Build Statistical Graphics Online With ggplot2

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:



The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.