Usefulness of the Cartesian Plane

If we look at the points plotted on the Cartesian Plane, it is easy to see that, the more turns Andrew kicked, the higher his kick went. It's easy to see this because the higher Andrew kicks, the higher the position of the points on the Cartesian Plane.


In this case, we are not simply making a diagram of what is happening in space, as we did in previous examples. Instead, we are showing the relationship between a particular time (the turn that Andrew is on) and a detail about the situation at that time (how high Andrew kicked on that turn).

Putting points on to a Cartesian Plan is called plotting the points, and the activity of plotting multiple points is called graphing.

Graphing is very important in economics and other sciences because graphing is used to visualize the relationships that exist between different concepts or situations. These relationships can be described algebraically, using mathematical equations. By matching the value of variables in the equation to points on the graph the nature of the relationship between the variables can be visualized using the graph. Other times, as in this case, it is possible to go straight from information about the situation to creating a graph.


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Copyright Jen Schellinck, 2006