Data visualization |

Graph Function / Distribution

A line chart or line graph is a type of chart which displays information as a series of data points called ‘markers’ connected by straight line segments.
It is similar to a scatter plot except that the measurement points are ordered (typically by their x-axis value) and joined with straight line segments. Line Charts show how a particular data changes at equal intervals of time.
A line chart is similar to the spline graph, but the spline graph draws a curved line between the points instead of the straight lines.

Line Graph

A Choropleth Map is a thematic map in which areas are shaded or patterned in proportion to the measurement of the statistical variable being displayed on the map, such as population density or per-capita income. The choropleth map provides an easy way to visualize how a measurement varies across a geographic area or it shows the level of variability within a region.

Choropleth Map

A tag cloud is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, to visualize free form text or to analyses speeches( e.g. election’s campaign). Tags are usually single words, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color. This format is useful for quickly perceiving the most prominent terms and for locating a term alphabetically to determine its relative prominence.

Word Cloud

A radar chart is a graphical method of displaying multivariate data in the form of a two-dimensional chart of three or more quantitative variables represented on axes starting from the same point. The relative position and angle of the axes is typically uninformative.

Radar Diagram

An Area Chart or area graph are basically a line graph with the area below the lined filled with colors or textures. Like line graphs area charts are  used to represent the development of quantitative values over a time period. It can also be used to compare two or more categories and is similar to the Stacked Area Chart.
Area charts often used to show overall trends over time rather than specific values.

Area Chart

A heat map is a data visualization type where the individual values contained in a matrix through variations in coloring. The term “Heat map” was originally introduced by software designer Cormac Kinney in 1991 to describe a 2D display depicting real time financial market information even though similar visualizations have existed for over a century.
Heat maps are useful for visualizing variance across multiple variables to display patterns in correlations
Fractal maps and tree maps both often use a similar system of color-coding to represent the values taken by a variable in a hierarchy. The term is also used to mean its thematic application as a choropleth map. 
Many also incorrectly refers to heat maps as Choropleth maps – properly because of the misleading term ‘map’. But a choropleth maps include different shading or patterns within geographic boundaries to show the proportion of a variable of interest, whereas the coloration a heat map does not correspond to geographic boundaries.

Heat Map

A Proportional Area Chart (Square) is used for comparing proportions (size, quantities, etc.) to provide a quick overview of the relative size of data without the use of scales. You can also find a variant of this with circle shaped forms.

Proportional Area chart (square)

A Bubble Map Chart is simply a combination of a bubble chart data visualization and a map. It is used to visualize location and proportaion in a simple way.

Bubble Map Chart

A dot plot or dot chart is a statistical chart consisting of data points plotted on a fairly simple scale, typically using filled in circles. There are two common versions of the dot chart. The first is described by Leland Wilkinson as a graph that has been used in hand-drawn (pre-computer era) graphs to depict distributions. The other version is described by William Cleveland as an alternative to the bar chart, in which dots are used to depict the quantitative values (e.g. counts) associated with categorical variables.

Dot Plot

A histogram is a chart that groups numeric data into bins, displaying the bins as segmented columns. They’re used to depict the distribution of a dataset: how often values fall into ranges. The histogram was first introduced by Karl Pearson.
To construct a histogram, the first step is to bin the range of values, and then count how many values fall into each interval. A rectangle is drawn with height proportional to the count and width equal to the bin size, so that rectangles abut each other.


The Spline chart type is a Line graph that plots a fitted curve through each data point in a series. Line Charts show how a particular data changes at equal intervals of time.

Spline Graph

Flow Maps in cartography can be defined as a mix of maps and Sankey diagrams, that show the movement of quantities from one location to another, such as the number of people travelling, the amount of goods being traded, or the number of packets in a network.
The width of the connections shows the quantity. Sometimes you flow maps with arrows to display the direction of the movement.
The most famous example of a flow map, is Minard’s map of Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign of 1812.

