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Data Resources, Data Visualization, and Data Literacy: Visualization

An instructor’s guide to using St. Louis Fed resources in the classroom and at the library

Guide to this page

FRED is known for its ability to easily create visualizations of hundreds of thousands of time series. However, FRED's capability for visualization goes beyond a simple line chart. On this page, we provide examples of how to get more out of your visualizations with FRED. We also include resources on teaching students how to interpret data visualizations.

FRED Blog - Advanced Visualizations

The FRED Blog highlights the variety of visualizations possible using FRED. It explains the economic concepts behind each graph and walks you through how to create that graph in FRED.

Examples of different graphs in FRED Blog Posts:


Getting Started with GeoFRED

GeoFRED allows you to create, customize, and share maps of data found in FRED.

FRED Help - Getting Started

When you're getting started with FRED, check out the Help section for step-by-step instructions for creating your own data visualizations.


Dashboards are a good way to present several data visualizations together as a group, and you can use the notes widget to annotate the graphs.

Examples of useful FRED dashboards:

Develop Data Literacy Skills with FRED Interactives

FRED Interactives are online modules that teach data literacy and economic content at the same time. Students learn how to build and customize FRED graphs and then interpret the data–all within the Econ Lowdown Teacher Portal.

FRASER Learning Toolkits

Keep the Toolkit resources bookmarked to use each time you come across a chart for study.

This first toolkit provides a series of resources for students (grade 6-12) to read, interpret, and think critically about charts in textbooks and historical documents.

It has three main parts: (1) the Glossary of Chart Terms, (2) the Visual Glossary of Chart Types, and (3) Historical Inquiry Questions for Charts. It also includes a suggested procedure for how to use the Toolkit.

1) Learning Toolkit: Historical Inquiry With Charts

This second toolkit is for students grades 8-12 and uses maps and charts from the Statistical Atlas of 1870 to teach data literacy skills with a variety of activities. It has four parts: (1) Historical Inquiry With Population Maps, (2) Historical Inquiry With the 1870 Church Accommodation Chart, (3) Historical Inquiry With the 1870 Occupations and School Attendance Chart, and (4) Historical Inquiry With the 1870 State Population Chart

2) Learning Toolkit: Historical Inquiry With the Statistical Atlas of 1870