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Those charts are amazingly powerful. Well done Evan!

It took me a few moments to fully understand what was going on, but after that it was easy to read a story from each of the charts.


Nice one - although in my opinion stacked line chart is more understandable. Like in Baby name wizard:
(really shows the power of interactive infographics)

Chris G

Does this type of chart have a name?


This type of chart is indeed amazingly powerful. Good job!!!

Robert Krider et al in a recent issue of Marketing Science use this type of chart to assess causality -- does X cause Y more/less than Y causes X? It's an interesting and simple graphical technique, and depends on whether the prevailing pattern runs "clockwise" or "counterclockwise".

E-mail me if you want to know more.

Andrew Gelman

I think there might be something wrong with his graphs. Look at the graph for Addison: it seems to say that the number of boys named Addison has been almost constant for 12 years (varying between 342 and about 400). Is this really so?


I have also wondered what this type of chart is called. Is it just a connected scatterplot? Or something else?

Andrew: You can check the data at the social security administration website:
To see the actual number of births, though, you have to look at the top-1000 list, select 'number of births', and look at each year you're interested in individually. Kind of a hassle. 'Addison' seemed to peak at 436 in year 2000, according to the SSA.

Check out Jaime for another example of an unusually consistent name:


These types of charts are related to phase plots. I've been using them like this:

A conventional time-series representation of two variables.

A phase plot of the same data.


It would be nice if the text wasn't pale gray though! Very hard to read.


It's possible the text could stand to be a little darker, but in my opinion your difficulty is caused more by the poor typography of R's lettering than the shade of grey Evan picked. A better-designed font would have been more readable, even in light grey.


Nice graphics.
For more advanced options in plotting I would suggest true interactive 3D charts.

3D graphics for Scientific visualization

We will appreciate comments and discussion.

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Marketing analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker. Currently at Columbia. See my full bio.

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