Annotating your visualization in the "Annotate" tab

No matter if you're creating a Datawrapper chart, map, or table, you will always see the option to add a title, description, notes, byline, source, and alternative description for your visualization in the Annotate tab in step 3: Visualize:

Here's an overview of where the text will appear from each of these options:

This article explains how to use each of these options and gives recommendations. 

Title

The title is the first or second thing your readers will see and therefore very important for how your reader will understand your visualization.

There are different title styles in data visualization. Some simply describe what readers can see on the visualization ("Cranes at Lake Hornborga, 2014-2021"). Others are word plays or questions ("When are the most cranes at Lake Hornborga?").

We recommend choosing a title that highlights the most interesting aspect about the chart – the one key statement that you want your reader to remember ("In the last seven years, most cranes have been at Lake Hornborga between March 20 and April 8").

You can hide the title with a click on the checkbox above the title text field. This can be a good idea if your text makes clear what a visualization is about and you don't want to break your text up with a subheadline-like title. You could also leave the title empty to achieve this effect – but giving your visualization a (hidden) title makes it easier to find in the MyCharts/TeamCharts overview.

Description

The description appears below the title. It should have as much information about the data as possible: What do we see exactly? When (in which time span), where, why, how was the data recorded? How many people attended the poll?

Example: Unemployment rates in % in all US states, March 2016

Notes

The notes will appear below the chart. Think of notes as footnotes, with which you can clarify any abnormalities about your data. 

Example: California unemployment rates from Jan and Feb 2016 not included in the calculation.

Data source & link to data source

The data source will appear in the visualization footer. Whenever possible, make sure that you provide the source name and source URL for your data to increase transparency. 

The source name will tell your readers how trustworthy your data is. Does it come from a government institution or another trustworthy organization? The source URL lets your reader dig even deeper and have a look at the underlying data. 

If your data has multiple sources, you can add them in the notes section instead with an HTML link, like so: Sources: <a href="http://data.un.org/">UN>UN Data</a> and <a href="https://data.oecd.org/">OECD>OECD</a>.

Example: US Bureau of Labour Statistics, August 2017

Byline

You can give your visualization a byline that will appear in the footer. That's a good idea to let people know which person (you!) and/or organization is responsible for a chart, map, or table. That's especially helpful if it's shared on e.g. social media.

Example: Anna Thieme, Datawrapper

Alternative description for screen readers 

We strongly recommend adding an alternative description that lets vision-impaired readers understand the main statements of your data visualization. We put together a whole Academy guide on how to write good alternative descriptions. Find it here: How to write good alternative descriptions for your data visualization.