Easy pictograms using R

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I have been amazed for a while that there is no major stats software offering pictograms. You know the sort of classic infographic I mean:

Isotype’s classic design

Well, I have been working on an R function to help with this. It’s at Github here and below. Here’s an example:


pictogram(icon=man, n=c(12,35,52), grouplabels=c("dudes","chaps","lads"))


Simple, huh? You can also have more than one icon, although it’s up to you to keep them a sensible height:width ratio or ‘aspect’ to avoid distorting impressions.

pictogram(icon=list(man,holly,monster), n=c(12,35,52), grouplabels=c("men","holly","monsters"))


Suggestions? e-mail me or better still, pull them on Github. Happy pictogramming!

# requires image to be read in by readPNG or similar and supplied as "icon" # To do: allow for non-integer n pictogram<-function(icon,n,grouplabels="", hicons=20,vspace=0.5,labprop=0.2,labelcex=1) { if(is.list(icon)) { licon<-icon } else { licon<-list(icon) for (i in 2:length(n)) { licon[[i]]<-icon } } library(reshape) sumn<-sum(n) group<-untable(df=matrix((1:length(n)),ncol=1),num=n) vicons<-ceiling(n/hicons) allv<-sum(vicons) tail<-n%%hicons # dim[1] is the height, dim[2] the width: devaspect<-dev.size(units="px")[1]/dev.size(units="px")[2] xlength<-1 # get dims of all elements of licon, find greatest aspect and set ylength getdim<-function(z) { aspect<-dim(z)[1]/dim(z)[2] return(aspect) } all.ylengths<-unlist(lapply(licon,getdim)) ylength<-max(all.ylengths) all.ylengths<-untable(df=matrix(all.ylengths,ncol=1),num=n) ytop<-allv*ylength if(devaspect*hicons

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