DataViz Tip #29: Mix Multiple Chart Types
Multiple chart types in one visual are nothing new in the infographics space. In your “regular” functional web charting world this almost never happens. Obviously, not all datasets are best expressed with a multi-type chart mix though some are. The primary reason why you never see such “hybrids” in the wild is that it’s often close to impossible to do technologically. Quite often you are forced to choose your chart type upfront and then you work within the constraints of the type you’ve selected.
The best you can hope to achieve is placing multiple charts side-by-side on some common background and frame them as a single compound object:
Luckily, with new generation of libraries like amCharts 4, you can mix and match various chart types in one visual – in other words, anything can be anything. Even in the chart above the “background” is not just an image but a real map chart.
Going a few steps further you can just, say, embed pie charts inside a bar chart:
Or use interactions to transform a country into a drilldown pie chart display of some statististics about it:
We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible when you are not limited to working within the constraints of a single chart type per visual. Now that technological barriers have been removed, the sky is the limit and developer and designer crativity can flourish.
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