Build Statistical Graphics Online With ggplot2

Dec 22, 2009

Statisticians are generally behind the times when it comes to online applications. There are a lot out-dated Java applets and really rough attempts at getting R, a statistical computing environment, in some useful form through a browser. So imagine my surprise when I tried this tool by Jeroen Ooms, a visiting scholar at UCLA Statistics.

It actually works pretty well, and for a prototype, it isn’t half bad.

Statistical Graphics as Layers

The engine behind Jeroen’s tool is Hadley Wickham’s ggplot2, an R implementation of of Leland Wilkinson’s Grammar of Graphics. Yes, it’s a big chain of events.

Those who use Adobe products, like Illustrator or Photoshop, are familiar with the idea of layers in your graphics.

Without going into all the details, the main idea is that statistical graphics are made up of layers. There’s the data, axes, and the plot. You can do this in R with the ggplot2 library, or, with this tool, you can upload data and specify the layers through the clickety interface.

Here’s a short demo of ggplot in action:

5 Comments

Favorites

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute …

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but …

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.