My question is about tags that deal with plotting, graphing, charts, visualization, etc. I know there has been some previous discussion about this - at the level of whether there should be a tag and about establishing clarity for non-visualization meanings of "graph." But, it doesn't seem like there's much coherence to the presently available tags for visualization.

What I would like to know is whether many of these tags should be made into synonyms. If so, what should the main tag(s) be? Or, do we need to preserve different tags for some reason?

Below I provide some examples. It seems like almost all of the tags are synonyms, or close to it.

General visualization tags:

  • : "A graphical technique for presenting a data set or an equation." with synonym
  • : "A sheet of information in the form of a table, graph, or diagram." with synonyms , , and
  • : no wiki, no synonyms
  • : "Graphics are visual presentations. There are many types of graphics, for example, photographs, drawings, line art, graphs, and charts. Computer graphics primarily consist of bitmap and vector graphics.", with synonym
  • : "A diagram is a two-dimensional geometric symbolic representation of information according to some visualization technique.", no synonyms
  • : "Diagramming is a process used to create and edit diagrams. Software diagramming functions provide a user interface facility to create and edit diagrams graphically.", no synonyms
  • : "Visualization is any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message.", with synonym
  • : "Data visualization is the study of the visual representation of data. Maps and charts are common types of data visualization, but there are many more.", no synonyms

EDIT: Tags that have been clarified:

  • , "A container for images, plots or other graphical elements with some optional meta-information.", no synonyms

There are also lots of tags for specific types of plots, but these seem to make sense as separate tags, like (, , , , , ).

There are also lots of tags for specific packages/libraries that are graphing-related, but these also seem to make sense (like , , , , etc.).

So, ultimately, my question is: how should we deal with general tags for plotting, charting, graphing, visualization, etc. that aren't about either specific types of plots or specific packages for plotting? My instinct is to merge all of these into but maybe I'm missing something.

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    I definitely wouldn't merge all of them. Maybe plot and figure could be merged, possibly graphing or charts as well, but that's about it I think. – joran Jul 23 '13 at 20:03
  • @joran Could you say more on your logic? I don't feel strongly about this, but the current wiki excerpts are highly ambiguous and overlapping, so it's not obvious to me why a lot of these are separate tags. – Thomas Jul 23 '13 at 20:05
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    Well, for one, look at the actual questions tagged with diagram. They have nothing to do with plotting, by and large. – joran Jul 23 '13 at 20:06
  • @joran If so, then its current description is inappropriate. Again, if they're all separate tags, that's fine, but it should be clear why someone should use one versus another. – Thomas Jul 23 '13 at 20:08
  • Combining plot, charts, figure and graphing seems as least plausible, given how they're being used. Graphics seems enough different to me to keep separate. At first I thought combining visualization and data-visualization would make sense, but then I started looking at the questions and I'm not so sure. I dunno...this seems complicated. – joran Jul 23 '13 at 20:17
  • @joran I agree! That's why I posted a question about it. – Thomas Jul 23 '13 at 20:18

About [figure]

I agree that those terms have overlapping definitions and are probably used as synonymos by many people. I'm sure if we restrict the meaning of any of those terms there will be questions that don't match the definition.

Even so I'd vote to leave alone.

Notice how the oldest questions are basically for LaTeX and Matlab?

That is because in both contexts, the term figure has a specific meaning. For example in Matlab:

"A figure is a MATLAB window that contains graphic displays (usually data plots) and UI components."

A figure in LaTeX is an environment to encapsulate something that must be treated as a unit and can contain an image, graph or other elements. This is not unlike the <figure> element in HTML5.

I think those particular definitions are similar enough to be considered into a single tag and I've proposed a corresponding wiki.

| improve this answer | |
  • I like your tag wiki update. Now just to sort out the rest of these. – Thomas Jul 24 '13 at 5:09
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    Go figure! – Old Checkmark Jul 24 '13 at 6:09
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    Ok! In the next days I'll be cleaning the tag from questions with other meanings of figure. – madth3 Jul 24 '13 at 7:47
  • Can I suggest retagging them plot, where appropriate? – Thomas Jul 24 '13 at 8:37

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