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beecom99

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,

Does this type of line chart have a specific name? I'm looking for different examples. The y-axis is the time, e.g., number of days between steps and the x-axis shows the steps. Using it to compare progress through a regulatory process.

Also, any suggestions for adding additional variables? One ides is to encode the cost of progressing through each step in the thickness of the line.

Thanks for any info.
Steve

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sfew

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Posts: 853
Reply with quote  #2 
Steve,

This is actually just a bar graph. The fact that you're using arcs (i.e., lines that extend from the baseline up to mark the value and then back down to the baseline) does not change the fact that they function as bars. Only their heights are meaningful. Using arcs rather than bars, is visually distracting. Doing so is also potentially misleading, for using lines give the impression that this is a line graph, but it doesn't function as such. In addition, I suspect that your labels along the X axis are not properly positioned in relation to the values, for they suggest that days pass between steps when, in fact, I suspect that the steps themselves last for many days. Assuming that I'm correct, the values should appear directly above the labels, not between the labels.

Make sense?

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Stephen Few
beecom99

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #3 
Stephen,
Thanks for your response. I see your point that it's really a bar graph. I think the appeal of the arcing, connecting lines is to convey a sense of passage of the time along the x-axis as progress is made "hopping" through the discrete, but consecutive steps of the entire process. And I guess the lines are more than distracting, as you point out: they actually distort the data as the arcs get longer with higher values. I might try a dot plot - as the number of countries will likely be 5 or so - in order to avoid clustering bars, with highlighting to help focus the user on an individual country's data.
Thanks again.
Steve
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