May 2018 POTM: Beeswarm Plots

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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #135 by Kim_Cressman
Hi everybody! It's been a while since we've posted a Plot of the Month - you know how things can get. But here's one! It's a cool way I recently learned about to visualize the distribution of data - a beeswarm plot. Here's what it looks like:





Here it is with boxplots on top, so you can see how it's similar:




Go here for all the details:
swmpkim.github.io/beeswarm__plots/salinity_beeswarm



Spoiler alert: most of the time spent in making these is actually dealing with data import and formatting. I find that to be true for most plots that I make; data wrangling is a really good skill to develop.

I hope you enjoy it! Post below if you have questions, comments, or plots of your own to share.
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Last edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by Kim_Cressman.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #136 by Marcus Beck
Nice work Kim! I haven't heard of the beeswarm plots - more info than boxplots it seems.
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1 month 2 weeks ago #139 by Kari_Pohl
These are very neat Kim. It reminds me of a more dynamic violin plot. Thanks!
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1 month 2 weeks ago #140 by Todd.OBrien
Very nice! (I suddenly want a lava lamp on my desk.)

This would be useful for more than just salinity. For example, it could be used to detect plankton swarms (high abundance values) or instances of zero value (absent from sample, especially in seasonally present/absent taxa).

Thanks for sharing!
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1 month 2 weeks ago #141 by Kim_Cressman
Thanks guys! I forgot how awesome all your avatars are.

Todd, I'm glad you see other uses for these too! I actually found them easier to make for a non-SWMP project, probably because the data's stored differently and I forced it into long format ages ago. Would be cool to see plankton data this way, for sure.

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1 month 4 days ago #142 by skdunnigan
I love the amount of information that a boxplot provides, but they always feel so boring to me. I love that these give me that feeling of "more". Thanks, Kim! I'll replicate these in some way and be sure to share them! I like Todd's idea of using them in plankton data....hmmm. :)

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