Whether you know this by now or not, there is a wide array of graphs available to us when we communicate our data. We all know how to read line charts, bar charts, and pie charts–not because we are born with those skills but because we are taught how to read them as children and are exposed to them hundreds and hundreds of times. Learning which graphs work best for which audience is a key component of my data visualization classes and workshops and the main focus of my Better Data Visualizations book. You can also check out the One Chart at a Time video series on my YouTube channel where more than 50 experts explain how many of these graphs work.
It’s possible that some other, “non-standard” graphs (think: scatterplots, slope charts, dot plots, Sankey diagrams, and more) can do a better job communicating our data than the standard line, bar, and pie charts. Other times, these non-standard graphs can help make our data more engaging, which itself is sometimes a goal. Knowing which graph best suits your needs requires knowledge of what’s possible.
I have built a collection of nearly 2,000 visuals to use as inspiration for my own work, and also to use as teaching materials to illustrate both good and bad practices. These real examples are helpful in a variety of ways: to demonstrate the wide variety of graphic types; to show variations in typography, color, tool, platform, and design; and to discuss how to implement perceptual rules to draw and direct attention.
I am now making that library available so that you can explore them and learn best (and worst) practices, draw inspiration, and adapt to your own data.
You can explore the collection in the table below, which I will try to update regularly. If you’d rather just have the entire collection, you can do so by downloading this .zip file. As of April 2023, the file is more than 900MB.
A few notes about the collection in the table below:
-Please excuse typos and a little snark in some of my notes. This was originally intended as a personal resource and I haven’t gone back through and edited everything.
-The names for graphs may not always be perfectly accurate; I often find myself rushing to fill out the different fields.
-The ‘URL’ column will bring you to the original website. Clicking on the image itself will enable you to download the original image.
-You can download a CSV or Excel file of the entire table (built in Google Data Studio) by clicking the three dots in the top-right part of the table. It can also be made full-screen by selecting the icon in the bottom-right part of the table.
I hope you find this data visualization catalog useful in your work and are able to draw inspiration and appreciate the amazing work by people around the world.
The .zip file was last updated on April 24, 2023. The interactive catalog is automatically refreshed as images are added.