a couple of visulisation frameworks that are pretty cool:
“Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and sound. It is used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production.”
Processing uses a custom Java like, open-source processing language and comes with its own light weight IDE. The Processing site has a number of examples of the sort of thing that’s possible. All pretty cool stuff.
There are Windows, Mac OS X and Linux versions.
NodeBox is similar to Processing but uses Python, instead of Java, and is written for Mac OS X.