Talk:Bar chart

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Bar charts on Wikipedia[edit]

I strongly recommend anyone thinking about creating a bar chart to try using the m:EasyTimeline syntax to do so. It's a bit time consuming, but fun, and best of all creates easy editable charts. For example:

People generally put them in templates for articles, since they take up a fair bit of space. There's lots more customisation you can do beyond this one, too. pfctdayelise (translate?) 12:34, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Free online tools for creating charts[edit]

Please see this diff from Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Images to improve. The comment is currently found (until archived elsewhere) here:

From that diff is this comment from one of the volunteers:

2) Use an online program like or to create from the actual data, and then choose to export it to SVG on the site.
Hope this helps! > Rugby471 talk 10:08, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

At Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Images to improve people can ask for image improvement or creation. It is important that people encourage the creation of more charts for use on wikipedia. It is an area where wikipedia has to make an effort to compete with the commercial encyclopedias. Here is a quote from the main page of meta:Philip Greenspun illustration project:

It occurred to me that when the dust settled on the Wikipedia versus Britannica question, the likely conclusion would be 'Wikipedia is more up to date; Britannica has better illustrations.'

So, please do not delete external links to free online tools for creating charts. They are very valuable tools, and they save money that wikipedia needs for more complex diagrams. See this discussion:

That is a good argument for having such links available somehere in project space, such as Wikipedia:Graphic Lab. It is not a good argument for including them in this article, although a note at the top of the page directing people to suitable project resources might be appropriate (see e.g. Statistics). -- Avenue (talk) 02:05, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I thought it was not considered best practice to link to wikipedia space from article space. Wikipedia:Graphic Lab does not have a list of online tools anyway. External links sections of articles are exactly for these types of additional info. What better additional info than hands-on tools that both explain the topic and show one how to use tools? Also, wikipedia articles are copied to many other places such as etc.. I don't think they link to wikipedia space.
Also, concerning the latest external link, if you use the linked online tool you will see that it produces standard bar charts, too. I don't see how non-standard bar chart info is not relevant anyway.
We need an expanding pool of illustrators in order to meet the demand for illustrations of all kinds on Wikipedia/wikimedia. As more and more people use the online tools there are more people who can help us out at the Graphics Lab, etc..
Meta is having difficulty finding people. See meta:Talk:Philip_Greenspun_illustration_project#Project momentum. As a webmaster myself I have been learning by using the online tools. I can't afford anything but free tools, and have little time and patience for steep learning curves. So the easy online tools have allowed me to both help my websites and wikipedia.
Note also the banner that someone added to the top of this talk page for Wikipedia:WikiProject Journalism. People need bar charts for all kinds of media. Wikipedia, wikimedia, WikiNews, etc.. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:27, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Objectionable amounts of advertising plus multiple anon spam, Note; WP:NOT#REPOSITORY & WP:NOT#DIRECTORY. Arguments of WP:USEFUL do not make for exemption of official Wikipedia policy--Hu12 (talk) 07:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
They are good external links and nothing you have written, or linked to, proves otherwise. There is no official wikipedia policy against good external links. WP:NOT#REPOSITORY & WP:NOT#DIRECTORY do not apply because these external links are neither a directory nor a repository. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:47, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
It is not the content of the links that interest me by the time it has got to this stage. Links to this site are repeatedly added despite the obvious discusions and reminders. The rationale for placing the links becomes quite secondary to the behaviour when despite warnings, the spamming continues.
Accounts (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot) (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot) (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot)
Sekretar (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · blacklist hits · AbuseLog · what links to user page · count · COIBot · user page logs · x-wiki · status · Edit filter search · Google · StopForumSpam)
--Hu12 (talk) 18:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
You are not addressing my points. I added the link back. So there is no conflict of interest. And have you ever pointed out to this person that there is a correct way to suggest a link? The correct way to avoid WP:COI problems is to suggest links on talk pages, and not add them oneself in violation of WP:COI. If you have not told them this, then it looks like a violation of WP:CIVIL, WP:AGF, and WP:BITE on your part. It is just basic politeness not to call someone a spammer until they know the rule about WP:COI, and the correct way to suggest links. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that looks pretty clear-cut. I also think that linking to one online tool would be plenty. A variety of links, e.g. to guidelines on graph design, diverse examples, and good free graphing software, would be better than the current list.
By "standard" bar charts, I meant ones with a decent gap between the bars. Histograms typically have no gap.[1] -- Avenue (talk) 08:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think there is a "standard" bar chart. And how is that relevant anyway? Linking to one online tool is not plenty, because they have different features, methods, results, etc.. I am speaking from experience because I have been experimenting with them. So has the Graphics Lab. Feel free to link to the other things you mentioned. We can link to a list of graphing software. See
List of information graphics software#Plotting programs (graphing programs) --Timeshifter (talk) 16:47, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Can someone tell me why is ok to have this link
  • BARCHART Tool. Free online bar chart generator. Also; line charts and pie charts. The tool is based on the free software JFreeChart.
And this link is not OK
The nature of Wikipedia means that you can't make a convincing argument based on what other links in articles do or don't exist; because there's nothing stopping anyone from adding any link to any article. Plenty of links exist that probably shouldn't, conversly many links don't exist that probably should. So just pointing out that a link exists in an article doesn't prove that the link in question should also exist.--Hu12 (talk) 13:08, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Hu12. You haven't told them the correct way to get a link added, and not violate WP:COI. Basically, you are telling them to do what you say just because you say so as an admin. You also haven't linked to "OTHERSTUFFEXISTS". --Timeshifter (talk) 18:49, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I dont understand why didnt you delete that also? Nevermind, so if I remove google ads, does it mean i can put link here ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

