Professional standard software for creating original vector-based graphics. Includes powerful drawing tools and brushes.
The ai file format is a common vector format for exchange and its feature set allows creation of complex vector artwork. Illustrator imports over two dozen formats (including PDF and SVG). Of particular use to data visualization is importation of SVG, or scalar vector graphics, which is an W3C recommendation, and is often exported from other programs.
There are many extensions and plug-ins available for customizing this software, including those at the following link: http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/extend.html