This is a book about the design of statistical graphics and is concerned both with design and with statistics. But it is also about how to communicate information through the simultaneous presentation of words, numbers and pictures. Data graphics visually display measured quantities by means of the combined use of points, lines, a coordinate system, numbers, symbols, words, shading, and color. The use of abstract, non-representational pictures to show numbers is a surprisingly recent invention, perhaps because of the diversity of skills required – the visual-artistic, empirical-statistical, and mathematical. It was not until 1750-1800 that statistical graphics were invented. The remarkable William Playfair (1759-1823) developed or improved upon nearly all the fundamental graphical designs, seeking to replace conventional tables of numbers with the systematic visual representations of his linear arithmetic. The first part of this book reviews the graphical practice of the two centuries since Playfair. The second part of the book provides a language for discussing graphics and a practical theory of data graphics. Applying to most visual displays of quantitative information, the theory leads to changes and improvements in design, suggests why some graphics might be better than others, and generates new types of graphics.
- Many visual graphic examples