A collection of common terms in data visualization.


Diverging Colors

Diverging Colors are used to highlight a significant break point in a single category of data.



Interactive refers to any data visualization that responds to user input to change the contents of the data visualization. Examples include web-based visualizations that change when a user clicks or hovers over certain elements, visualizations that feature animation to illustrate time, and visualizations that allow users to change the underlying data in real-time.


Qualitative Colors

Qualitative Colors are used to render categorical data, such as gender or race, that has no inherent sequential order.


Section 508

Section 508 refers to the official standards under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act that addresses access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. In the case of data visulaizations, these standards ensure that all data visualizations in documents, presentations, applications, and websites are discernable by all users.

Section 508 compliance is covered in a number of areas in the Data Visualization Standards, such as titles, colors, and labels.

Sequential Colors

Sequential colors refer to a type of color palette that is used to depict data values that can be ordered from low to high.


Static refers to any data visualization that has no interactive elements or animations. Examples include image files, PDFs, and most print-based data visualizations.


Tick mark

Tick marks are used to indicate a reference value at a given point along the x or y-axis of a chart.