Introduction to Plotting & Applications | R Programming

Introduction to Plotting & Applications | R Programming


In the present scenario, if we look around us, we seem to be surrounded by massive data. But the data available in the raw form cannot be useful in such form and hence we need to do something with this data to make it useful. Plotting is a very old technique to represent a set of given data usually by a graph. Plotting can be done on either paper or on the computer with the help of various different programs.


Sometimes with so much data given it is not possible to do the plotting on the paper by hand. That’s where computer programs come in handy. They can handle a huge amount of data with ease and plot the required graph for us. In this paper, we will be looking at one such powerful program(R) that will help us in plotting given in data in 2D as well as 3D.


Plotting, graphical representation, 2D Plots, 3D plots, analysis, simplification.


There have been equations, there have been roots, there have been complex theories, there have been derivations, there have been graphs, there have been plots. When someone says the word ‘math’ I am pretty sure these all things strike one’s mind immediately. Solving complex equations, finding roots, assessing and analyzing things has never been easy, but when the things are graphically represented or plotted, they seem to be easier to understand and analyze. Sometimes, just looking at the graphs and making conclusions is preferable, rather than going for the complex derivations.

When it comes to plotting, there are a lot of plots say 2D Plots, scatterplot, surface plot, barplot, histogram, convex plot, concave plot, 2D Plots, 4D Plots if we go dimension wise and so on, it is indeed a vast field in itself, in this term paper we will discuss basic 2D and 3D plots and why are they so important.

Plotting is the art of depicting the data set, showing the relationship between them. Various statistical techniques and methods are developed over a period of time to classify various plots in and directly concluding something meaningful from them if they are of some specific or standard type.

2D Plots: Plots wherein 2 variables are involved. They are represented on an XY plane also called a cartesian plane also called a coordinate plane, etc. The graph shows the relationship between the two variables.

3D Plots: A 3D plot is a plot wherein 3 variables are involved. They are represented on an XYZ plane. The graph shows the relationship between the 3 variables.

As already discussed, we will be plotting graphs with the help of R software. R is an open learning programing language and is widely used for statistical analysis and graphing. In R we can plot graphs in multiple variables. In R we can plot the graphs in a straightforward manner, and we can save our time in analyzing different graphs with the help of R. In this paper, we will be looking at plotting basic 2D and 3D graphs only.


As mentioned earlier, graphs come in handy in our day-to-day life as well.

Following are some examples where graphing is helpful:

  • Google maps: Google maps help us to find the shortest route from our current location to the place where we want to be. The points marked in the maps are one vertex to another and are done with the help of directed graphs.
  • Flight networks: During a flight, for the efficient route, they use graph models with the help of which the planes are able to use the shortest route in an efficient manner. Graph models save a lot of time in flights.
  • Monitor heart rate, blood sugar level, etc: Graphs can also come in very handy to monitor heart rate, cholesterol level, etc. For example, if a person has breathing problems, he can monitor his peak expiratory flow rate every day and if it goes down, he can go to the hospital. Hence, graphs are also very useful in medical science.
  • Construction work: Before any construction, knowledge of that area is very important. Graphs play a huge role here, as to study any area engineers plot different locations as a point on a graph which helps them to understand what type of construction is suitable for that given location.
  • To compare large data: Graphs can also be used to compare large data, for example, to know the population of an area and estimate future population according to the recent trend.
  • Incorporate world: The backbone or we can say the soul of any company would be its data. How any company would use its data to analyze previous things and predict future things matters a lot as it plays a major part in contributing to any firm’s growth. To do it more efficiently and effectively graphs, charts and plotting is used. Not only it is easier to present data this way but also it is easy to interpret conclusions directly from the plots provided one should have the knowledge and understandability to do so.

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