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Statistics LibreTexts

8.3: 3D Plots

[ "article:topic", "3D plots", "authorname:laned" ]
  • Page ID
    2126
  • Skills to Develop

    • Describe a \(3D\) Plot
    • Give an example of the value of a \(3D\) plot

    Just as two-dimensional scatter plots show the data in two dimensions, \(3D\) plots show data in three dimensions. Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\) shows a \(3D\) scatter plot of the fat, non-sugar carbohydrates, and calories from a variety of cereal types.

    cereal3D.jpg

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): A \(3D\) scatter plot showing fat, non-sugar carbohydrates, and calories from a variety of cereal types

    Many statistical packages allow you to rotate the axes interactively to view the data from a different vantage point. Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\) is an example.

    cereal3D2.jpg

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): An alternative \(3D\) scatter plot showing fat, non-sugar carbohydrates, and calories

    A fourth dimension can be represented as long as it is represented as a nominal variable. Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\) represents the different manufacturers by using different colors.

    cereal3D3.jpg

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): The different manufacturers are color coded

    Interactively rotating \(3D\) plots can sometimes reveal aspects of the data not otherwise apparent. Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\) shows data from a pseudo random number generator. Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\) does not show anything systematic and the random number generator appears to generate data with properties similar to those of true random numbers.

    randu1.jpg.png

    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): A \(3D\) scatter plot showing \(400\) values of \(X\), \(Y\), and \(Z\) from a pseudo random number generator

    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\) shows a different perspective on these data. Clearly they were not generated by a random process.

    randu2.jog.png

    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\): A different perspective on the \(3D\) scatter plot showing \(400\) values of \(X\), \(Y\), and \(Z\) from a pseudo random number generator. 

    Figures \(\PageIndex{4}\) and \(\PageIndex{5}\) are reproduced with permission from R snippets by Bogumil Kaminski.

    Contributor

    • Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study (http://onlinestatbook.com/). Project Leader: David M. Lane, Rice University.