Dotplot
What is a Dotplot?
Short Version: A dot plot is just a bar chart that uses dots to represent individual quanta.
Long Version: A Dot Plot, also called a dot chart or strip plot, is a type of simple histogramlike chart used in statistics for relatively small data sets where values fall into a number of discrete bins (categories). A dot plot is similar to a bar graph because the height of each “bar” of dots is equal to the number of items in a particular category. To draw one, count the number of data points falling in each bin (What is a BIN in statistics?) and draw a stack of dots that number high for each bin.
Create dotplots with the dotchart(x, labels=)
function, where x is a numeric vector and labels is a vector of labels for each point. You can add a groups=
option to designate a factor specifying how the elements of x are grouped. If so, the option gcolor=
controls the color of the groups label. cex controls the size of the labels.
Example with mtcars:
Not grouped and colored at all, sorted by mpg:
data(mtcars) #loading mtcars
dotchart(mtcars$mpg,labels=row.names(mtcars),cex=.7,
main="Gas Milage for Car Models",
xlab="Miles Per Gallon")
Dotplot by gears
Grouped, Sorted and Colored, sort by mpg, group and color by gears:
x < mtcars[order(mtcars$mpg),] # sort by mpg
x$gear < factor(x$gear) # it must be a factor
x$color_gear[x$gear==3] < "red"
x$color_gear[x$gear==4] < "blue"
x$color_gear[x$gear==5] < "darkgreen"
dotchart(x$mpg,labels=row.names(x),cex=.7,groups= x$gear,
main="Gas Milage for Car Models\ngrouped by gear",
xlab="Miles Per Gallon", gcolor="black", color=x$color)
Dotplot by cylinder
Grouped, Sorted and Colored, sort by mpg, group and color by cylinders:
x < mtcars[order(mtcars$mpg),] # sort by mpg
x$cyl < factor(x$cyl) # must be a factor
x$color_cyl[x$cyl==4] < "red" # setting red for 4 cylinder
x$color_cyl[x$cyl==6] < "blue" #setting blue for 6 cylinder
x$color_cyl[x$cyl==8] < "darkgreen" # setting green for 8 cylinder
dotchart(x$mpg,labels=row.names(x),cex=.7,groups= x$cyl,
main="Gas Milage for Car Models\ngrouped by cylinder",
xlab="Miles Per Gallon", gcolor="black", color=x$color)
Difference between Dotplot and Scatterplot:

A dot plot is just a bar chart that uses dots to represent individual quanta. So if you wanted to plot the number of pets per household, you might have 10 households with 0 pets, 20 with 1 pet, 12 with 2 pets, etc. Over zero, you’d draw 10 dots; over one, you’d draw 20 dots, etc. In the example below shows which car type can drive how much miles per gallon.

Scatterplots are used to determine the strength of a relationship between two numerical variables. The Xaxis represents the independent variable and the Yaxis the dependent variable. For example, if you measure a cars horsepower and miles per gallon, you could create a scatter plot where one axis represented horsepower and one represented miles per gallon. Each point on a scatter plot represents one car.