The Data Visualisation Catalogue

Page top Previous Homepage Next

Nightingale Rose Chart

nightingale rose chart


Also known as a Coxcomb Chart, Polar Area Diagram.

This chart was famously used by statistician and medical reformer, Florence Nightingale to communicate the avoidable deaths of soldiers during the Crimean war.

Nightingale Rose Charts are drawn on a polar coordinate grid. Each category or interval in the data is divided into equal segments on this radial chart. How far each segment extends from the centre of the polar axis depends on the value it represents. So each ring from the centre of the polar grid can be used as a scale to plot the segment size and represent a higher value.

The major flaw with Nightingale Rose Charts is that the outer segments are emphasised more because of their larger area size, which disproportionately represents any value increases.


Data over time


nightingale rose chart

Check out our fast-paced, data visualisation-themed card game:

box plot

Merchandise & other related dataviz products can be found at the store.

nightingale rose chart