Graphs of the Week, Month or Century

Title: A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods
Author: Ralph Lengler & Martin J. Eppler
Location: Lugano, Switzerland
Year: 1881

There are a number of schemes or theoretical approaches to classifying methods of information visualization. Among the highlights are Jacques Bertin's Semiologie Graphique and Lee Wilkinson's Grammar of Graphics.

This image, from the web site takes a purely visual approach, attempting to show various aspects of visualization methods collectively in a form modeled on the periodic table of the elements. Colors refer to a classification of what is visualized: Data, Information, Concepts, Strategy, etc. As in the periodic table of the elements, the methods are supposed to increase in complexity from the top row down.

The web page ( is implemented in Javascript; each "element" has a corresponding pop-up example image.

©2007. Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the Gallery of Data Visualization by Michael Friendly is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License. Please cite any uses of this work as shown below.
Citation: Friendly, Michael (2001), Gallery of Data Visualization, Electronic document,,