Data visualization |

Output Shape / line

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 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

A Comparison chart contains horizontal rows and vertical columns in order to compare attributes, characteristics, numbers, values, volume, etc. It is normally visualized as a data raw chart sometimes similar to spreadsheets structure.

Comparison Chart

A Timeline displays a list of events in chronological order. Some timelines work on a scale, while others simply display events in sequence. The main purpose is to communicate time-related information, over time, either for analysis or to visually present a story or view of history.


A flowchart is a type of chart that represents a process or a workflow. It shows the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting them with arrows. This diagrammatic representation illustrates a solution model to a given problem. Flowcharts are used in analyzing, designing, documenting or managing a process or program in various fields.

There are a wide variety of flowchart types. Some of the most common ones are swimlane flow charts, Workflow diagrams and dataflow diagrams.

Flow Chart

In function it is identical to a normal bar chart. But visually it consists of a line anchored from the x axis and a dot at the end to mark the value.
The lollipop chart is often claimed to be useful compared to a normal bar chart, if you are dealing with a large number of values and when the values are all high, such as in the 80-90% range (out of 100%). Then a large set of tall columns can be visually aggressive.
The chart also has some less fortunate features:
The center of the circle at the end of the lollipop marks the value, but the location of the center is difficult to judge, making it imprecise compared to the straight edge of a bar, and half of the circle extends beyond the value that it represents, making it inaccurate.
Related chart types includes the dumbbell plot which focus on the span between two values, by highlighting the difference.

Lollipop Chart

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 timeline displays a list of events in chronological order. In scaled timeline, events are placed on a scale according to actual time distance between events. The main purpose is to communicate time-related information, over time, either for analysis or to visually present a story or view of history.

Scaled Timeline

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

An Arc Diagram uses a one-dimensional layout of nodes with circular arcs to represent connections. Nodes are placed along a single line and arcs are used to display links between the nodes. The thickness of the lines can display frequency between the nodes.
The Arc Diagram can have a similar purpose as the Chord Diagram and the Network Visualisation. But it may not be as effective to show structure in two dimensions as it serves the purpose to easy identify correlation.

Arc Diagram

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 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

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 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.


An organisational chart is a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs. The term is also used for similar diagrams, for example ones showing the different elements of a field of knowledge or a group of languages.

Organisational Chart

The Column Range displays a range of data by plotting two Y values per data point. Each Y value used is drawn as the upper, and lower bounds of a column. Sometimes range charts are referred as “floating” column charts. Some data may look very nice and are easily understood in this form, in which the column floats in the chart, spanning a region from a minimum value to a maximum value.

Column Range

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

Fishbone Diagrams are causal diagrams that show the causes of a specific event. Common uses of the Fishbone Diagram are product design and quality defect prevention, to identify potential factors causing an overall effect. Each cause or reason for imperfection is a source of variation. Causes are usually grouped into major categories to identify these sources of variation.

Fishbone Diagram

A hyperbolic tree defines a graph drawing method inspired by hyperbolic geometry.

Displaying hierarchical data as a tree suffers from visual clutter as the number of nodes per level can grow exponentially. For a simple binary tree, the maximum number of nodes at a level n is 2n, while the number of nodes for larger trees grows much more quickly. 
Drawing the tree as a node-link diagram thus requires exponential amounts of space to be displayed.

Hyperbolic Tree

Parallel coordinates is a common way of visualizing high-dimensional geometry and analyzing multivariate data. This visualization is closely related to time series visualization, except that it is applied to data where the axes do not correspond to points in time, and therefore do not have a natural order. Therefore, different axis arrangements may be of interest.

Parallel Coordinates

A Sociogram is a graphic representation of social links that a person has. It is a graph drawing that plots the structure of interpersonal relations in a group situation. A sociogram can be drawn on the basis of many different criteria: Social relations, channels of influence, lines of communication etc.


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

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 candlestick chart is a style of bar-chart used to describe price movements of a security, derivative, or currency for a designated span of time. Each bar represents the range of price movement over a given time interval. 
It is most often used in technical analysis of equity and currency price patterns. They appear superficially similar to box plots, but are unrelated.
The dataset for a candlestick chart contains low, high, open and close values. The high and low values are visualized as the top and bottom of each stick, where the open and close values are reflected in the square inside.

