Tutorials

Practical how-tos on how to make any chart and apply methods to your own data.

How to Make Line Charts in Python, with Pandas and Matplotlib

The chart type can be used to show patterns over time and relationships between variables. This is a comprehensive introduction to making them using two common libraries.

How to Make a Grid Map with Histograms in R, with ggplot

Layout multiple charts in a single view. Then adjust the scales appropriately for maximum comparability and a unified graphic.

How to Make Interactive Frequency Trails with D3.js

Layering time series data or distributions with this method can change the feel and aesthetic versus a multi-line chart or small multiples. In some cases, frequency trails let you show more in less space.

How to Draw Maps with Hatching Lines in R

Fill areas with varying line density to give more or less visual attention. With geographic maps, the technique is especially useful to adjust for population density.

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.