Scatter plots with images

September 4, 2011

(This article was first published on Software for Exploratory Data Analysis and Statistical Modelling, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Edward Tufte has written extensively on the presentation of data covering good and bad practice. He has made a number of suggestions for adaptations of regularly used graph types to assist with the interpretation and understanding of data.

One idea for enhancing scatter plots covered in Tufte’s book Beautiful Evidence is the use of images in place of traditional symbols to provide additional information about that point. To illustrate this idea I have taken the batting data from the recent test series between England and India played in England 2011. The graph is a display of the number of runs scored and number of balls faced with an English or Indian flag indicating the team of the player involved. The graph can be seen here and this has an advantage over the usual scatter plot as there is no need for a legend to accompany the graph.

Other useful resources are provided on the Supplementary Material page.

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