Candlestick Chart

A process diagram simply displays a process with start and end point. It can be visualized in many shapes, designs with various of process steps.

Process Diagram

A dendrogram is a tree diagram frequently used to illustrate the arrangement of the clusters produced by hierarchical clustering. Dendrograms are often used in computational biology to illustrate the clustering of genes or samples, sometimes on top of heatmaps.


The line chart’s fraternal twin. Line charts display three or more points in time while slope charts display exactly two points in time.
Defined by Edward Tufte in his 1983 book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, this type of chart is useful for seeing (referred to the first example below):

the hierarchy of the countries in both 1970 and 1979 [the order of the countries]
the specific numbers associated with each country in each of those years [the data value next to their names]
how each country’s numbers changed over time [each country’s slope]
how each country’s rate of change compares to the other countries’ rates of change [the slopes compared with one another]
any notable deviations in the general trend (notice Britain in the above example) [aberrant slopes]

Slope Chart

Sankey diagrams are a specific type of flow diagram, in which the width of the arrows is shown proportionally to the flow quantity. They are typically used to visualize energy or material or cost transfers between processes. They can also visualize the energy accounts or material flow accounts on a community level. Sankey diagrams put a visual emphasis on the major transfers or flows within a system. They are helpful in locating dominant contributions to an overall flow.

Sankey Diagram

Network Visualisation (also called Network Graph) is often used to visualise complex relationships between a huge amount of elements. A network visualisation displays undirected and directed graph structures. This type of visualization illuminates relationships between entities. Entities are displayed as round nodes and lines show the relationships between them. The vivid display of network nodes can highlight non-trivial data discrepancies that may be otherwise be overlooked.

Network Visualisation

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

A stepped line graph (also called step chart) is a chart similar to a line graph, but with the line forming a series of steps between data points. A stepped line chart can be useful when you want to show the changes that occur at irregular intervals. For example, price rise in milk products, petrol, tax rate, interest rates, etc.

Stepped Line Graph

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

A swimlane flow chart is a type of flowchart. It documents the steps or activities across boarder and show which step and activity belongs to whom throughout processes; that’s why it’s also called a cross-functional-diagram or a cross-channel-diagram. What a swimlane flow chart makes special and unique is that the elements within the flowchart are placed and match together in lanes, and you can plan, coordinate when and how a channel is required. These lanes can help identify and visualize stages, departments, or any other set of separated categories. And furthermore it work out who is in charge, who (employees, responsible people, stakeholders and areas) is responsible, who has to deliver or what can we do in which step or by which communication channel and the instant and situations in the process at which they are and how they are involved.

Swimlane Flow Chart

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

Bump Chart

A Non-ribbon Chord Diagram is a stripped-down version of a Chord Diagram, with only the connection lines showing. This provides more emphasis on the connections within the data. A chord diagram is a graphical method of displaying the inter-relationships between data in a matrix. The data is arranged radially around a circle with the relationships between the points.

Non-ribbon Chord Diagram

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 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

Kagi charts look similar to swing charts and do not have a time axis. A Kagi chart is created with a series of vertical lines connected by short horizontal lines. The Kagi chart is a chart used for tracking price movements and to make decisions on purchasing stock. It differs from traditional stock charts, such as the Candlestick chart by being mostly independent of time. This feature aids in producing a chart that reduces random noise.

Kagi Chart

The structural formula of a chemical compound is a graphic representation of the molecular structure, showing how the atoms are arranged. The chemical bonding within the molecule is also shown, either explicitly or implicitly. Unlike chemical formulas, which have a limited number of symbols and are capable of only limited descriptive power, structural formulas provide a complete geometric representation of the molecular structure

Molecule Diagram

Radial Convergences are used to visualize relationships between entities. Entities are displayed as round nodes and lines show the relationships between them. It is similar to a network visualization but it is arranged in strict circular layout.

Radial Convergences