New data visualization features in ggplot2 update

March 2, 2012

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Hadley Wickham has just released an update to the ggplot2 graphics package for R. Version 0.9.0 significantly speeds up the process of rendering graphics, and the documentation is much improved (including the addition of many new examples). This update also adds a bunch of new features, which are documented in this 40-page "changes and additions" guide. Here's a sampling of what's new:

New data visualization types: There are new geoms for choropleth maps (which previously had to be created using polygons), violin plots, dotplots and raster-based images (which are much faster to render than the graphics based on the "tile" geom). Examples of the first two are shown below.



Improved annotations: it's now possible to add tables, images, and even other ggplot2 charts to annotate graphics, as shown below. (That's ggplot2 author Hadley Wickham there in the upper-right corner.)

More flexibility with axis scales and labels. For example, here's a scatterplot with a log-scaled x axis, using exponential notation for the tick marks:


This is just a small sampling of the new features, many of which you can see in the video of Hadley's webinar from last month. You can download the latest version of ggplot2 from your local CRAN mirror, or just use install.packages("ggplot2") from within R 2.14.0 or above.

ggplot2: Changes and Additions to ggplot2-0.9.0 (PDF)

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