Showing Missing Data in Line Charts

Photo: Bocoup

Measurement Lab, the largest open internet performance platform and open dataset on the planet, has been working with Bocoup’s Data Visualization team to overhaul their data visualizations and provide easier tools to explore all of the Measurement Lab data. M-Lab will be sharing more soon –  feel free to reach out via if you are interested in helping with testing and user feedback!

Bocoup Line Charts

M-Lab has lots of data, but depending on how you slice the data, you might end up with too small of a sample size on a given day in a given location. As part of designing the Observatory visualization, Bocoup came up with the idea of using dotted lines to show that M-Lab didn’t have a large enough sample size to assert the data value, but that leaving out the data would be incorrect as well. The Bocoup Team took that further and developed a new d3 plugin, d3-line-chunked, which allows you to easily visualize gaps in your data and has good animation support.

Read More over on the Bocoup blog.

A version of this article was first posted on Measurement Lab. Measurement Lab is a consortium of research, industry and public-interest partners founded in 2008, including OTI. Measurement Lab is housed at the Open Technology Institute.


Georgia Bullen is the technology projects director with New America's Open Technology Institute. Bullen provides data visualization, human-centered design, planning and geospatial analytical support to the OTI team and its community partnerships.