External links policy on Advertising and conflicts of interest states You should avoid linking to a website that you own, maintain or represent. Unfortunately your conflict of interest editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote Such a conflict is strongly discouraged. Your contributions to wikipedia under Sekretar and IP's,,, consist entirely of adding external links to and is considered WP:Spam. Looking through your contributions as a whole, the all seem to be related only. Please do not continue to add links to your own websites to Wikipedia. It has become apparent that your account and IP's are only being used for spamming inappropriate external links and for self-promotion. Wikipedia is NOT a "repository of links" or a "vehicle for advertising" and persistent spammers will have their websites blacklisted. Any further spamming may result in your account and/or your IP address being blocked from editing Wikipedia. Please see the welcome page. Avoid breaching relevant policies and guidelines. You're here to improve Wikipedia -- not just to promote right? --Hu12 (talk) 16:16, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Hu12. You often seem to forget to tell people that the way to avoid conflict of interest problems is to use the talk pages, and not to add links directly. I find this to be true for many spam fighters. Many spam fighters go further, and insult and harass people who add links. If you block this person without mentioning the correct way to suggest links, then I would consider that to be harassment on your part, and a violation of WP:BITE. I will take this to WP:ANI if necessary.
As concerns the current external links, I added them all, and so there is no conflict of interest. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:47, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Avoid, there is deliberate use of multipe Ip's and an account involved. Although they have only recieved a first level warnings, and none have been blocked. Spamming is considered disruptive and can result in the account and/or IP address being blocked from editing Wikipedia. per Blocking_policy#Disruption "persistent spamming".--Hu12 (talk) 18:52, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
You still haven't addressed my point. I added the link and its latest description. You deleted it. Someone else may have initially added the link, and you rightfully removed it as a violation of WP:COI. But then I added the link back because it is a good external link for this article. I also expanded on the description. So there is now no spamming, nor a violation of WP:COI. Please address this point. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:58, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll repeat it since its located in my first post. It has objectionable amounts of advertising and fails WP:EL. Arguments of WP:USEFUL do not make for exemption of Wikipedia policy. --Hu12 (talk) 19:28, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
You previously left this cryptic message: "Objectionable amounts of advertising plus multiple anon spam". I thought you meant that the acts of these anonymous IPs adding the links was the objectionable amounts of advertising.
The online bar-chart creation page itself does not have objectionable amounts of advertising. Most web pages have advertising. That does not violate WP:EL. I don't see how this particular online bar-chart creation page violates WP:EL. Please address this point: How does this page violate WP:EL?
Here is the diff of your deletion of the page. Your edit summary was "objectionable amounts of advertising."
I think you should self-revert. Here is the external link you removed:
I spent some time clarifying the description, finding the wikilinks, testing the online tool, etc.. It is a good external link and meets WP:EL. I have over 11,000 edits on wikipedia. I think I know a little about wikipedia guidelines and policies.
I see the point of stopping spamming. But some people are just following the wikipedia guideline to be bold, click the edit button, and add text and links. Instead of making the assumption that they are spammers I suggest showing them the correct way to add links, instead of just telling them to stop adding links. This way you create more allies of wikipedia instead of more enemies of wikipedia. If someone continues to add bad links after being SPECIFICALLY warned (using the EXACT GUIDELINE, or SENTENCE from a guideline), then you can use harsher measures such as blocks, etc.. Even then, though, you have no license to be impolite. Just saying a link violates WP:EL is not very helpful. It is a difficult guideline to figure out, and so if you want allies, then tell them exactly what part of WP:EL they are violating. If you want more drama and enemies, then just continue to rudely slam them. I guess wikipedia can do without their financial donations and other help.
For those who are interested there is more discussion at
User_talk:Hu12/Archive5#Bar_chart --Timeshifter (talk) 20:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
My count is 30,000+ edits, so what. Spammers donate? Links normally to be avoided; Objectionable amounts of adsense advertising on the page. No ease of navigation as the links are misleading. Your better off linking to the DMOZ, as it would appear its unsuitable for inclusion.--Hu12 (talk) 20:33, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Why do you assume they are all spammers? There you go again. I guess after almost 30,000 edits of mostly spam fighting you have a very cynical attitude. There is no objectionable amount of Google AdSense ads on the page. There is just the standard right-side sidebar of ads. I think you are just throwing stuff out and hoping one of your accusations stick. I had no problem following the site navigation. I even tested the online tool. It works great. DMOZ does not have wikilinks (like the ones I added to the link description), and I don't believe DMOZ has such a directory of free online charting tools. You still haven't said why it is "unsuitable for inclusion." --Timeshifter (talk) 20:43, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Old versus new external links section[edit]

