# Bar Graph

A bar graph is a graph that uses bars to compare data, as if each bar were a ruler being used to measure the data.

A bar graph is a common way to present information in a visual format. So in a bar graph, you have a y axis, which is this line right here, the vertical line is the y axis, and an x axis is this line right here, the horizontal axis. So a bar graph shows the relationship between x axis and the y axis. So here we’re looking at basketball players and their heights. So here we have the players, and here we have their heights on the left in feet. So to make this graph complete so that we can start graphing the heights of these players, we first need to label the y and x axis. So over here we have height in feet because we don’t have these units labelled right here, these could be meters, centimeters, but in this case it’s feet, height in feet. And then over here we have players. Even though that’s pretty obvious, we still need to label each axis. So right here this is the name of x axis, the players, and then we get more specific when we get closer to the x axis. Same thing here, vertically we have height in feet, and then we go over here and we have specifically the different heights. So now we need a name for this graph. And the great thing about a title or a name for a graph is that a reader can quickly look at the graph and determine its content. So here we’re going to name this Players’ Heights. Because what we have here is a representation of the heights of the different players. Finally, we need to take the information we have right here and put it in this graph. Because although we have the heights of the different players, we want to put it in a graph format because that provides a visual way for someone to understand this information. So for Player A, we see that person is 7 feet tall. So we’re going to go over to Player A, and we’re going to go up to 7 feet, and we’re going to draw a line right there and come down like this. And this is why it’s called a bar graph because it’s a bar. Now B is 6.7 feet, so we go over to Player B, and we notice that 6.7 isn’t actually labelled anywhere on here, so we’re just going to guess that 6.7 is about right there, a little bit higher than 6.5 and again we’re going to draw a bar. And Player C is 5.9 feet, again that’s not specifically on here, but we’re going to go just below the 6 foot mark, come down, have our third bar. Then our fourth and final player, Player D is 6.3 feet, so we’re going to go a little over halfway between 6 and 6.5, and get right there. Now you may be familiar with a line graph where there’s points like this, and there’s lines connecting the dots, it looks like that. Well that shows over time how something rises or changes or remains constant. Here we’re not looking at really how something’s progressing over time, we’re just looking at each player and their height, and it also provides a great way to compare the different players’ height. Because right here you’re kind of wondering, ok how do these players’ heights relate to each other, well right here you can kind of visualize each bar right here and how much taller the players are than each other. So you can realize that the difference between Player B and Player D is smaller than the difference between Player A and Player C. And although you may be thinking oh that’s obvious from the information right here, it’s much easier to visualize right here in a bar graph.

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Last updated: 12/18/2017

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