USGS Data Grapher Tutorial - Adjusting Your Graph

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Detailed Description

This is a data graphing utility that allows the user to build graphs of data from selected USGS stations.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:51

Location Taken: Portland, OR, US


Kind: captions
Language: en

Adjusting a Graph. Once you have
generated your graph,

you have a variety of options where to
go next.

First you can download the data that you
used to create the graph

by selecting here. This allows you to
import the data directly

into a spreadsheet or database package where you can do your own custom manipulation.

Another option is to download the actual
graphic as

shown on the screen. You can choose one
of seven different vector

or raster formats, including Windows

jpeg, PDF, or postscript file.

Lastly, if you do not like how the data
was plotted,

you can adjust the displayed graph with a
number of different options.

For example, here is a graph of monthly water temperature data

for the Tualatin River. Say you want to refine

time period to a two week period during
the middle of the month.

You can change the beginning and ending
dates here.

You can also focus and refine the axis limits

or scale by adjusting the Minimum and
Maximum values.

When working with multiple site XY plots

or more than one parameter in a time-series plot,

a similar functionality is offered to
adjust the axis limits for

each parameter. The graph type that
supplies the most user options

is the color map. Similar to XY or

time-series plots, color map plots offer
user-friendly controls

for scale limits and time period. However,
unlike the other basic plot types,

the color maps also allow you to adjust
and customize the color scheme.

For example, take this graph illustrates
water temperature

for the Tualatin River during the year 2001.
The color scheme

is the default option of "blue to dark
red, with 18 steps."

You can alter the scheme by choosing
any one at the 12 different options,

including the two custom layouts. Let's
see how things look with a tighter color

scheme of only 12 steps.

With this new color scheme it is easy to

two periods of elevated water
temperature in the Tualatin River:

once in early July

and again in early August. Let's focus our
timeframe on that period.

Using the begin and eight feature adjust
the time period of interest

to June through August 2001 you can now
see specific dates

and times during those periods when the
water temperature was rather warm

in the Tualatin River. Take some time and
experiment with the different features.

Adjust the graphic size to match your page size. Change the color scale

limits so that each plot shows the same
color for the same temperature.

Or, adjust the scale type to see how
colors are stretched differently

using different methods. Color maps are
powerful visualization tools

that can help show patterns in the data
that might be missed

by looking only at the numbers.