Tutorials

Learn to visualize your data like an expert with these practical how-tos for presentation, analysis, and understanding.

How to Make a Bump Chart in R, with ggplot

Visualize rankings over time instead of absolute values to focus on order instead of the magnitude of change.

How to Make a Multi-Series Dot Plot in Excel

Easily compare multiple categories and spot differences between two or more series.

How to Use IPUMS Extraction Tools to Download Survey Data

Almost all of my visualization projects that use data from the Census Bureau comes via IPUMS. In this guide, I provide five steps to getting the data you need using their tools.

How to Make Animated Visualization GIFs with ImageMagick

Using the library command-line gets you more flexibility to highlight the important parts of the data.

How to Make a Polar Density Plot in R

With cyclical data, a circular format might be useful. Combine that with a smooth density to reduce noise, and you got yourself a plot.

How to Make Baseline Charts in R

By shifting the baseline to a reference point, you can focus a line chart on relative change, which can improve the visibility of smaller categories.

Getting Started with D3.js

Learn how to build a custom visualization using D3.js and get acquainted with the popular JavaScript library.

How to Make a Moving Bubble Chart, Based on a Dataset

Ooo, bubbles... It's not the most visually efficient method, but it's one of the more visually satisfying ones.

How to Make a Bump Chart in R

Visualize rankings over time instead of absolute values to focus on order instead of the magnitude of change.

How to Make Dot Timelines in R

For when you want to show the occurrence of events over time.

How to Make a Mosaic Plot in R

Also known as a Marimekko diagram, the mosaic plot lets you compare multiple qualitative variables at once. They can be useful, sometimes.

How to Make Animated (GIF) Heatmaps in R

Using color as the visual encoding, show changes over time in two dimensions.

How to Make an Interactive Map of Geographic Paths

With latitude and longitude coordinates, there are a number of ways to map geographic data using D3.js and Leaflet.

How I Made That: Animated Difference Charts in R

A combination of a bivariate area chart, animation, and a population pyramid, with a sprinkling of detail and annotation.

How to Make Frequency Trails in R

Also known as ridgeline plots, the method overlaps time series for a 3-D-ish view of the data. While perhaps not the most visually efficient, the allure is undeniable.

How to Make an Animated Pyramid Chart with D3.js

Compare distributions side-by-side with a pyramid chart. Observe the change over the years by animating it.

How to Make a Tiled Bar Chart with D3.js

Show individual data points by splitting bars into smaller cells.

How to Make Better-Looking, More Readable Charts in R

Defaults are generalized settings to work with many datasets. This is fine for analysis, but data graphics for presentation benefit from context-specific design.

How to Visualize Ranges of Data in R

When you want to focus on the magnitude of differences between low and high values, use visual cues that highlight distance.

How I Made That: National Dot Density Map

Mapping one dot per person, it's all about putting the pieces together.

3-D Printing: How to Prepare the Data in R

Moving your data from the digital screen to something more physical isn't as tricky as it seems. Here's how I did it.

How to Make Chord Diagrams in R

Show connections in the circular layout for a more compact presentation.

How to Make Unit Charts with Icon Images in R

Make the unit chart less abstract with icons that represent the data, or use this in place of a bar chart.

How I Made That: Animated Square Pie Chart

Also known as waffle charts. Using animated transitions between values, you can allow for comparisons between categories.