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Layering Views

The layer operator superimposes multiple views over each other.

Example

{
  "data": {
    "values": [
      { "a": "A", "b": 28 },
      { "a": "B", "b": 55 },
      { "a": "C", "b": 43 },
      { "a": "D", "b": 91 },
      { "a": "E", "b": 81 },
      { "a": "F", "b": 53 },
      { "a": "G", "b": 19 },
      { "a": "H", "b": 87 },
      { "a": "I", "b": 52 }
    ]
  },
  "encoding": {
    "x": {
      "field": "a",
      "type": "nominal",
      "scale": { "padding": 0.1 },
      "axis": { "labelAngle": 0 }
    },
    "y": { "field": "b", "type": "quantitative" }
  },
  "layer": [
    {
      "name": "Bar",
      "mark": "rect"
    },
    {
      "name": "Label",
      "mark": { "type": "text", "dy": -9 },
      "encoding": {
        "text": { "field": "b", "type": "quantitative" }
      }
    }
  ]
}

To specify multiple layers, use the layer property:

{
  "layer": [
    ...  // Single or layered view specifications
  ]
}

The provided array may contain both single view specifications and layered specifications. The encodings and data that are specified in a layer view propagate to its descendants. For example, in the above example, the "Bar" and "Label" views inherit the data and the encodings for the x and y channels from their parent, the layer view.

Resolve

By default, layers share their scales and axes, unioning the data domains.

More examples

Lollipop plot

This example layers two marks to create a composite mark, a lollipop. Yet another layer is used for the baseline.

{
  "name": "The Root",
  "description": "Lollipop plot example",

  "resolve": { "axis": { "y": "independent" } },

  "layer": [
    {
      "name": "Baseline",
      "data": { "values": [0] },
      "mark": "rule",
      "encoding": {
        "y": { "field": "data", "type": "quantitative", "axis": null },
        "color": { "value": "lightgray" }
      }
    },
    {
      "name": "Arrows",

      "data": {
        "sequence": {
          "start": 0,
          "stop": 6.284,
          "step": 0.39269908169,
          "as": "x"
        }
      },

      "transform": [
        { "type": "formula", "expr": "sin(datum.x)", "as": "sin(x)" }
      ],

      "encoding": {
        "x": { "field": "x", "type": "quantitative" },
        "y": {
          "field": "sin(x)",
          "type": "quantitative",
          "scale": { "padding": 0.1 }
        },
        "color": { "field": "sin(x)", "type": "quantitative" }
      },

      "layer": [
        {
          "name": "Arrow shafts",

          "mark": {
            "type": "rule",
            "size": 3
          }
        },
        {
          "name": "Arrowheads",

          "mark": {
            "type": "point",
            "size": 500,
            "strokeWidth": 0
          },

          "encoding": {
            "shape": {
              "field": "sin(x)",
              "type": "nominal",
              "scale": {
                "type": "threshold",
                "domain": [-0.01, 0.01],
                "range": ["triangle-down", "diamond", "triangle-up"]
              }
            }
          }
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}