1. Search and select the dataset you are looking for, by following the process depicted in "How to use this site"

2. Once you are on the dataset preview page, select "Visualize" icon located on the top right. This will take you to the plot.ly visualization page.


3. If you wish to perform any data manipulation (i.e., merging, filtering, aggregating, etc.,) select the Edit Query icon located on the top right corner of the visualization page. Clicking the Edit Query icon will expand an open text field to input your query. By default, the dataset you selected will be presented in the query.

edit query


4. Type the SQL query that suits your requirements. (New to SQL? Here are some examples for selecting, joining, aggregating, and filtering functions). 



Query examples are also available on all local dataset detail pages: 

query example


5. Once you type the query, click the "Submit" button. Aspinner symbol indicates that the query is in progress.

query running


You will then be alerted when the query is successfully executed.

queryp complete


6. Select "Trace" icon. This will present drop down options to select the chart type and data fields applicable for the type. (Need help with data requirements for different chart types? Please refer to these materials from Plot.ly)



7. Select a chart type. (If you would like to build multiple charts for the same query, you can do so by adding multiple traces)

trace type


8. Once a chart type is selected, you will be prompted to select the data fields to create the chart.



9. After a Trace (chart) is created, you will have the options to modify the structure of the charts, add annotations and stylings to the chart. These features can be applied by selecting the respective icons present on the left of the Trace window.


10. You can bring your graphing and data analysis to the next level with zoom, pan, and hover controls. Need help on how to use these controls? Please refer to this help page from plot.ly.



11. Once your visualization is complete, you can click this icon camera on the plot to download the visualization as a PNG image


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are there any limitations to the number of records imported into plot.ly for visualizations?

A. Plot.ly accepts a maximum of 20,000 records. We recommend aggregation of data elements to mitigate the record limitation issues. Here are some examples on how to aggregate.

Q. Can string values be color coded?

A. Value based coloring is not supported by this visualization tool.

Q. What data formats can I visualize?

A. CSV, JSON, and GeoJSON formats are accepted currently.

Q. Can I save the visualization?

A. Currently, you can save the visualization you created as a PNG image using the camera icon. download

Q. Can I share the visualization?

A.Currently, you can export the visualization as a PNG image. Ability to save and share charts is a user feature expected to be available in the future.

Q. Does the trace(s) update every time I apply a new query?


Q. Can I create multiple traces for multiple queries at the same time?

A.Multiple traces cannot be created for multiple queries at the same time. However, multiple traces can be created from a single query.

Q. When I update my query, will my traces get updated automatically?

A.Once a query is executed, all traces created will using the data only from that query. When a new query is applied, you will need to update the traces to reflect the data from new query.

Q. Can I create ploy.ly charts of publication level using programming languages?

A.You can build publication quality charts in plot.ly using various programming languages including JavaScript, Python, and R. References hyperlinks present examples of 20 chart types including, but not limited to line plots, scatter plots, area charts, bar charts, error bars, box plots, histograms, heatmaps, subplots, multiple-axes, and 3D (WebGL based) charts.