Flow Map

A violin plot is a method of plotting numeric data. It is a box plot with a rotated kernel density plot on each side. The violin plot is similar to box plots, except that they also show the probability density of the data at different values. Typically violin plots will include a marker for the median of the data and a box indicating the interquartile range, as in standard box plots.

Violin Plot

Comparing the distribution of data with a theoretical distribution from an ordinary histogram can be difficult because small frequencies are dominated by the larger frequencies and it is hard to perceive the pattern of differences between the histogram bars and the curve. Therefore John Tukey introduced the Hanging Rootogram in 1971 (also called Tukey’s Hanging Rootogram) in order to solve these problems. In this visualization the comparison is made easier by ‘hanging’ the observed results from the theoretical curve, so that the discrepancies are seen by comparison with the horizontal axis rather than a sloping curve. As in the rootogram, the vertical axis is scaled to the square-root of the frequencies so as to draw attention to discrepancies in the tails of the distribution.
It is a variation of the concept of histograms and Pareto charts by combining observed and predicted in a simple way where the line charts display that the data is continuously changing.

Hanging Rootogram

A bubble chart is a type of chart that displays three dimensions of data. Each entity with its triplet (v1, v2, v3) of associated data is plotted as a disk that expresses two of the vi values through the disk’s xy location and the third through its size. Bubble charts can facilitate the understanding of social, economical, medical, and other scientific relationships. Bubble charts can be considered a variation of the scatter plot, in which the data points are replaced with bubbles.

Bubble Chart

A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart, that visualises various categories into time series. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish time in time period blocks. 
A Gantt chart is often used in project management as one of the most popular and useful ways of showing activities (tasks or events) displayed against time. On the left of the chart is a list of the activities and along the top is a suitable time scale. Each activity is represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflects the start date, duration and end date of the activity.
It is similar to the Column Range with the difference of indicating time.

Gantt Chart

A transit map is a topological map in the form of a schematic diagram used to illustrate the routes and stations within a public transport system—whether this be bus lines, tramways, rapid transit, commuter rail or ferry routes. The main components are color coded lines to indicate each line or service, with named icons to indicate stations or stops.

Transit Map

Stacked Area Chart is similar to the simple Area Chart, but here is uses multiple data series that start each point from the point left by the previous series. It is useful for comparing multiple variables changing over interval.

Stacked Area Chart

In descriptive statistics, a boxplot is a convenient way of graphically depicting groups of numerical data through their quartiles. A box plot displays median, higher/lower quartiles and maximum/minimum.  Outliers may be plotted as individual points. The spacings between the different parts of the box indicate the degree of dispersion (spread) and skewness in the data, and show outliers. Box plots can be drawn either horizontally or vertically.
The violin plot is similar to boxplots, except that they also show the probability density of the data at different values.


A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground. A topographic map is typically published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a combination of two line segments that connect but do not intersect; these represent elevation on a topographic map.

Topographic Map

A waterfall chart helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values. The waterfall chart is also known as a flying bricks chart or Mario chart due to the apparent suspension of columns (bricks) in mid-air. Normally used for understanding how an initial value is affected by a series of intermediate positive or negative values.
Not to be confused with the likely named Waterfall Plot.

Waterfall Chart

A trendline is a line that is drawn over pivot highs or under pivot lows to show the general course or tendency of something. Trendlines are a visual representation of support and resistance in any time frame.


Treemaps display hierarchical (tree-structured) data as a set of nested rectangles. Each branch of the tree is given a rectangle, which is then tiled with smaller rectangles representing sub-branches. A leaf node’s rectangle has an area proportional to a specified dimension on the data. Often the leaf nodes are colored to show a separate dimension of the data.


