# Creating 3-D scatterplots

## Video: Creating 3-D scatterplots

If you have three scale variables that you want to graph, then one interesting option in SPSS is a 3D scatterplot where you have variables on three different axes, the X and the Y and the Z axis. In theory it's a straightforward variation on the regular 2D scatterplot. In practice though, it can get a little confusing and this will become clear after we look at one. For this example I am going to stay with the Google Searches data and Searches.sav and I am going to chart the relationship between three particular search terms, between searches for SPSS, for business intelligence, and for the term "totally lost." To do this, I go up to Graphs in the menu bar and I click on Chart Builder.

## Creating 3-D scatterplots

If you have three scale variables that you want to graph, then one interesting option in SPSS is a 3D scatterplot where you have variables on three different axes, the X and the Y and the Z axis. In theory it's a straightforward variation on the regular 2D scatterplot. In practice though, it can get a little confusing and this will become clear after we look at one. For this example I am going to stay with the Google Searches data and Searches.sav and I am going to chart the relationship between three particular search terms, between searches for SPSS, for business intelligence, and for the term "totally lost." To do this, I go up to Graphs in the menu bar and I click on Chart Builder.

I come down in the gallery to scatter, then I am going to choose the third one here which is a 3D scatterplot. Interestingly, there is an option here of adding a categorical variable on top of it all which actually makes it four variables depicted at once, but I am not going to work with that one right now. I am just going to show you what's called this the simple 3D scatter. I'll click on that, and drag it up to the canvas. Then I need to pick my three variables, the X and the Y and the Z, and what I am going to choose is SPSS as our Y axis, Business Intelligence as our X axis, and Totally Lost as the Z axis, and from there I can simply click OK.

When we first get the chart it's a rather chunky looking orthographic projection of a bunch of circles floating in what appears to be a 3D space. Unfortunately it's hard to read and there are two ways of getting some sense of depth in this. One doesn't work very well and the other one works slightly better. I will show you both. First, we're going to need to edit the chart by double-clicking on it and then I am going to clean things up a little bit by getting rid of the decimal places on the axes, click on those, then I come up to Number Format and I am just going to put 0 and press Apply.

I will do it for the other ones and then there is the last one. Okay, now to try to get a sense of depth here, one choice is to click on these then come over to Spikes and choose Floor and click Apply, and that I think you can tell is not helpful. We have a bunch of pinpoints here but it just seems to make things much more complicated. So I am going to click on those again, go back to Spikes, and deselect them.

On the other hand, we do have another option. Now, I am going to first take these markers. I am just going to make them solid so they are a little easier to see as we take care of things, and what I do to this is with a 3D chart you can actually add motion. You can make this dynamic chart. If I come over to the chart and I right -click on it, the second choice is this one, this says 3D Rotation. And what I can do now is see how the cursor is turned into a hand? I can click on that and I can start moving things around.

Now, it's kind of fun. I can see there is an outlier there of some kind, right over here, and I believe from past experience that is Washington, D.C. I can get state labels and confirm that. But right now what I am going to do is I am just moving this around and when it's moving you can get a sense of a three-dimensional cloud of data, and it's kind of a neat way to do it. The problem of course is it's really hard to read. I don't really know what's what except there seems to be an outlier there and there appears to be some kind of association between the variables.

I can see that there is an association in 3D, but it's hard to read. A rotating three-dimensional interactive scatterplot can be a lot of fun. You can even add a four-dimensional variable with colored markers and it helps you to identify cases that are multivariate outliers, and that is that have unusual combination of scores. On the other hand, the problem is once the 3D chart stops rotating, it becomes just another flat 2D chart that's very hard to read. And for this reason, a better option might be to employ what are called multiple static 2D charts in a scatterplot matrix which is what I will show you next.

Show transcript

#### This video is part of

SPSS Statistics Essential Training (2011)

52 video lessons · 19376 viewers

Author

Expand all | Collapse all
1. ### Introduction

2m 58s
1. Welcome
1m 5s
2. Using the exercise files
40s
3. Using a different version of the software
1m 13s
2. ### 1. Getting Started

19m 0s
1. Taking a first look at the interface
11m 49s
7m 11s
3. ### 2. Charts for One Variable

21m 54s
1. Creating bar charts for categorical variables
7m 18s
2. Creating pie charts for categorical variables
2m 54s
3. Creating histograms for quantitative variables
5m 45s
4. Creating box plots for quantitative variables
5m 57s
4. ### 3. Modifying Data

33m 10s
1. Recoding variables
5m 33s
2. Recoding with visual binning
5m 33s
3. Recoding by ranking cases
5m 26s
4. Computing new variables
5m 37s
5. Combining or excluding outliers
5m 21s
6. Transforming outliers
5m 40s
5. ### 4. Working with the Data File

28m 12s
1. Selecting cases
6m 44s
2. Using the Split File command
5m 12s
3. Merging files
5m 33s
4. Using the Multiple Response command
10m 43s
6. ### 5. Descriptive Statistics for One Variable

22m 14s
1. Calculating frequencies
8m 43s
2. Calculating descriptives
5m 31s
3. Using the Explore command
8m 0s
7. ### 6. Inferential Statistics for One Variable

16m 3s
1. Calculating inferential statistics for a single proportion
6m 6s
2. Calculating inferential statistics for a single mean
5m 39s
3. Calculating inferential statistics for a single categorical variable
4m 18s
8. ### 7. Charts for Two Variables

30m 43s
1. Creating clustered bar charts
7m 10s
2. Creating scatterplots
5m 8s
3. Creating time series
3m 24s
4. Creating simple bar charts of group means
4m 17s
5. Creating population pyramids
3m 0s
6. Creating simple boxplots for groups
3m 3s
7. Creating side-by-side boxplots
4m 41s
9. ### 8. Descriptive and Inferential Statistics for Two Variables

45m 28s
1. Calculating correlations
8m 17s
2. Computing a bivariate regression
6m 27s
3. Creating crosstabs for categorical variables
6m 34s
4. Comparing means with the Means procedure
6m 33s
5. Comparing means with the t-test
6m 4s
6. Comparing means with a one-way ANOVA
6m 30s
7. Comparing paired means
5m 3s
10. ### 9. Charts for Three or More Variables

24m 30s
1. Creating clustered bar charts for frequencies
6m 34s
2. Creating clustered bar charts for means
3m 45s
3. Creating scatterplots by group
4m 13s
4. Creating 3-D scatterplots
4m 25s
5. Creating scatterplot matrices
5m 33s
11. ### 10. Descriptive Statistics for Three or More Variables

30m 57s
1. Using Automatic Linear Models
11m 52s
2. Calculating multiple regression
9m 3s
3. Comparing means with a two-factor ANOVA
10m 2s
12. ### 11. Formatting and Exporting Tables and Charts

29m 29s
1. Formatting descriptive statistics
6m 1s
2. Formatting correlations
7m 49s
3. Formatting regression
10m 19s
4. Exporting charts and tables
5m 20s
13. ### Conclusion

51s
1. What's next
51s

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