Uncategorized,  Visualization Guide

Horizon Graphs and Small Multiples

Horizon Graph

            A horizon graph is a chart that utilizes a diverging color scale, where either end of a data sequence is represented with different opaque colors that stratigraphically become more translucent and similar to the opposing color as the data reaches a start value, to showcase the different values within a dataset.

            To create a horizon graph, one begins with a simple line graph that can go both positive and negative along the X or Y axis.  After a line has been plotted, then a different color is used to represent each group of data within a given range.  Then, all of the different color categories are re-plotted with only positive values on the graph at the axis. 

            An excellent example of a horizon graph can be found at flowingdata.com.  In this example, the author uses a horizon graph to show the fluctuating price of bacon from 1990 to 2015.  These three steps, below, show how the author shifted the data visualization from a line graph to a horizon graph:

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One Comment

  • Maeve Kane

    Remember that any links need to be pretty links, not just the URL text written out, and they need to link directly to the page you’re talking about, not just the main site.