Similar to a regular square treemap, but convex polygons are used instead of rectangles e.g. a new hierarchical partition scheme, also called a polygonal partition, which uses convex polygons rather than just rectangles.
Treemaps display hierarchical (tree-structured) data as a set of nested polygons. Each branch of the tree is given a polygons, which is then tiled with smaller polygons representing sub-branches.
The use of Convex Treemaps compared to regular tree maps would be when you want to show grouping and realtions instead of the strict hierachical structure of a a normal treemap.

Convex treemap

A dot density map is a map type that uses a dot or another symbol to show the presence of a feature or phenomenon.
In a dot density map, areas with many dots indicate high concentrations of values for the chosen field and fewer dots indicate lower concentrations.
Each dot on a dot-density map can either represent one single recording of a phenomenon (one-to-one) or represent a given quantity of it (one-to-many).

Dot Density Map

A Bubble timeline is a way to display a set of events or items on a timeline with a variable displayed as the the are size of the bubbles. In essence the bubble timeline is a compound data visualization, of a scaled timeline and a proportional area chart.

Bubble Timeline

A Sorted Stream Graph is area graph which is displaced around a central axis, resulting in a flowing, organic shape – but it is sorted instead of stacked.

Sorted Stream Graph

The hive plot is a rational visualization method for drawing networks. Nodes are mapped to and positioned on radially distributed linear axes — this mapping is based on network structural properties. Edges are drawn as curved links. Simple and interpretable.
The purpose of the hive plot is to establish a new baseline for visualization of large networks — a method that is both general and tunable and useful as a starting point in visually exploring network structure.

Hive Plot

Parallel Sets are a new method for the visualization and interactive exploration of categorical data that shows data frequencies instead of the individual data points. The method is based on the axis layout of parallel coordinates, with boxes representing the categories and parallelograms between the axes showing the relations between categories.

Parallel Sets

Circle Packing is a method to visualize large amounts of hierarchically structured data. Tangent circles represent brother nodes at the same level; to visualize the hierarchy, all children of a node are packed into that node (and thus determine its size). The size of a leaf-node can represent an arbitrary property, such as file size. An advantage of this algorithm is the good overview of large data sets and the clear representation of groupings and structural relationships.

Packed Circle Chart

A scatter plot is a type of mathematical diagram using Cartesian coordinates to display values for two variables for a set of data. The data is displayed as a collection of points, each having the value of one variable determining the position on the horizontal axis and the value of the other variable determining the position on the vertical axis.

Scatter Plot

Cluster analysis or clustering is the task of grouping a set of objects in such a way that objects in the same group (called a cluster) are more similar (in some sense or another) to each other than to those in other groups (clusters). It is a main task of exploratory data mining, and a common technique for statistical data analysis, used in many fields, including machine learning, pattern recognition, image analysis, information retrieval, and bioinformatics.

Cluster Analysis

A Pareto chart, named after Vilfredo Pareto, is a type of chart that contains both bars and a line graph, where individual values are represented in descending order by bars, and the cumulative total is represented by the line. The purpose of the Pareto chart is to highlight the most important among a (typically large) set of factors.

Pareto Chart

Bubble pie chart is a unique bubble chart that allows you to show/compare/relate performance across four paramenter sets instead of two. The third value determines the size of the bubble marker, the fourth by the % of pie while the other two are determined by the position on the axis.

Compound Bubble and Pie Chart

A streamgraph, or stream graph, is a type of stacked area graph which is displaced around a central axis, resulting in a flowing, organic shape. Streamgraphs were developed by Lee Byron.

Stream Graph

A spiral heat map is a specific type of heat map designed for continuous comparable cycles like years or days. The spiral design makes it possible to compare the cycles, but keeping the continuous timeline along the spiral.

Spiral Heat Map

Alluvial diagrams are a type of flow diagram originally developed to represent changes in network structure over time. In allusion to both their visual appearance and their emphasis on flow, alluvial diagrams are named after alluvial fans that are naturally formed by the soil deposited from streaming water.
Variables are assigned to vertical axes that are parallel. Values are represented with blocks on each axis. The height of a block represents the size of the cluster and the height of a stream field represents the size of the components contained in both blocks connected by the stream field.
Alluvial diagram is a variant of the Parallel Sets but for categorical variables and often to display trends over time and phases.

