Updated: 16/11/2011 - New Concept Added


Animated gifs are a simple and efficient means of displaying small animations and clips. While they have been superseded in recent years by streaming video, java, javascript and flash, animated gifs are still widely used and supported. They are particularly useful for displaying graphs and charts, as the file format is well suited for simple images with solid areas of colour and well defined edges.

This technique for data visualisation has been applied using a variety of chart types to the recently released estimates from Labour Force and Other Characteristics of Families (cat no. 6224.0.55.001). Refer to this publication for an overview of the data being presented.


An animated graph or chart is particularly useful in visualising data across multiple dimensions. While a static graph is typically limited to two dimensions (x versus y), an animated graph allows for data to visually flow across a third dimension while still retaining a simplistic two dimensional view.

While more advanced scripting techniques, such as java, javascript and flash allow for greater user interaction with the data (such as pausing and rewinding), an animated gif can be set to cycle through a set loop and passively display animated information without waiting for any user input. If done appropriately, this can be used to enhance articles and commentary by adding a little dynamism to what would otherwise be a static page.


This is currently proof of concept work. Your feedback on this development will determine it's success.