Old external links section:

New external links section:

Avenue deleted the remaining longstanding external links (including the ones long approved by Hu12), and substituted the Directory link. See this diff. The edit summary was "Replace links to online tools with one link to a directory (WP:NOT#DIRECTORY)"

As I pointed out previously 3 external links do not constitute a directory. They are just external links. Good external links that meet WP:EL.

It is good to add the directory link, but it serves no purpose to delete the other external links. The free online charting tools are not listed in the directory.

You should self-revert, Avenue. Your WP:POINT is a violation of wikipedia guidelines. Also, you are violating wikipedia guidelines by deleting external links that meet WP:EL.

Since both you, Avenue, and Hu12, don't seem to be substantively answering how those 3 links in the old external links section violate WP:EL, etc. (with some specific quotes from that guideline and others), then I guess I will have to go to WP:ANI and let them sort it out. I know I can make little headway here fighting 2 admins. I will wait a day or two before going to WP:ANI since I don't relish the chaos of WP:ANI discussions.

A better solution altogether would be to eliminate the right of unregistered users to add links to the external links sections of articles. See that suggestion of mine discussed here:

Then we wouldn't need around 300 editors signed up at the Spam Wikiproject. There would be infinitely less spam being added, and so everyone would have more time and energy to be polite to each other and spread some wikilove.

Kindness Campaign This user is a member of the Kindness Campaign.