Alluvial Diagram

Polar chart displays multivariate data in the form of a two-dimensional chart of more than three variables represented on axes starting from the same point.

Polar Chart

Taylor diagrams (Taylor, 2001) provide a way of graphically summarizing how closely a pattern (or a set of patterns) matches observations. The similarity between two patterns is quantified in terms of their correlation, their centered root-mean-square difference and the amplitude of their variations (represented by their standard deviations). These diagrams are especially useful in evaluating multiple aspects of complex models or in gauging the relative skill of many different models (e.g., IPCC, 2001).

Taylor diagram

A three-dimensional scatter plot is like a scatter plot, but with g three variables.Provided that x, y, and z or f(x, y) are real numbers, the graph can be represented as dots in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. It is typically drawn on a two-dimensional page or screen using perspective methods (isometric or perspective),  so that one of the dimensions appears to be coming out of the page.

3D Scatter Plot

Hexagonal Binning is another way to manage the problem of having to many points that start to overlap. Hexagonal binning plots density, rather than points. Points are binned into gridded hexagons and distribution (the number of points per hexagon) is displayed using either the color or the area of the hexagons.This technique was first described in 1987 (D.B.Carr et al. Scatterplot Matrix Techniques for large N, Journal of the American Statistical Association, No.389 pp 424-436).
There are many reasons for using hexagons instead of squares for binning a 2D surface as a plane. The most evident is that hexagons are more similar to circle than square. This translates in more efficient data aggregation around the bin center. This can be seen by looking at some particular properties of hexagons and, especially, of the hexagonal tessellation.

Hexagonal Binning

Radial Line Graph is a part of radial graphs that takes data and render it as collection of data points wrapped around a circle. It is also mapping a list of categories from the minimum to the maximum of the extent of the chart. Radial Line Graph is rendered using a collection of straight lines connecting data points.

Radial Line Graph

Isoline maps show a range of quantity. They show data as a third dimension on a map, making them good for mapping surface elevations or for weather data. Radar maps, temperature maps and rainfall maps are all isoline maps.

Isoline Map

A Contour Plot is a graphic representation of the relationships among three numeric variables in two dimensions. Two variables are for X and Y axes, and a third variable Z is for contour levels. The contour levels are plotted as curves; the area between curves can be color coded to indicate interpolated values.
The contour plot is an alternative to a 3-D surface plot.

Contour Plot

A bagplot is a method in robust statistics for visualizing two-dimensional statistical data. The bagplot allows one to visualize the location, spread, skewness, and outliers of the data set. The bagplot consists of three nested polygons, called the “bag”, the “fence”, and the “loop”. The bagplot is sometimes defined as the multidimensional (bivariate) version of the box plot.


A range area chart is a variation of an area chart that lets you plot bands of data, such as Bollinger bands and weather patterns. Each point in the chart is specified by two y values.

Range Area Chart

A Waterfall Plot is a three-dimensional plot in which multiple curves of data, typically spectra, are displayed simultaneously. Typically the curves are staggered both across the screen and vertically, with ‘nearer’ curves masking the ones behind. The result is a series of “mountain” shapes that appear to be side by side. The waterfall plot is often used to show how two-dimensional information changes over time or some other variable such as rpm.
Not to be confused with the similarly named Waterfall Chart.

Waterfall Plot

A three-dimensional Stream Graph is the graph of a function f(x, y) of two variables, or the graph of a relationship g(x, y, z) among three variables.Provided that x, y, and z or f(x, y) are real numbers, the graph can be represented as a planar or curved surface in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. A three-dimensional graph is typically drawn on a two-dimensional page or screen using perspective methods, so that one of the dimensions appears to be coming out of the page.

Three-dimensional Stream Graph