Creating Graphs

Recently I was discussing the importance of multiple representations with some other teachers and I shared a worksheet1 I had made on evaluating composite functions from graphs and tables. On it was a graph, which I made with Grapher:

This group of teachers don’t have access to Grapher and wanted some suggestions as to how to create graphs like this. Google led me to more than a few possibilities, but none met my very picky expectations: web based, free, and editable.

So, I mentioned this to Andy Schmitz and *poof* GraphSketch appeared! I made this using GraphSketch:

Very cool, isn’t it? It is an online grapher that allows you to graph up to six functions at one time, select the color of the function, control the scaling of the x and y axes, and more.

If *poof* isn’t enough for you, Andy has the technical details in his post. I’m sure he’d appreciate feedback.

Happy Graphing!

1 Worksheet as a .docx or a .pdf

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10 Responses to Creating Graphs

  1. sumidiot says:

    I’ve been using FooPlot myself, and quite like it. It also lets you plot parametric and polar curves, and export the picture as several different file types.

  2. aschmitz says:

    Thanks for pointing that one out as well. I had used FooPlot in the past (I actually borrowed the quick graphing based on URLs from there, in fact), but I’ve had problems with the way it displays things: no antialiasing, no line width adjustment, no unlabeled ticks, etc. . Unfortunately, as the last time it was updated was in 2007, I didn’t think those were going to be updated/fixed any time soon, so I made my own solution instead. I think it works better for graphs that can be included in other documents (though I’m still working on solutions that allow scalable embedding – I could do PDF export, but most people can’t just embed PDF documents, and I’m working with SVG exporting for editors that can embed SVG instead).

  3. Heather Dowd says:

    Great find. Thanks for sharing.

  4. David Cox says:

    Could you use GeoGebra to create these graphs?

  5. I have added this to my wiki page of online calculators, graphing calculators, plotting utilities etc. which features a multi-form calculator that was developed for the CLIPS project which can be downloaded as a .swf for standalone or SMART Board use. The graphing part was based on some tools featured in one of my blog posts.

  6. Jackie says:

    David I haven’t played with the functions in GeoGebra too much, but I know it is possible.

    Ross Thanks for sharing that wiki of resources again!

  7. Nick says:

    I looooooove Geogebra. You can type in something like “y – 3=3(x – 2)” straight into the input bar and boom, out comes the graph. I’d definitely recommend playing around with it. If you are a little more fancy, you can add a slider as a variable like “a” then set some options for the slider like min/max and increments. Then type an equation like “y – a = 3(x – 2)” and play around with that value. You can even add a little text like the following

    “y – ” + a + ” = 3(x – 2)”

    notice the quotes, and geogebra will display the equation for the graph on the screen wherever you want it. I make that text really large so that kids can read it.

    I’m a big big fan. It’s easy and accurate. I wish geogebra could graph inequalities, and I’ve seen worksheets with inequalities (they’re easy to google for. (Having looked into it a bit, I think it requires you do some fancyness with a variable holding a really big number and shading a polygon and checkboxes and complex logic… or you could use one that’s already set up.

    Anyway, Geogebra is easy to do in class, kids pick it up pretty easily. It exports to images that you can save. They look nice.

    If you want to be super technical you could look into PSTricks and LaTeX though unless you’re familiar with programming the learning curve is more like climbing a learning cliff. I’m a big fan of good images and I love the good people who brought us geogebra.

  8. mrfollett says:

    Thanks for sharing. Looks way better than what I was using. Especially with the ability to download as a picture file.

  9. Nick says:

    I just recommended graphsketch the other day in class. After playing around with it a bit, I think it’s great. The lines are easy to see. I’m a fan.

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