--Timeshifter (talk) 22:52, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Part of my thinking behind that edit was to be bold. If someone objected, I assumed that my edit would be the first step in a WP:BRD cycle. I did not see it as disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, and still do not, because I feel there are good reasons for making the change I did. But I'm happy to revert my edit if that might help lower the temperature of the discussion. I don't think anyone's objected to the directory link itself (rather the deletion of the others), so I'll add that back again in due course if no one objects.
On to substantive points: I think that online charting tools are generally not a great way to produce good charts, because they don't usually give you enough control. One such link would be plenty, in my view. I had considered leaving the NCES link, but then I saw it was in the directory (called "Create a Graph"), so I removed it too. I agree we need a variety of other links, and I'll try to find some suitable ones. Thanks for linking to List of information graphics software#Plotting programs (graphing programs) above; I hadn't seen that before.
By the way, while I've been around a while, I am not an admin. -- Avenue (talk) 01:17, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for returning the NCES "Create a Graph" link and the "BARCHART Tool" link. By the way, the "Create a Graph" link is not a directory. It is the entry page to the NCES online graphing stuff. Feel free to add the DMOZ directory link you found. It is a great external link. Maybe while you're at it you can add List of information graphics software#Plotting programs (graphing programs) to the "See also" section of wikilinks. You might be surprised by the amount of control some of the online tools provide. Many more people are likely to get up to speed making charts with easy online tools than with software they have to install and figure out. And once they start using the online tools, they are more likely to want to get past the steep learning curve of the installed software in order to have even more options. The various online tools are not the same. People need the variety in order to have the control you mentioned. More options in both methods and results. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:43, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I've restored the directory link. I've also added two more on bar chart design, which in my view is more important than the mechanics of creating them. -- Avenue (talk) 04:07, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Those additional how-to pages are great. Theory and praxis are equally important in my opinion. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:17, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree with that for many subjects, but most graph users just read them, and don't create any. So I think we should emphasis how to understand bar charts (and avoid being misled by them) over details of their production. I've added another link along these lines. I think my energy would now be better spent expanding the text than arguing over the external links, so I intend to leave that section alone for a while. -- Avenue (talk) 07:24, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Most readers of this page are not going to click the external links at all. The how-to pages you link to are most useful (and likely to be read by) people wondering about the process of making charts and graphs. They may not get ever get around to actually making charts and graphs themselves with the online tools. But they may tell other interested people about the tools. As the Graphics Lab people have told others about these tools. Even if they are using charting software on their PC, they know the value of easy online tools for newbies. --Timeshifter (talk) 09:26, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Where's the table?[edit]

On 18 Jan 2009 the table of data was removed (with no comment explaining why). But the text of the article still refers to the table, which reference is confusing to the reader. Although the table of data does take up some space, I think it is helpful in explaining the chart. After all, the whole purpose of a bar chart is to visualize data. So I would propose that the table of data be restored as it existed prior to 18 Jan 2009. -- Llarq (talk) 16:49, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Histograms Issue[edit]

The content of the article seems to imply that histograms are not bar graphs. A histogram is a special type of bar graph. Unfortunately, I don't know many quotes on this; I provide one I know below. I've come across a lot of educators who falsely believe and teach that histograms are different from bar graphs "because" histograms are connected and bar graphs are not. When the histogram concerns discrete (non-continuous) data, the histogram should have breaks between its bars. If the data concerns a player's number of home runs, you could never have 3.5 or 7.2 home runs in a game. So there should be a space between the data bins.

"A histogram is a bar graph of frequencies of different numerical values within a population." Dr. Math (2002)

Thelema418 (talk) 09:31, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

There is an important difference, in that bar charts show the "original data" while histograms involve the idea of a preliminary grouping of data into "bins" and what is plotted as a bar chart is the counts or proportions corresponding to these bins. Discrete-valued data can be binned or not. Of course the example in the paper shows a case where the countries of Europe hve been grouped together (atype of binning), so that there is not neccesarily a clear distinction. One could say that histograms show counts or proportions, while bar charts can show any quantities. The article chart more or less says this, and it may be that any discussion of technical differences between types of charts should be placed there, to avoid repetition. However, it may not be good to try to be too prescriptive over terminology. Melcombe (talk) 09:57, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Currently there is an uncited matter in the terminology that I am trying to address. I'm proposing to note that a histogram is a "special type" of bar chart based on what Drexel's Dr. Math forum notes, instead of the uncited statement in the article "They [Histograms are Bar Graphs] are often mistaken for each other." From what I have read the relationship of the two is like squares to parallelograms: every square is a special type of parallelogram, but not every parallelogram is a square. In that context, saying "squares and parallelograms are mistaken for each other" would potentially mislead a reader's interpretation of the concepts. Is there a citable source that says otherwise about histograms and bar charts? Thelema418 (talk) 23:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Poorly written[edit]

The "Usage" section is poorly written, especially the last paragraph. Furthermore, the part about histograms contains odd phrasings and unfinished sentences, and the examples of types of data they can contain are not very representative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, 10 June 2015 (UTC)