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What do you call a graph of value vs rank of the value?

For example, say I make a census of the 2010 net income for a bunch of people.

  • The graph of net income vs age gives me a: scatterplot
  • The graph of net income vs location (latitude, longitude) gives me a: height map
  • After sorting the net income values so the value in rank 1 is highest income, rank 2 is the next-highest, etc., then the graph of net income vs rank gives me a: ???

(This may be a question more about information graphics than about math -- is there some other site, perhaps Graphic Design, that is a better place for this kind of question than Math.StackExchange?)

My understanding is that Zipf's law often applies to such graphs. Ideally I'd like a name for all such graphs, whether or not Zipf's law applies to them. What do you call such a graph of value vs rank of the value?

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You could maybe try stats.SE if you don't get a good answer here. –  Ilmari Karonen Jul 3 '12 at 20:41

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've seen them called simply "rank plots" or "rank–value plots" (or e.g. "rank–income plots", if income is what you're measuring). Apparently, the term "Zipf plot" is also sometimes used.

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