Simon Urbanek – R Graphics: supercharged

August 18, 2011

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

New features:

  • rasterImage() (R2.11)
    • bitmap raster drawing;
    • have maps as data backdrops.
  • Polygons with holes: polypath() -(R2.12)
  • At present there is no way to tell when to actually show the plot. For example: plot(x); lines(x). Should we display the plot after plot or after lines
    • Solution dev.hold() and dev.flush()
    • Better performance and useful for animations – (currently in R-dev).


Data size increases, but large RAM (>100GB) and CPU power is affordable. Visualization needs to keep up.

  • Currently rendering is slow. Solutions: OpenGL + GPUs.
  • Visualisation methods for large data
    • interactivity (divide and conquer, shift of focus): use iPlots eXtreme (very nice demo of iplots!)
    • sufficient statistics, aggregations, etc.


Note: lots of very nice demos, hence the lack of notes.

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