Area charts are used to show cumulative totals, typically over time. While they are graphically identical to line charts, the filled in area is used to illustrate a volume. Stacked area charts are particularly interesting to demonstrate how much each part contributes to a cumulative total.
By overlapping totals, we can see differences in between distinct, but possibly related totals. This aspect is by default for area charts.
Sometimes values are more of a set value, rather than a “progressive” change that area charts tend to display. For instance, the price of fuel at a gas station does not change by the minute, but more than likely per day. A stepped area chart will highlight these dramatic changes more clearly.
While a single line chart can illustrate a total sales figure, a stacked area chart can illustrate a detailed view of each product that was sold during the time period.
For datasets where you want to see the distribution as a percentage, stacked 100% charts show the distribution of a whole over time. Think of each data point as a pie chart, with the extra dimension of time.
Area charts have a variety of different styles and configurations. Some change the aestetics, and others change the visualization's meanings. Click on each configuration to find out more
Ready to create your own Area Charts? Head over to the docs pages.