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September 07, 2010

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I think there's something wrong with both. Dots only show position - people who read right-to-left might interpret the magnitude as being from the right.

The bars at least show magnitude irrespective of which way you normally read text, but since they don't start at 0 its difficult to interpret the relative magnitudes. At least with the dots you are forced to read the axis values.

[ugh, shouldnt have started this, gotta run]

Thanks for the clarification; I've updated the post above.

It's not a fair comparison, since you've allowed one plot to use color and not the other.

Tell you what, send them in to a journal that prints only in black and white and compare them after that...

(I also object to barplots where the height of the plot doesn't represent a magnitude. If the bar is twice as long, it should represent twice as much of something.)

The rationale (from the CJunk Charts post) for line plot versus bar plot or dot plot is good. But I was initially hung up on the connected dots, as this often implies interpolation.

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