---
title: "An Introduction to the Graph Command"
author: "Doug Hemken"
date: "January 2017"
output:
html_document:
includes:
before_body: ../../Rmd/topKBprod.html
after_body: ../../Rmd/bottomKBprod.html
in_header: ../../Rmd/headKBprod.html
css: ../../Rmd/Rmd.css
self_contained: no
theme: null
highlight: null
toc: yes
---
```{r setup, echo=FALSE, message=FALSE}
source("../StataMDsetup.r")
opts_chunk$set(results="hide")
```
# Introduction
Producing statistical graphs in Stata revolves around the `graph` commands.
Type `help graph` in Stata to see a quick overview of these commands.
In
order to draw any graph in Stata you need to specify three things: what graphical
elements you want to use in your graph, how these elements will be related to
your data, and what kind of scales will be used to position them on the page.
I\'ve stated this abstractly, but in practice this is actually pretty easy
- you pick the appropriate `graph` command and specify the appropriate variable
names. Typical examples might look like
```
graph bar var
graph twoway scatter yvar xvar
graph box zvar
```
While there are many other features of graphs that we might want to specify or
customize, these three concepts are what it takes to get started - graphical
element, data, scale (level of measurement).
Everything else about a graph has some default value that we can
come back and consider later.
## Graphical Elements
At a basic level these are just things like points, line segments, or bounded areas (like polygons). More complicated graphical objects can be constructed
out of these basic elements. Stata\'s `graph` command will make it easy to
specify simple elements as well as treating more complicated objects as
fundamental - objects like histograms and boxplots.
## Link to Data
The graphs we will consider in Stata are all two-dimensional
representations of data.
Sometimes elements like points are just positioned in the graph by Cartesian
coordinates given by the data values themselves, but other times a point
might be given its position by some summary of the data like a group mean. So
it can be useful to distinguish between the data set, and the graph-data set.
For things like simple scatter plots, these will be one-and-the-same.
## Scales (Level of Measurement)
In order to position graphical elements on a page or screen we need some sort
of coordinate system. This mainly means Cartesian coordinates. However,
Stata will also allow us to distinguish between continuous (Cartesian) scales
and categorical scales. Again, this sounds a little abstract, but in
practice it is pretty easy.
## Some Examples
All of this will be a little more concrete if we look at some examples. We\'ll
start by setting up a familiar data set, `auto`.
```{r data-setup, collectcode=TRUE}
sysuse auto, clear
* Create a categorical variable
generate maker = substr(make, 1, strpos(make, " ")-1)
replace maker = make if strpos(make, " ")==0
label variable maker "Manufacturer"
```
Consider two graphs. Both use points (dots) as graphical
elements to visually represent the data.
```{r points}
graph twoway scatter price weight
* scatter price weight // abbreviated version
graph export "GraphCommand/scatter.png", replace
graph dot price, over(maker)
graph export "GraphCommand/dot.png", replace
```
![Scatter plot](GraphCommand/scatter.png)
Here the graphical elements are the points. The position of each point
is determined by a pair of data values, the car weight value and the car
price value.
These data values are used \"as is\", as they occur in the data set,
untransformed. The number of points is (in principle) the same as the
number of observations. Both the x- and the y-values are plotted along
continuous scales.
![Dot plot](GraphCommand/dot.png)
In this second graph, the graphical elements are again points. However the
vertical position of each point is given by a distinct category, the car
maker. The
horizontal position of each point is given by a summary statistic,
the mean of the prices
of cars from a given maker. The number of points is the number of car
makers, *not* the number of observations. The x-values are on a
continuous scale, while the y-values are on a categorical scale (as
we will see later, Stata
switches the \"x-\" and \"y-\" nomenclature).
In order to plot the points, the software generates a graph data set (which
we never actually see).
## Exercises
Use `help graph` to find commands you may need.
(1) Create a bar chart of price versus auto maker. What type of
scales are used? Is the height of each bar given by a data value
or derived from the data? Use Help to
make a second graph where the bars are horizontal.
(2) Create a scatterplot matrix of price, weight, and mpg. How many
points are shown?
(3) Create a boxplot of mpg (gas mileage) versus rep78 (repair record, a
Likert scale). What kind of scales are used for graphing? Although
each \"box\" is treated as a fundamental graphical object, it\'s relation
to the data is a little complicated. How are the mid-line, the length of the box,
and the length of the whiskers related to the data: data values or
derived statistics? The points that appear above one of the boxes?
(4) Make a vertical dot plot of price versus rep78. Then make a scatter plot
of price versus rep78. How are they similar and how are they different
(graphical elements, data, scales)? Why might you prefer one or the other?
(5) Bonus. Continuing from exercise (4), you cannot simply overlay a dot
plot and a scatter plot, but
just a little data manipulation would allow you to create a visual
combination of the two. Do it! (Hint: if you are stuck, come back
to this after reading the next section.)
(6) Bonus. Histograms are a little more complicated than one might
think. Make a histogram of auto prices. What kind of scales are used?
How is the y-scale related to the data? The x-scale?
# Scales or Level of Measurement
In thinking about Stata\'s `graph` command, perhaps the most fundamental
distinction to be made is between commands that use continous-by-continuous
scales - the many `graph twoway` commands- versus commands that use
categorical-by-continuous (or continous-by-categorical) scales - `graph bar`,
`graph dot`, `graph box`. Most other graphing commands call on `graph twoway`
behind the scenes.
In general, categorical-by-continuous graphs use a single graphical element,
while `twoway` graphs may be layered together to create graphs composed
of several different elements.
```{r}
graph bar (percent), over(rep78)
graph export "GraphCommand/bar.png", replace
```
![Bar elements only](GraphCommand/bar.png)
```{r}
graph twoway (scatter price weight)(lfit price weight)
graph export "GraphCommand/lfit.png", replace
```
![Point and line elements, both](GraphCommand/lfit.png)
## Representing Categories
The bare `graph` commands allow us to represent categories in two ways.
First, where each unit of observation in our data set represents a
category (as in the `auto` data), every observation may locate a graphical
element for a category. It may seem trivial to point out that every
point in the scatterplots above represents a category of car, but we
will find this concept useful, later.
Second, as we have seen with `dot` and `bar` graphs, relative position
along a continuum can represent a category - Stata picks these positions
based on the space available, the number of categories, and some sorting
order.
There are two other common ways of representing categories: as subplots
(panels) within the overall graph, and as elements with different
aesthetic values (color, shape, etc.).
```{r, collectcode}
graph dot price, over(rep78) by(foreign)
graph export "GraphCommand/panels.png", replace
```
Notice here that the `over()` option defines a categorical
*axis*, while the `by()` option defines categorical *subplots*.
![Subplots](GraphCommand/panels.png)
```{r}
separate price, by(rep78)
scatter price1 price2 price3 price4 price5 weight
graph export "GraphCommand/scattercat.png", replace
```
Here we divide our data into separate variables for separate
categories, then combine them into one graph as repeated
y variables.
![By aesthetics](GraphCommand/scattercat.png)
The `over()` option is unique to categorical-by-continuous graphs, but
the use of `by()` and of repeated y variables work in either group of
graphing commands.
# Graphing Data
Some graph commands use the data set \"as-is\", while other commands perform
some transformation of the data. Additionally, some graph commands require
estimation results, and some commands do not require any data set.
Given the examples we have looked at so far, it might be tempting to think
that `twoway` commands always use data \"as-is\", while categorical commands
always summarize data, but this would be an oversimplification.
```{r, engine='R', echo=FALSE, message=FALSE}
unlink("profile.do")
```