Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu


  • Hans HinterbergerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1375


Diagram; Graph; Information graphic; Map


A chart is an instrument to consolidate and display information.

The term is applied to virtually any graphic that displays information, be it a map used for navigation, a plan for military operations, a musical arrangement, barometric pressure, genealogical data, and even lists of tunes that are most popular at a given time.

Definitions of specialized charts typically include the graphical method on which the chart is based (e.g., bar chart) and or its application area (e.g., CPM chart), but it does not specify design principles. Tufte [2] introduces the notion of “chartjunk” and defines it to be that part of the chart which functions only as decoration, all of which is considered to redundant data ink.

Sometimes charts are reduced to refer to maps and diagrams, excluding graphs and tables.

Key Points

Because charts are used for different purposes, there exist almost as many different types of charts as there are...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Harris RL. Information graphics: a comprehensive illustrated reference. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1999.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tufte ER. The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire: Graphics Press; 1983.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hans Hinterberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Inst. of Scientific ComputingETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland