Sparkline's one-liner family

01Chapter 1 living animals
0101Living horses, asses, mules and hinnies
010110Pure-bred breeding
01011000Horses and asses
010111Pure-bred breeding

I am working on a set of graphics that will go nicely with Tufte' sparkline. Sparkline is a succinct chart that can be embedded within the text:

  • it shows the historical value, as compare to itself
  • it fits nicely within text and table, in the size of a word

The advantage of such graph really comes into play when you have a lot of item to display. You can use it as a small multiple over a big table. This is currently the only technique that I know, when faced with 5+ items to compare (line chart won't work, it will be too hard to see through).

I was thinking of other one-liner charts that can complement the sparkline, each of the chart will only do one thing, and do it well. Together, it will be a powerfull set of graphs to use. Here are the list of goals for these graph:

  • show absolute value
  • show gain/lost
  • show periodical pattern (month, week)
  • show concentration of its composition
  • show hierachy

Designing a general graph has proven to be far more challenging then I thought. I am using @ronnywang's Taiwan Import/Export API, and one of the challenge of that dataset is that the order of magnitude between different item varies wildly.