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A sparkline is a very small line chart, typically drawn without axes or coordinates. Sparklines are small edward tufte the visual display of quantitative...

A sparkline is a very small line chart, typically drawn without axes or coordinates. Sparklines are small edward tufte the visual display of quantitative information pdf to be embedded in text, or several sparklines may be grouped together as elements of a small multiple.


Whereas the typical chart is designed to show as much data as possible, and is set off from the flow of text, sparklines are intended to be succinct, memorable, and located where they are discussed. This is a 1999 screenshot of an implementation of sparklines developed around January 1998. The product was later sold to E-Trade.

This is believed to be the earliest known implementation of sparklines. In 1983, Edward Tufte had formally documented a graphical style, then called “intense continuous time-series”, encouraging extreme compaction of visual information. In 2006, the term sparkline itself was introduced by Edward Tufte for “small, high resolution graphics embedded in a context of words, numbers, images”.

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