The term swing chart was coined by statistician Bob Shapiro. He was looking at an image like the one below and wondered what it was used for. He then learned that the chart was an example of a simple two-sided box. When Shapiro asked whether the chart was “right or wrong”, he got a variety of answers from different mathematicians including Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer.

Who uses swing maps?

Some people use the statistics in order to look for patterns in the data. For example, analysts have been using them to find trends in the data. Other people use them as a means to visualize data for statistical purposes.

The information on this site consists of swing maps, and should NOT be used for any of the following:

Data mining: looking for trends in the data to make predictions about the future.

Analysis: analysis of a sample of data to make predictions about the future.

The use of swing maps, when combined with other information, is restricted to academic or statistical use. The use of swing maps does not include:

Making predictions: analyzing a sample of data in a way that can be used to make predictions or prediction models.

Determining probability: determining the probabilities of a set of outcomes to occur (e.g. “The probability that the population will have twins at an average of 25.5 per cent is .2%”).

The use of swing maps as a visualization of data in order to assess the strength of a hypothesis is restricted to cases where the hypothesis has statistical significance.

Examples

Below is a chart showing how swing data has changed over the past 20 years. The bars show the year of the data collection (left column) and the period since that data collection (right column).

One might expect many of the same trends to repeat over the 21st century. These two charts show that, in fact, they do not.

Some other examples of swing charts that have been presented:

Click here for a larger image.

What is a simple two-sided box?

The word “simple” comes from wordplay. It refers to a two-sided box in which you can either sit, stand or lean. In fact, they are the two sides of the same coin. Some people use simple swings, which are boxes measuring 10m x 50m, or 10m x 150m, respectively, for analysis purposes. These simple boxes can be found

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