The purpose of this post is to give users some instructions on how to use the interactive charts found on this website.

Due to the nature of the interactive chart tools, the interactive charts are only available when viewing on a desktop sized screen. This assumes that the user is browsing with a keyboard and mouse. A keyboard and mouse are essential for operating the interactive tools.

These charts are created using the Python programming language with several of its additional libraries along with Bokeh, which is an interactive visualization library that targets modern web browsers for presentation.

I will update this page from time to time as I extend the types of interactive chart tools.

Now lets learn what we can do with these charts.


Map Example

On the right is a plot of a map showing the location of all Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) stations.

On the right of the chart is the toolbar. From top to bottom we have:

  • Bokeh logo
  • Pan tool
  • Box zoom tool
  • Wheel zoom tool
  • Reset tool
  • Hover tool

Each of the tools can be activated/deactivated by clicking on the tools icon. The active tool/s are indicated by a blue highlight.

Pan Tool

When active, left-click and drag within the plot area to move the plot.

Box Zoom Tool

When active, left-click and drag a rectangle within the plot area to zoom to those extents.

Wheel Zoom Tool

When active, spinning the mouse wheel will zoom the plot in and out centred on the position of the pointer. Wheel forward to zoom in, wheel back to zoom out.

Reset Tool

 Clicking this button will reset the plot to its original state. 

Hover Tool

When active, a dialog containing metadata about the plot will appear when hovering the mouse pointer over a datapoint.

Linked Plots & Data Table Example

In this example, there are multiple plot elements plotted together – A bar chart, a map and a data table. These are linked to each other which means that selections on one element affect the others.

In the toolbar on the righthand side of the plot we now have a couple of additional tool options. If you hover your mouse pointer over the toolbar you will get a the name of the tool.

Box Select

As the name suggests, use this to left-click and drag a rectangle over any plot area to select data. The selected data is now the focus in all of the linked plot elements. Very cool. It gets better, hold the Shift key to multi-select areas of the plots. If you wish to, you can continue multi-selecting from one plot element to the next (except the Data Table – see below).


This tool allows selection of individual data. Again, you can hold the Shift key to multi-select data across one or more plot elements.

Data Table

To select a subset of data using the data table, use Shift-click for one or many contiguous rows, use Ctrl-click to select one or many individual rows. These can be used in combination. Also, the data table can be sorted by any column by clicking on the column name in the header row.

TODO: More Interactive Tools

In the future I plan to add more interactive tools to enable users to interact with and visualise the data in a combination of ways. Sign up for the newsletter (below) and/or Follow us on Twitter to be the first to hear about updates.

Feel free to leave a comment below to let us know what you think of the plots, or ask a question if something in these instructions is not clear.