Actually, there are two tags for questions that are related (to some extent) to data visualization: data-visualization (44) and graphical-techniques (37). What's the difference, if any?

Maybe there are some subtle differences between them that I cannot grasp actually. From what has been posted so far, my understanding is as follows: data visualization has to do with "how to display data" (broadly speaking) and "what can I use to display my data" (more of a software issue), whereas graphical techniques is perhaps more related to "how may I provide a visual explanation of my data structure".

I am asking that question because I often feel confused when trying to retag some questions.

Any ideas or thoughts on that?


If there's a distinction it's not clear to me either, so i'd vote to merge them (or make one a synonym for the other, or do a batch rename, or whatever the appropriate terminology / process is).

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds fine to me $\endgroup$ – Rob Hyndman Dec 7 '10 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ Works for me too. We can merge them once this question has been accepted. $\endgroup$ – Shane Dec 8 '10 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ Batch rename followed by synonym creation. $\endgroup$ – csgillespie Dec 8 '10 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ This suggestion looks fine to me too (I also appreciated @Matt's comment). $\endgroup$ – chl Dec 8 '10 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ I set up the merge operation. It should be finished at some point later (it must be a batch process). $\endgroup$ – Shane Dec 9 '10 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ I've added the synonyms [graphical-techniques,plot,plotting]->[data-visualization] $\endgroup$ – Rob Hyndman Dec 9 '10 at 23:04

I also don't see the distinction in those questions. graphical-techniques just makes me think of graphical models (for which we do have a tag), so perhaps removing it and having only data-visualization would be best.

The only disadvantage of that is that when people have questions about plots, they're likely to try to tag it by typing "plot" or "graph" and hoping for an auto-complete; data-visualization won't be of much use there. Now, if we could get "plot" and "graph" to autocomplete to data-visualization, we'd be set.

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    $\begingroup$ I think tag synonyms will still appear in autocomplete. So if we make graphical-techniques -> data-visualization that should take care of the graph... autocomplete. Perhaps we also need plotting-methods as a synonym for data-visualization. $\endgroup$ – Rob Hyndman Dec 7 '10 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent - that's good to know. $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Dec 8 '10 at 0:46

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