Help me create a scatterplot that isn't ugly and bad
February 27, 2011 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Better-looking scatterplot using data from an OpenOffice calc spreadsheet?

I've got over 4000 rows of data in a spreadsheet and wanted to try some different graphs to show any correlations it may have.

I opened the spreadsheet in Open Office, and tried making a scatterplot chart using two columns. But the default "plot" on the scatterplot is a 10x10 square, which is really big for the number of plots I want on the graph. And I couldn't find any way to change the size of those to something smaller.

Are there a bunch of settings in Open Office I'm missing? Or is there a different program I should use that is devoted to making graphs that could import something like a .csv file?

Ideally, I think I want tiny dots for plots, possibly with some semi-transparency, to make sure I can still visually tell very dense from extremely dense. Bonus points if I can set colours for the dots based on a category from a third column of data.
posted by RobotHero to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would recommend playing around with GGobi, which is an interactive data visualization system. You can generate scatterplots on the fly, change the parameters quickly, and use brushes to track certain cases across plots. It can read CSVs.
posted by proj at 5:03 PM on February 27, 2011

I should add that the visualization capacities of Office and its clones are notoriously bad. You can also try Tableau Public but I don't have personal experience, so I can't speak to its quality.
posted by proj at 5:04 PM on February 27, 2011

Tableau looks really nice, and I've recommended it before. GGobi is also pretty well developed. If you're interested in getting deep into data, I like this book for plotting data in R, which has excellent data manipulation and analysis capabilities.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:56 AM on February 28, 2011

Oh, another entry for "advanced R graphics" is ggplot2. I've not used it, but people tell me that I ought, and that I am a bad person for using the base graphics package.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:00 AM on February 28, 2011

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