The rainfall plot: Its motivation, characteristics and pitfalls

  • Diana Ewa Domanska
  • Daniel Vodak
  • Lund-Andersen Christin
  • Stefania Salvatore
  • Eivind Hovig


  • Journal: BMC Bioinformatics, vol. 18, p. 11, 2017
  • Utgiver: BioMed Central (BMC)
  • Internasjonale standardnumre:
    • Trykt: 1471-2105
    • Elektronisk: 1471-2105
  • Lenke:

A visualization referred to as rainfall plot has recently gained popularity in genome data analysis. The plot is mostly used for illustrating the distribution of somatic cancer mutations along a reference genome, typically aiming to identify mutation hotspots. In general terms, the rainfall plot can be seen as a scatter plot showing the location of events on the x-axis versus the distance between consecutive events on the y-axis. Despite its frequent use, the motivation for applying this particular visualization and the appropriateness of its usage have never been critically addressed in detail.