The Grammar of Graphics

  • Leland Wilkinson

Part of the Statistics and Computing book series (SCO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Pages 1-19
  3. Syntax

    1. Pages 23-40
    2. Pages 41-54
    3. Pages 55-61
    4. Pages 63-83
    5. Pages 85-109
    6. Pages 111-154
    7. Pages 155-178
    8. Pages 179-254
    9. Pages 255-318
    10. Pages 319-345
    11. Pages 347-356
  4. Semantics

    1. Pages 359-405
    2. Pages 407-449
    3. Pages 451-488
    4. Pages 489-533
    5. Pages 535-577
    6. Pages 579-609
    7. Pages 611-622
    8. Pages 623-634
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 635-690

About this book


This book was written for statisticians, computer scientists, geographers, researchers, and others interested in visualizing data. It presents a unique foundation for producing almost every quantitative graphic found in scientific journals, newspapers, statistical packages, and data visualization systems. While the tangible results of this work have been several visualization software libraries, this book focuses on the deep structures involved in producing quantitative graphics from data. What are the rules that underlie the production of pie charts, bar charts, scatterplots, function plots, maps, mosaics, and radar charts? Those less interested in the theoretical and mathematical foundations can still get a sense of the richness and structure of the system by examining the numerous and often unique color graphics it can produce. The second edition is almost twice the size of the original, with six new chapters and substantial revision. Much of the added material makes this book suitable for survey courses in visualization and statistical graphics.

From reviews of the first edition:

"Destined to become a landmark in statistical graphics, this book provides a formal description of graphics, particularly static graphics, playing much the same role for graphics as probability theory played for statistics."

Journal of the American Statistical Association

"Wilkinson’s careful scholarship shows around every corner. This is a tour de force of the highest order."


"All geography and map libraries should add this book to their collections; the serious scholar of quantitative data graphics will place this book on the same shelf with those by Edward Tufte, and volumes by Cleveland, Bertin, Monmonier, MacEachren, among others, and continue the unending task of proselytizing for the best in statistical data presentation by example and through scholarship like that of Leland Wilkinson."

Cartographic Perspectives

"In summary, this is certainly a remarkable book and a new ambitious step for the development and application of statistical graphics."

Computational Statistics and Data Analysis

About the author:

Leland Wilkinson is Senior VP, SPSS Inc. and Adjunct Professor of Statistics at Northwestern University. He is also affiliated with the Computer Science department at The University of Illinois at Chicago. He wrote the SYSTAT statistical package and founded SYSTAT Inc. in 1984. Wilkinson joined SPSS in a 1994 acquisition and now works on research and development of visual analytics and statistics. He is a Fellow of the ASA. In addition to journal articles and the original SYSTAT computer program and manuals, Wilkinson is the author (with Grant Blank and Chris Gruber) of Desktop Data Analysis with SYSTAT.




Data Visualization geometry presentation statistical software visualization

Authors and affiliations

  • Leland Wilkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.SPSS Inc.ChicagoUSA

Bibliographic information