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Background

In a data graphic, there is a mapping (or correspondence) from properties of the data to visual properties in the graphic. The data properties are typically numerical or categorical values, while the visual properties include the x and y positions of points, colors of lines, heights of bars, and so on. A data visualization that didn’t map the data to visual properties wouldn’t be a data visualization. On the surface, representing a number with an x coordinate may seem very different from representing a number with a color of a point, but at an abstract level, they are the same. Everyone who has made data graphics has at least an implicit understanding of this. For most of us, that’s where our understanding remains.


  

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