Tutorials

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

How to Make Smoothed Density Maps in R

Too many points to plot often means obscured patterns in the clutter. Density maps offer a smooth alternative.

How to Read and Use Histograms in R

The chart type often goes overlooked because people don't understand them. Maybe this will help.

How to Map Geographic Paths in R

As people and things move through a place, it can be useful to see their connected paths instead of just individual points.

The Baseline and Working with Time Series in R

A big part of statistics is comparisons, and perhaps more importantly, to figure out what to compare things to. Perspective changes with the baseline.

How to Display Text in R

Text can provide much needed context to traditional visual cues and can be used as a visual cue itself in some cases.

Working with Line Maps, the Google Places API, and R

A frequent challenge of visualization is behind the scenes, to get the data and to mold it into the format you need. Do that. Then map.

How to Make a Connected Scatter Plot

The combination of a time series chart and a scatter plot lets you compare two variables along with temporal changes.

Small Maps and Grids

Maybe you want to make spatial comparisons over time or across categories. Organized small maps might do the trick.

How to Make Slopegraphs in R

Also known as specialized or custom line charts. Figure out how to draw lines with the right spacing and pointed in the right direction, and you've got your slopegraphs.

Small Multiples in R

Make a lot of charts at once, line them up in a grid, and you can make quick comparisons across several categories.

How to Make an Animated Growth Map in R

Although time series plots and small multiples can go a long way, animation can make your data feel more real and relatable. Here is how to do it in R via the animated GIF route.

Using Transparency in R to Improve Clarity

When you plot a lot of data at once, points and lines can obscure others and hide patterns. Transparency can help reveal what is really there.

How to Animate Transitions Between Multiple Charts

Animated transitioning between chart types can add depth to your data display. Find out how to achieve this effect using JavaScript and D3.js.

Getting Started with Charts in R

You get a lot of bang for the buck with R, charting-wise, but it can be confusing at first, especially if you've never written code. Here are some examples to get started.

How to Make an Interactive Choropleth Map

When presented with a static graphic, it can be useful to see specific values after you see overall patterns. This tutorial shows you how to add simple interactions to a choropleth map so you can get specifics for regions.

More on Making Heat Maps in R

You saw how to make basic heat maps a while back, but you might want more flexibility for a specific data set. Once you understand the components of a heat map, the rest is straightforward.

Mapping with Diffusion-based Cartograms

Sometimes these cartograms can distort areas beyond recognition, but they can also provide a better visual representation for a region with a wide range of subregions. At the least, they're fun to look at.

How to Make an Interactive Network Visualization

Interactive network visualizations make it easy to rearrange, filter, and explore your connected data. Learn how to make one using D3 and JavaScript.

How to Make Stacked Area Charts in R

From the basic area chart, to the stacked version, to the streamgraph, the geometry is similar. Once you know how to do one, you can do them all.

How to Draw in R and Make Custom Plots

When base graphics and existing packages don't do it for you, turn to low-level graphics functions to make what you want.

How to Visualize and Compare Distributions in R

Single data points from a large dataset can make it more relatable, but those individual numbers don't mean much without something to compare to. That's where distributions come in.

How to Make a Sankey Diagram to Show Flow

These tend to be made ad hoc and are usually pieced together manually, which takes a lot of time. Here's a way to lay the framework in R, so you don't have to do all the work yourself.

Interactive Time Series Chart with Filters

Time series charts can easily turn to spaghetti when you have multiple categories. By highlighting the ones of interest, you can direct focus and allow comparisons.

Calendar Heatmaps to Visualize Time Series Data

The familiar but underused layout is a good way to look at patterns over time.