Tutorials

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

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.

How to Make Venn Diagrams in R

The usually abstract, qualitative and sometimes quantitative chart type shows relationships. You can make them in R, if you must.

How to Make a State Map Grid with Small Multiples in R

Combining small multiples with the grid layout can make for an intuitive geographic reference.

Compact Ways to Visualize Distributions in R

For when you want to show or compare several distributions but don't have a lot of space.

How I Made That: Interactive Heatmap

Add interaction so that you can show different segments of the data and allow comparisons.

Getting Started with Network Graphs in R

Add the vertices. Connect them with edges. Repeat as necessary.

How to Make (and Animate) a Circular Time Series Plot in R

Also known as a polar plot, it is usually not the better option over a standard line chart, but in select cases the method can be useful to show cyclical patterns.

How to Make a Semicircle Plot in R

It's the half cousin of the bubble plot with less overlap and more straight edges.

How I Made That: Interactive Beeswarm Chart to Compare Distributions

The histogram is my favorite chart type, but it's unintuitive for many. So I've been using the less accurate but less abstract beeswarm.

How I Made That: Searchable Time Series Chart

When there are too many options or categories, it can be helpful to make the data searchable.

How to Make a State Grid Map in R

Something of a cross between a reference table and a map, the state grid provides equal space to each state and a semblance of the country to quickly pick out individual states.

How to Make Animated Line Charts in R

Sometimes it's useful to animate the multiple lines instead of showing them all at once.

How to Make a Multi-line Step Chart in R

For the times your data represents immediate changes in value.

Symbols-based Unit Charts to Show Counts in R

Add visual weight by using individual items to show counts.