Module # 11: Minimal Line Plot
The minimal line plot shows one of the most important elemental principles of the visual display of quantitative information which is that of keeping things simple by using minimialism.
The graph above is one of the visualizations that Dr. Piwek on “Tufte in R.”
The goal of this type of graph is to remove as much of the “non-data ink” as possible. So where a typical graph would have graph lines to outline it this one does not.
As described by Tufte the ‘data-ink’ (total ink used to print the graphic) ratio should equal to ‘1 — proportion of graphic that can be erased without loss of data-information’ and the graph above does exactly this.
The simplicity of the graph allows our gaze to focus on the data points and the way they flow. We see the per capita budget expanditures in constant dollars increases since 1967 to 1972. The biggest decrease is shown as being 5%.