Pictographs

What Is a Pictograph?

The pictograph meaning can be explained as the way to represent data by depicting it through images is known as a pictograph. Every image is representing a number of something or units of the data. The representation of the data can be in the form of symbols or pictures.

This is a basic pictograph example.

This is an example which shows the data of a number of red boxes sold on each day of the week.

Some examples of Pictograph in Maths can be: 

Example 1: 

The data shows the number of apples sold individually in the months of April and May.

Month 

March 

April 

Number of apples sold 

15

25


We can represent this data in the following manner by using a pictograph: 

Month 

March 

April 

Number of apples sold 




Here one represents 5 apples. 

Example 2: 

The data shows the number of ice creams sold by shops A, B and C. 

Shop 

A

C

Ice creams sold 

18

24

42


We can represent this data in the following manner by using a pictograph: 

Shop 

A

C

Ice creams sold 





Here, one represents 6 ice creams. 

Example 3: 

Company name 

Maruti 

Hyundai

Ford

Number of cars sold in May 2020

8000

5000

3000


We can represent this data in the following manner by using a pictograph: 

Company name 

Number of cars sold in May 2020

Maruti


Hyundai


Ford 



Here, represents 1000 cars.

Pictographs and problem sums 

Pictographs can also be a part of certain problem sums.  

Example 4: 

We have data on the flavour of ice-creams sold by Shop ABC in one day. 

Ice cream flavours

Vanilla 

Chocolate 

Mango 

Strawberry 

Shop ABC 

8

10

9

6


Let us make a pictograph to understand this situation and answer the questions beneath: 

Flavours 

Number of pieces sold in one day 

Vanilla 


Chocolate 


Mango 


Strawberry 



Let us try to interpret the information given in the data by answering some questions: 

  1. Which is the best-selling flavour of ice cream at Shop ABC? 

Ans) Chocolate is the best-selling flavour of ice cream at Shop ABC.

  1. Which is the least-selling flavour of ice cream at Shop ABC? 

Ans) Strawberry is the least-selling flavour of ice cream at Shop ABC.

  1. What is the total number of ice creams sold in a day? 

Ans) the total number of ice creams sold is 33.


Different methods of pictorial representation

There are various other methods for representing data through pictorial ways. They are bar graphs, line charts or line graphs and pie charts.

  1. Bar Graph 

A bar graph is a very simple graph which is used to compare different entities.  It is very easy to show the changes in some properties of a subject over time using a bar graph. They are widely used in the industry today for presentations and reports. They allow identifying different trends and patterns of the data from their bar graphs.

Let us take an example to understand the bar graph: 

Name 

A

B

C

D

Number of Pens 

5

2

3

1


This data can be plotted in a bar graph as follows: 

  1. Line Graph 

It is also known as a line chart and is used to understand the change in the value of something over a period of time. The data is plotted as data points in the (x, y) format. It has two axes. The horizontal axis and the vertical axis. It is a straight line connected by data points. It is commonly used to make forecasts and predictions in the industry today. 

This is an example of a line chart or a line graph

  1. Pie chart 

A pie chart is a circular representation of data depicting a pie. It is divided into slices to represent the numbers and their proportions in the whole data. Generally, they are used for representing percentage data. They can summarize a large amount of data and depict it in a visual manner easily.

Example: It is a depiction of the number of animals of each type on a farm.

Do You Know

  1. Pictographs were used by many ancient cultures for their writing systems. As a matter of fact, many languages have a direct line of descent from pictographs. 

  1. Pictographs are widely used as ideograms and memory aids. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the advantages of using pictographs?

The advantages of using a pictograph are: 

  • They help to represent a large amount of data 

  • The data is easy to understand in the form of images than numbers 

  • All information can be read and understood from a single image 

  • It is an attractive and very effective way to represent the data.

2. When should someone use a pictograph?

A pictograph can be used when there is a lot of statistical information to interpret. If your data has lots of categories and numbers which are difficult to interpret and understand, you can use a pictograph using the methods given above to represent your data using imagery. This will make the understanding of the data much simpler, and it will also make its interpretation a lot easier as the pictograph explanation can cover both these aspects.

3. What are some ways to avoid mistakes while making a pictograph?

some tips to take care of while making a pictograph to avoid some common mistakes are: 

  • Using the same image for the same kind of data. Multiple image depictions of the same data can lead to misrepresentation and errors. 

  • There should be a key for every pictograph. 

  • The scales on the graph should be mentioned and labelled. 

  • Symbols or pictures in a pictograph should be equally spaced and should be identical having the same sizes. 

  • The graph and the axes should have proper titles and labels for a better understanding while reading the graph and trying to understand the data depicted on the graph.