# Draw peripherals

We draw a line depicting the mean of our distribution, as well as our axes.

When looking at the shape of a distribution, it can be helpful to know where the mean is.

The mean is just the average — the center of a set of numbers. To calculate the mean, you would divide the sum by the number of values. For example, the mean of `[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]`

would be `(1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5) / 5 = 3`

.

Instead of calculating the mean by hand, we can use `d3.mean()`

to grab that value. Like many d3 methods we've used, we pass the dataset as the first parameter and an optional accessor function as the second.

const mean = d3.mean(dataset, metricAccessor)

Great! Let's see how comfortable we are with drawing an unfamiliar SVG element: `<line>`

. A `<line>`

element will draw a line between two points: `[x1, y1]`

and `[x2, y2]`

. Using this knowledge, let's add a line to our bounds that is:

at the mean humidity level,

starting 15px above our chart, and

ending at our x axis.

How close can you get before looking at the following code?

const meanLine = bounds.append("line")

.attr("x1", xScale(mean))

.attr("x2", xScale(mean))

.attr("y1", -15)

.attr("y2", dimensions.boundedHeight)

Let's add some styles to the line so we can see it (by default, `<line>`

s have no stroke color) and to distinguish it from an axis. SVG element strokes can be split into dashes with the `stroke-dasharray`

attribute. The lines alternate between the stroke color and transparent, starting with transparent. We define the line lengths with a space-separated list of values (which will be repeated until the line is drawn).

Let's make our lines dashed with a 2px long maroon dash and a 4px long gap.

const meanLine = bounds.append("line")

.attr("x1", xScale(mean))

.attr("x2", xScale(mean))

.attr("y1", -15)

.attr("y2", dimensions.boundedHeight)

.attr("stroke", "maroon")

.attr("stroke-dasharray", "2px 4px")

Give yourself a pat on the back for drawing your first `<line>`

element!

Let's label our line to clarify to readers what it represents. We'll want to add a `<text>`

element in the same position as our line, but 5 pixels higher to give a little gap.

This page is a preview of *Fullstack D3 Masterclass*