Sparklines are intense, simple, word-sized graphics. Sparky is a JavaScript library for drawing them dynamically in your web browser. In the words of Edward Tufte, who coined the term:

Sparklines mean that graphics are no longer cartoonish special occasions with captions and boxes, but rather a sparkline graphic can be everywhere a word or number can be: embedded in a sentence, table, headline, map, spreadsheet, graphic.

You can read more about sparklines and their many uses on Wikipedia, Tufte's site, or in his book, Beautiful Evidence.





What it do

Sparky supports line , bar , and area charts. Line and area charts can include variably colored and sized dots . Both dot and bar colors can be defined either as a single value for the entire data set, or as functions to be evaluated once per data point.

Sparky can also render larger time series graphics:

2011 Unemployment rate for persons 16 and over, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

What it don’t

Sparky does not support chart axes (or any other form of labeling), or the rendering of multiple data series in a single graphic.


Sparky is a project by Shawn Allen, Design Director at Stamen.

Open Source

Sparky is open source and free for the taking. Feel free to fork the code on Github, and please file a bug report if you find a problem.


Sparky depends on Raphaël for cross-browser vector rendering. It plays nicely with (and uses, if possible) d3.js for scales and general data munging.