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Graphics in Documents Using Graphics to Think Preparing the graphics first helps you get started and sets out the framework of your written product Graphical Display and Scientific Inquiry “ . . .the way in which we present the data determines what can be seen in the data.”

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In documents l.jpg

Graphics

in Documents


Using graphics to think l.jpg
Using Graphics to Think

Preparing the graphics first helps you get started and sets out the framework of your written product


Graphical display and scientific inquiry l.jpg
Graphical Display and Scientific Inquiry

  • “ . . .the way in which we present the data determines what can be seen in the data.”

    • Valiela, Doing Science, p. 183

  • Choice of graphical display can reveal new relationships among data.

    • representing the data differently can lead to new findings


  • In 1854 dr john snow made a map of deaths from the cholera epidemic in london l.jpg
    In 1854, Dr. John Snow made a map of deaths from the cholera epidemicin London.

    Example: Spatial representation of data

    Previously, data on deaths had been displayed chronologically.

    Tufte, Visual Explanations, 1997


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    Work House epidemic

    Brewery


    Graphical display l.jpg
    Graphical Display epidemic

    • Snow took data normally displayed chronologically (x # of deaths each day throughout the epidemic) and graphed it spatially,

    • Spatial display convinced the authorities to shut down the Broad St. pump. From that moment, cholera seriously understood to be linked to bad water.


    Lessons l.jpg
    Lessons epidemic

    • Map makes quantitative comparisons visible and locates them spatially.

    • Map is appropriate context for showing cause and effect.

    • Time series chart not as effective.

    • Thinking about howbest to display the data will help you establish useful relationships among the data.


    Graphics in written documents two important questions l.jpg
    Graphics in Written Documents: Two Important Questions epidemic

    • When are graphics appropriate?

      • What can information display do that words alone cannot?

    • What makes a good graphic?

      • Are there relevant principles of design?

      • See works of William S. Cleveland and Edward R. Tufte


    When are graphics appropriate l.jpg
    When are graphics appropriate? epidemic

    • To show complex data in a simplified form

      • show a lot of data in one place

    • To emphasize relationship better than can words alone

    • To help the reader remember

    • To allow parallel processing of information (visual and verbal)


    Deciding how to present data l.jpg
    Deciding How to Present Data epidemic

    • William Cleveland studied how accurately readers evaluate graphical cues. Rank of cues from most to least accurate perception:

      • Position along an axis

      • Length

      • Angle or slope

      • Area

      • Volume

      • Color and shade

  • Use cues that are ranked as high as possible.

  • William Cleveland, The Elements of Graphing Data, 1994


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    Principles of Information Display epidemic

    • Read the works of Edward Tufte.

      • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 1983

      • Envisioning Information, 1990

      • Visual Explanations, 1997

    • Tufte analyzes visuals displays of data to see which ones help the reader/viewer think through the problem or understand the results.

      • See article on PowerPoint in Reference list

    Link


    Charles j minard s 1861 graphic depicts napoleon s russian campaign of 1812 tufte visual display l.jpg
    Charles J. Minard’s 1861 graphic depicts Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812 (Tufte, Visual Display)


    Tufte calls minard s graphic possibly the best ever constructed l.jpg
    Tufte calls Minard’s graphic “possibly the best ever constructed.”

    • Six variables are plotted:

      • size of army

      • location (latitude)

      • location (longitude)

      • direction

      • temperature

      • time (dates)



    Slide16 l.jpg

    Column constructed.”

    Position (X)

    0 cm

    Air Sampling

    Points

    Bioreactor Packing

    25 cm

    50 cm

    75 cm

    100 cm (Air Outlet)

    Contaminated

    Air Inlet

    Figure 5.2. Schematic of the experimental bioreactor


    Principles of design l.jpg
    Principles of Design constructed.”

    • Keep every graphic as simple and

      uncluttered as the complexity of your

      data allows.

    • Beware the default parameters in Excel!





    Guidelines for labeling l.jpg
    Guidelines for Labeling WORD

    • Labels are a frame . . . of reference, of orientation.

    • Label each graphic clearly with a figure or table number and a title.

      • Place the figure number and title beneath a figure (graph, chart, etc.).

      • Place the table number and title

        above a table.


    Correct placement of figure title l.jpg
    Correct Placement of Figure Title WORD

    Figure 3. Relationship between density and temperature of air at standard atmospheric pressure. Source of data: Engineering Fluid Mechanics, 2001


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    Correct Placement of Table Title WORD

    Table 2: Example of Table with Modified Parameters


    More labeling guidelines l.jpg
    More Labeling Guidelines WORD

    • Label both axes. These labels are NOT optional.

    • Create a title (or a title and a caption) that draws attention to significant aspects of the graphic.

      • Give significant details either on the figure itself or in parentheses (or smaller type) after the title/caption.

        • Significant details could be experimental details (such as time of day readings taken) or source information.


    Integrate graphics with your text l.jpg
    Integrate WORD graphics with your text.

    • In the body of the document, make sure you do the following:

      • Describe everything graphed. For tables, explain column headings, at least.

      • Draw attention to important features of data. Try to include them in title too.

      • Describe conclusions drawn from the data. What’s significant about those data or findings?

    • Place graphic close to its discussion.


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    Coefficient of Thermal Expansion/Shrinkage WORD

    A low coefficient of thermal expansion indicates that the material will have minimal change in length given temperature fluctuations. Thermal coefficients for the patching materials are summarized in Table 4; as can be seen, FRP overlay has the lowest.

    Table 4. Coefficients of Thermal Expansion/Shrinkage for Patching Materials


    Captions integrate graphics with text l.jpg
    Captions integrate graphics with text. WORD

    • Cleveland advocates using captions and says they should make three contributions to understanding:

      • Describe everything graphed or illustrated

      • Draw attention to important features of data

      • Describe conclusions drawn from the data.

    • Captions are not conventional in many fields.

    • At least make title more than “X vs Y.”


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    Figure 2. Destruction of Organic Contaminants by Phytodegradation

    Enzymes in plant roots break down (degrade) organic contaminants. The fragments are incorporated into new plant material.


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    Figure 2. United States Facilities with No. 2 Emissions Phytodegradation

    Source: Environmental Protection Agency, 2000, www.epa.gov/airs/mapview.htm


    Correct labeling cite source of data l.jpg
    Correct Labeling: PhytodegradationCite source of data

    Figure 3. Relationship between density and temperature of air at standard atmospheric pressure. Source of data: Crowe, et al. Engineering Fluid Mechanics, 2001


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