Mapping data to graphics

Content for Monday, September 4, 2023–Friday, September 8, 2023


Possible questions to reflect on

This is not a required list!

Remember, you don’t need to answer all of these—or even any of them! These are just here to help guide your thinking. Write about whatever you want.

  • Why is it important to visualize variables and data?
  • What does it mean to map data to graph aesthetics?
  • What data was mapped to which aesthetics in Rosling’s video?

Other resources

This tutorial by Cédric Scherer is an excellent demonstration of the grammar of graphics and the sequential nature of building up a plot layer-by-layer.


The slides for this week’s lesson are available online as an HTML file. Use the buttons below to open the slides either as an interactive website or as a static PDF (for printing or storing for later). You can also click in the slides below and navigate through them with your left and right arrow keys.

View all slides in new window Download PDF of all slides


Fun fact: If you type ? (or shift + /) while going through the slides, you can see a list of special slide-specific commands.


Videos for each section of the lecture are available at this YouTube playlist.

You can also watch the playlist (and skip around to different sections) here:


Healy, Kieran. 2018. Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Wilke, Claus E. 2018. Fundamentals of Data Visualization. Sebastopol, California: O’Reilly Media.