✊🏿 Black Lives Matter. Please consider donating to Black Girls Code today.

Adding Sliders to Animations in JavaScript

How to make the classic Gapminder Animation using sliders and buttons in Plotly JS

Building full-stack apps and dashboards with Plotly.js?
Increase development speed by 2x-10x with Dash. 🏃

New to Plotly?

Plotly is a free and open-source graphing library for JavaScript. We recommend you read our Getting Started guide for the latest installation or upgrade instructions, then move on to our Plotly Fundamentals tutorials or dive straight in to some Basic Charts tutorials.

d3.csv('https://raw.githubusercontent.com/plotly/datasets/master/gapminderDataFiveYear.csv', function (err, data) {
  // Create a lookup table to sort and regroup the columns of data,
  // first by year, then by continent:
  var lookup = {};
  function getData(year, continent) {
    var byYear, trace;
    if (!(byYear = lookup[year])) {;
      byYear = lookup[year] = {};
	 // If a container for this year + continent doesn't exist yet,
	 // then create one:
    if (!(trace = byYear[continent])) {
      trace = byYear[continent] = {
        x: [],
        y: [],
        id: [],
        text: [],
        marker: {size: []}
    return trace;

  // Go through each row, get the right trace, and append the data:
  for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
    var datum = data[i];
    var trace = getData(datum.year, datum.continent);

  // Get the group names:
  var years = Object.keys(lookup);
  // In this case, every year includes every continent, so we
  // can just infer the continents from the *first* year:
  var firstYear = lookup[years[0]];
  var continents = Object.keys(firstYear);

  // Create the main traces, one for each continent:
  var traces = [];
  for (i = 0; i < continents.length; i++) {
    var data = firstYear[continents[i]];
	 // One small note. We're creating a single trace here, to which
	 // the frames will pass data for the different years. It's
	 // subtle, but to avoid data reference problems, we'll slice
	 // the arrays to ensure we never write any new data into our
	 // lookup table:
      name: continents[i],
      x: data.x.slice(),
      y: data.y.slice(),
      id: data.id.slice(),
      text: data.text.slice(),
      mode: 'markers',
      marker: {
        size: data.marker.size.slice(),
        sizemode: 'area',
        sizeref: 200000

  // Create a frame for each year. Frames are effectively just
  // traces, except they don't need to contain the *full* trace
  // definition (for example, appearance). The frames just need
  // the parts the traces that change (here, the data).
  var frames = [];
  for (i = 0; i < years.length; i++) {
      name: years[i],
      data: continents.map(function (continent) {
        return getData(years[i], continent);

  // Now create slider steps, one for each frame. The slider
  // executes a plotly.js API command (here, Plotly.animate).
  // In this example, we'll animate to one of the named frames
  // created in the above loop.
  var sliderSteps = [];
  for (i = 0; i < years.length; i++) {
      method: 'animate',
      label: years[i],
      args: [[years[i]], {
        mode: 'immediate',
        transition: {duration: 300},
        frame: {duration: 300, redraw: false},

  var layout = {
    xaxis: {
      title: 'Life Expectancy',
      range: [30, 85]
    yaxis: {
      title: 'GDP per Capita',
      type: 'log'
    hovermode: 'closest',
	 // We'll use updatemenus (whose functionality includes menus as
	 // well as buttons) to create a play button and a pause button.
	 // The play button works by passing `null`, which indicates that
	 // Plotly should animate all frames. The pause button works by
	 // passing `[null]`, which indicates we'd like to interrupt any
	 // currently running animations with a new list of frames. Here
	 // The new list of frames is empty, so it halts the animation.
    updatemenus: [{
      x: 0,
      y: 0,
      yanchor: 'top',
      xanchor: 'left',
      showactive: false,
      direction: 'left',
      type: 'buttons',
      pad: {t: 87, r: 10},
      buttons: [{
        method: 'animate',
        args: [null, {
          mode: 'immediate',
          fromcurrent: true,
          transition: {duration: 300},
          frame: {duration: 500, redraw: false}
        label: 'Play'
      }, {
        method: 'animate',
        args: [[null], {
          mode: 'immediate',
          transition: {duration: 0},
          frame: {duration: 0, redraw: false}
        label: 'Pause'
	 // Finally, add the slider and use `pad` to position it
	 // nicely next to the buttons.
    sliders: [{
      pad: {l: 130, t: 55},
      currentvalue: {
        visible: true,
        prefix: 'Year:',
        xanchor: 'right',
        font: {size: 20, color: '#666'}
      steps: sliderSteps

  // Create the plot:
  Plotly.newPlot('myDiv', {
    data: traces,
    layout: layout,
    frames: frames,