An overview of the common types of graphs such as column graphs, bar graphs, pie graphs and line graphs. that are used in geography.
- instructs students on how to interpret common types of graphs, including column graphs, bar graphs, pie graphs and line graphs.
- demonstrates what the graphs look like, what their key features are and how to accurately read them
- explores the types of data that are best suited to each kind of graph.
Watch 'Common graphs' (2:58).
[Screen shows a blue sky with clouds. Text on the screen reads, ‘Curriculum Secondary Learners – HSIE. Teaching geographical skills series. Common graphs. Presented by Melissa Ellis.’]
A graph must include the following, a title, source, horizontal axis, vertical axis, and scale. We use many different types of graphs in geography. This video will review some of the more common graphs you will encounter or use to illustrate data and findings.
[Presenter is standing in front of a decorative background. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the text reads, ‘Melissa Ellis. HSIE Curriculum Support Project Officer.’]
Column graphs. A simple column graph is one where one or more bars are drawn vertically. This type of graph is used to show a single variable. Here, we have an example of a column graph. It shows the number of animals surveyed in woodland.
[Text on screen reads, ‘Column graph’. To the left of the text, there is an animation of a graph with 6 columns growing towards the top. The columns are at different heights and coloured in different shades of pink. The horizontal axis reads, ‘Species’, and the vertical axis reads, ‘Number 1000s’.]
When describing data in a column graph, you are describing general patterns observed. You should use specific examples and note any obvious anomalies.
[Screen shows an arrow pointing to one of the columns on the graph. Text with the arrow reads, ‘anomaly’.]
Bar graphs, also known as bar charts. A simple bar graph is one where one or more bars are drawn horizontally. These are used to compare the sizes of data between different places or objects at a single point in time. Here, we have an example of a bar graph showing plastic thrown out.
[Text on screen reads, ‘Bar graph’. To the left of the text, there is an animation of the graph with 9 bars growing towards the right. The bars are at different heights and are coloured in different shades of pink. Each bar is labelled with an item and number. The graph shows evenly spaced vertical lines, labelled with percentages ranging from 0 per cent to 16.2 per cent. Text appears on the screen that reads, ‘plastic items in ocean garbage’.]
Pie graph, or pie chart. A circular graph that is used to illustrate percentages. Pie graphs are pretty obvious to read. A bigger piece of the pie illustrates a larger percentage or portion.
[Text on screen reads, ‘Pie chart’. To the left of the text, there is an image of a circle with 10 different-sized slices. Each slice is coloured in different shades of pink. An arrow with text that reads, ‘Larger percentage’, points to a slice of the circle. This slice is labelled with the highest percentage out of all of the slices.]
We read pie graphs in a clockwise direction. 100 per cent on a pie graph is 360 degrees. When drawing a pie graph, you must convert data to degrees.
[Screen shows a dotted line gradually forming around the outside of the circle. It is travelling in a clockwise direction. The line closes at the top of the graph to form a circle. Text appears that reads, ‘360 degrees’. Each slice is labelled with the degrees of its angle.]
Line graphs. A line graph joins a series of different data points. We use line graphs in geography to show temperature, population, employment, imports, and exports.
[Text on screen reads, ‘Line graph’. To the left of the text, there is an animation of a graph where dots are appearing. These dots are joined together by a line that moves horizontally across the screen.]
Line graphs effectively show increases or decreases over time. For example, the number of tourists visiting Uluru over a 10-year period.
[Screen zooms out to show the whole graph. Text appears below the title that reads, ‘Number of tourists visiting Uluru’. Numbers from zero to 27.1 are on the vertical axis. Each dot is joined by a line and is labelled with a number.]
When we use multiple line graphs in one, you can compare measurements for two different categories over time. For example, the number of students in different year groups at your school over a 20-year period. When you see a line graph with multiple lines, you call it a multiple-line graph.
[Screen shows more dots appearing on different parts of the graph. These dots are joined by a new line. The two lines on the screen zig zag and cross each other at different parts. Text appears below the title that reads, ‘Number of students’. The title also changes to read, ‘Multiple line graph’.]
These are some common graphs used in geography. Hope this has been helpful. Happy graphing.
[Text on screen reads, ‘Acknowledgements. NSW Geography K-10 syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales 2015. See the NESA website for additional copyright information. NSW Department of Education Curriculum Secondary Learners. Southern Cross School of Distance Education.’
The screen shows an Indigenous artwork. The artwork features a landscape with native Australian animals. It is titled, ‘Our Country’ by Garry Purchase. The text at the top of the screen reads, ‘Filming of these videos has taken place on Bundjalung land.’ Video concludes by displaying the NSW Government logo.]
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