Farshadoo > Information Center > Tutorials

Charts and Graphs: Types and drawing tools

Charts, Graphs or Diagrams are graphical representation of information. Sometimes a graphical representation conveys more information in less time. Information can be both data and processes. Also they can better organize data.

In this article we try to give a general overview about some of famous diagram types (but not all of them of course). Also we try to give some online resources for each chart type and name 2 of best software tools available to draw each diagram type.

Here is a table of well-known graphs, charts or diagrams:

1- Flowcharts

flowchart sample Description:

Flowcharts are one most famous diagram types used to show processes or computer algorithms.

Online resources:

To learn more about flowchart diagrams visit Flowchart Diagrams : Detailed Tutorial

2 of best drawing tools:

Diagram Ring , Microsoft visio

2- Concept maps

Concept map sample Description:

A concept map is a diagram to show relationship between ideas, images or words (i.e. concepts). It is used to organize knowledge in a hierarchy (usually from top to down).

Online resources:

To learn more about concept maps visit Concept map in Wikipedia

2 of best drawing tools:

Edraw , VUE

3- Mind maps

Mind map sample Description:

Mind maps are similar to concept maps but they focus just on one word or concept. It usually has the main idea on the center where other concepts are organized in a radial hierarchy around the center idea.

Online resources:

To learn more about mind maps visit Mind map in Wikipedia and Concept maps vs. mind maps

2 of best drawing tools:

FreeMind , SmartDraw

4- Organizational charts

Organizational chart sample Description:

An organizational chart shows hierarchical structure of an organization and relationship between members and their rank.

Online resources:

To learn more about organizational charts visit Create an organization chart

2 of best drawing tools:

SmartDraw , Microsoft visio

5- Pie charts

Pie chart sample Description:

One of most used and most criticized statistical charts. It shows data as slices of a circle (pie) where area or angle of each slice is proportional to the value of that slice. It is criticized for difficulty in comparing items using area or angel. Variants are Exploded pie chart, Polar area diagram, Spie chart, Ring chart, 3D pie chart and Doughnut chart.

Online resources:

To learn more about pie charts visit Excel Pie Chart / Pie Graph Tutorial

2 of best drawing tools:

Microsoft Excel , Diagram Ring

6- Bar charts

Bar chart sample Description:

A bar chart or column chart is a chart where each item is shown as a vertical bar with a length proportional to the value of item.

Online resources:

To learn more about bar charts visit Excel Column Chart Step by Step Tutorial

2 of best drawing tools:

Microsoft Excel , Diagram Ring

7- Line charts

Bar chart sample Description:

A line chart or a line graph is a chart where data points are connected using straight lines. A line chart may use multiple lines to represent multiple sets of data.

Online resources:

To learn more about line charts visit Excel Line Graph Tutorial

2 of best drawing tools:

Microsoft Excel , chartgo

8- Tree maps

Tree map sample Description:

Tree maps are space efficient way to show hierarchical data using nested rectangles.

Online resources:

To learn more about tree maps visit Treemapping in Wikipedia

2 of best drawing tools:

Microsoft treemapper add-in for excel , Treemap

9- Venn diagram

Venn diagram sample Description:

Venn diagrams are used to show relationship between sets. Each set is shown using a circle that may overlap with other set’s circles.

Online resources:

To learn more about venn diagrams visit Venn diagram

2 of best drawing tools:

gliffy , Creately

10- Circuit diagrams

Circuit diagram sample Description:

A circuit diagram is a graphical representation of an electronic circuit where each component is shown using a simplified image or a standard symbol for that component and lines are used to show wiring between components.

Online resources:

To learn more about circuit diagrams visit Circuit diagram in Wikipedia

2 of best drawing tools:

PSpice , TinyCad

11- Network diagrams

Network diagram sample Description:

A network diagram is a way to show the connections between nodes of a computer network or telecommunication network.

Online resources:

To learn more about network diagrams visit Computer network diagram in Wikipedia

2 of best drawing tools:

gliffy , SmartDraw

12- UML diagrams

UML diagrams sample Description:

UML is a set of standard diagrams used in software engineering. Most famous diagrams in UML are: Class diagrams, Use Case diagrams, Sequence diagrams, Activity diagrams, Package diagram.

Online resources:

To learn more about UML diagrams visit UML 2 Tutorial or read UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition)

2 of best drawing tools:

Enterprise Architect , Diagram Ring

13- Entity Relationship Diagrams

ERD sample Description:

ERD or Entity Relationship Diagram is an abstract way to document relationship between data entities and their attributes in a database.

Online resources:

To learn more about entity relationship diagrams visit Entity-Relationship Diagrams (ERD)

2 of best drawing tools:

Diagram Ring , gliffy

14- Gantt charts

Gantt chart sample Description:

Gantt charts are used to show project schedule. It shows starts and end of each activity.

Online resources:

To learn more about gantt charts visit Gantt Chart Example

2 of best drawing tools:

Microsoft Project , Edraw

15- PERT charts

PERT chart sample Description:

PERT is abbreviation of Program Evaluation and Review Technique. It is used to simplify planning and scheduling of large and complex projects.

Online resources:

To learn more about PERT charts visit PERT chart

2 of best drawing tools:

Microsoft visio , OpenProj

Some of chart samples in this article are from Wikipedia and are either licensed public domain or Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

If you have any comments about this article please contact us at farshadoo.com/contact.php





Home      Products      Tutorials      Downloads

Support      About








Copyright © 2010-2013 Farshad Barahimi