How to Make a State Grid Map in R
Something of a cross between a reference table and a map, the state grid provides equal space to each state and a semblance of the country to quickly pick out individual states.
Most people recognize a state map, which makes it useful if you have state-level data. The problem is that states vary in size, so the bigger states will always take more visual space than the smaller states. Enter the grid map. Each cell represents a state and is roughly placed in the corresponding geographic location.
If you color the cells by data, you can still kind of get a sense of geographic patterns. But instead of an alternative to state choropleth map, I think of it more as an alternative for a list or a bar chart. Because of the placement, a reader can find their own state quickly and the form doesn’t take a ton of space.
To access this full tutorial and download the source code you must be a member. (If you are already a member, log in here.)
Gain unlimited access to this tutorial and over a hundred more, plus courses and guides!
Gain unlimited access to hundreds of hours worth of step-by-step visualization courses and tutorials for insight and presentation — all while supporting an independent site. Source code and data is included so that you can more easily apply what you learn in your own work.
The tutorials are very helpful to move from "Oooo, cool!" to how to actually DO the cool.
Members also recieve a weekly newsletter, The Process, which looks more closely at the tools, the rules, and the guidelines and how they work in practice.
See samples of everything you gain access to:
More Tutorials See All →
How to Hand Edit R Plots in Inkscape
You can control graph elements with code as you output things from R, but sometimes it is easier to do it manually. Inkscape, an Open Source alternative to Adobe Illustrator, might be what you are looking for.
How to Make an Interactive Network Visualization
Small Multiples in R
Make a lot of charts at once, line them up in a grid, and you can make quick comparisons across several categories.