Geography Fieldwork

A Level

Data presentation

1. Graphs

Your findings can be presented with a range of graphical and mapping techniques. You should be able to justify each one.

Bar chart

  • Nominal data.
  • Categories on x-axis.
  • Bar height represents frequency.
  • Leave gaps between bars as data are discontinuous.

There are many variations on the basic bar chart, such as divided bar chart, percentage bar chart and bi-polar analysis bar chart.

Histogram

  • Interval or ratio data.
  • Bar area shows frequency.
  • Bars are not necessarily of equal width.
  • No gaps between bars as data are continuous.
Example of a histogram. Size of clasts in two glacial deposits.
Example of a histogram. Size of clasts in two glacial deposits.

Pie chart

  • Nominal or ordinal data.
  • Area of circle segment represents proportion.
  • Multiple pie charts can be used with the radius of the circle having meaning.

Line graph

  • Ordinal, interval or ratio data.
  • Both axes are numerical.
  • If time is one of the variables, always plot it on the x-axis.
  • Only join up the points if the data are continuous.
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Scattergraph

  • This needs one independent variable (on x-axis) and one dependent variable (on y-axis).
  • Both axes need interval or ratio data, and both must be continuous data.
  • Do not join up each point, but use a line of best fit instead.
Example of a scattergraph: peat depth and vegetation cover.
Example of a scattergraph: peat depth and vegetation cover.