Data visualization |

Graph Family / Plot

A compound data vizulisation type, combining a scaled timeline with an area chart, a line graph or similar to show the development. It is useful to explain big changes in the development with events or causes. The events are typically visualized with labels anchored to the timeline.

Development & Causes

A sparkline is a small intense, simple, word-sized graphic with typographic resolution. Sparklines mean that graphics are no longer cartoonish special occasions with captions and boxes, but rather sparkline graphics can be everywhere a word or number can be: embedded in a sentence, table, headline, map, spreadsheet, graphic. Data graphics should have the resolution of typography. (Edward Tufte, Beautiful Evidence, 46-63.)


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

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

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

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 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.


The opposite diagram can be used to display two set of opposites in a horizontal and vertical axis using Cartesian coordinates.
The data or items are displayed as a collection of points, each having the value of two variables determining the position on the horizontal axis and the value of the other variable determining the position on the vertical axis. In many ways it is similar to the scatter plot.
The values can be data driven, but it is often used for conceptual purposes by displaying opposites of an issue on a relative scale.

Opposite Diagram

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

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

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 Bullet Graph is a variation of a Bar Graph. Seemingly inspired by the traditional thermometer charts and progress bars found in many dashboards, the bullet graph serves as a replacement for dashboard gauges and meters. Bullet graphs were developed to overcome the fundamental issues of gauges and meters: they typically display too little information, require too much space, and are cluttered with useless and distracting decoration.

Bullet Graph

A phase diagram in physical chemistry, engineering, mineralogy, and materials science is a type of chart used to show conditions at which thermodynamically distinct phases can occur at equilibrium. Common components of a phase diagram are lines of equilibrium or phase boundaries, which refer to lines that mark conditions under which multiple phases can coexist at equilibrium. Phase transitions occur along lines of equilibrium.

Phase Diagram

Dumbbell dot plots — dot plots with two or more series of data — are an alternative to the clustered bar chart or slope chart.
A dumbbell dot plot can be used to visualize two or three different points in time, or to triangulate different viewpoints (e.g., one dot for Republicans and another dot for Democrats, or one dot for principals and another dot for teachers).

Dumbbell Plot

Layered area chart is basically multiple area charts layered by either making use of transparency or perspective. It can be used instead of a line graph with multiple graphs to compare development or trend over time.
The visualization may cause some issues in readability when overlapping.

Layered Area 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

Radial Area Chart is a variation of Area Chart. An area chart displays graphically quantitive data. It is based on the line chart. The area between axis and line are commonly emphasized with colors, textures and hatchings. Whereas area charts are used to represent cumulated totals using numbers or percentages over time, Radial Area Chart can be also used to display categories instead.

Radial Area Chart

Bumps charts are designed for exploring changes in rank over time.

Bump Chart

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

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

In addition to the Ternary Plot, you will also find the Ternary Contour Plot. These plots can be used for example to chart the response of an independent variable to changes in a mixture of three components.

Ternary 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 ternary plot is a barycentric plot on three variables which sum to a constant. It graphically depicts the ratios of the three variables as positions in an equilateral triangle. It is used in physical chemistry, petrology, mineralogy, metallurgy, and other physical sciences to show the compositions of systems composed of three species.

Ternary Plot

A fan chart is a chart that joins a line graph for observed past data, and a range area chart for future predictions.
Predictions are shown as ranges for possible values of future data together with a line showing a central estimate or most likely value for the future outcomes. As predictions become increasingly uncertain the further into the future one goes, these forecast ranges spread out, creating distinctive wedge or “fan” shapes, hence the term. Alternative forms of the chart can also include uncertainty for past data, such as preliminary data that is subject to revision.
Read more about fan charts here

Fan Chart (Time Series)

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

The spiral histogram also called a condegram is a histogram , but with a timeline along a spiral shape. The spiral design makes it possible to compare cycles, but keeping the continuous timeline along the spiral.

Spiral Histogram