An area graph displays quantitative data in the form of plotted points connected by line segments, and a color-coded region between the connected line and the x axis. These graphs present 2 or more regions for comparison in a way similar to a pie graph or stacked graph.
An area graph is a chartical representation of quantitative data in the form of plotted points connected by line segments, and a color-coded region between the connected line and the x axis. These graphs present 2 or more regions for comparison in a way similar to a pie graph or stacked graph.
Area graphs are commonly employed for representing cumulative data over time, and in analysis of trends and related qualities. The region, or area, below the plotted line is used to represent volume. The contrasted colors allow users to easily compare large datasets.
A negative of area graphs is the fact that it can be difficult to manage and view more than 2 or 3 plotted regions. Clarity is lost as the regions increase, and representing them accurately becomes awkward or impossible. The user is also forced to manipulate the time and metric ranges in strange ways to essentially bend the chart to fit its intended purpose. This limits the applications that area graphs have. They may be limited to a fairly small set of practical uses, like very simple metrics that do not change in a volatile way.
There are many area graph variants. Three of the most common variants are layered, stacked area graphs, and bivariate area graphs. Layered area graphs present 2 regions. They are layered over each other in a way that allows both to be visible. Stacked layered graphs are those with multiple regions that are displayed as stacked regions. These stacked regions appear in an ascending order from bottom to top in a way that reveals the portion of the data that rises above the data below it. Bivariate area graphs resemble OHLC graphs. They have two plotted lines with the region between them shaded. This has the effect of expressing a range of data at a particular interval.