For information about charts in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Graphs and charts. A pie forex candlestick statistics showing the composition of the 38th Parliament of Canada.
A chart is a graphical representation of data, in which “the data is represented by symbols, such as bars in a bar chart, lines in a line chart, or slices in a pie chart”. A data chart is a type of diagram or graph, that organizes and represents a set of numerical or qualitative data. Other domain specific constructs are sometimes called charts, such as the chord chart in music notation or a record chart for album popularity. Charts are often used to ease understanding of large quantities of data and the relationships between parts of the data.
Charts can usually be read more quickly than the raw data. A chart can take a large variety of forms, however there are common features that provide the chart with its ability to extract meaning from data. Typically the data in a chart is represented graphically, since humans are generally able to infer meaning from pictures quicker than from text. Text is generally used only to annotate the data. One of the most important uses of text in a graph is the title. A graph’s title usually appears above the main graphic and provides a succinct description of what the data in the graph refers to.
Dimensions in the data are often displayed on axes. If a horizontal and a vertical axis are used, they are usually referred to as the x-axis and y-axis respectively. Each axis will have a scale, denoted by periodic graduations and usually accompanied by numerical or categorical indications. Each axis will typically also have a label displayed outside or beside it, briefly describing the dimension represented. Within the graph a grid of lines may appear to aid in the visual alignment of data. The grid can be enhanced by visually emphasizing the lines at regular or significant graduations. The emphasized lines are then called major grid lines and the remainder are minor grid lines.
The data of a chart can appear in all manner of formats, and may include individual textual labels describing the datum associated with the indicated position in the chart. The data may appear as dots or shapes, connected or unconnected, and in any combination of colors and patterns. Inferences or points of interest can be overlaid directly on the graph to further aid information extraction. A legend contains a list of the variables appearing in the chart and an example of their appearance. This information allows the data from each variable to be identified in the chart. A bar chart is a chart with rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values that they represent. The bars can be plotted vertically or horizontally.