Blog Archives

Ligature fonts for R

July 19, 2017
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Ligature fonts for R

Ligature fonts are fonts which sometimes map multiple characters to a single glyph, either for readability or just because it looks neat. Importantly, this only affects the rendering of the text with said font, while the distinct characters remain in … Continue reading →

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The Mandelbrot Set in R

June 27, 2017
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The Mandelbrot Set in R

The Mandelbrot set is iconic and countless beautiful visualisations have been born from its deceptively simple recursive equation. R’s plotting ecosystem should be the perfect setting for generating these eye-catching visualisations, but to date the package support has been lacking. … Continue reading →

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Interactive charts in R

May 19, 2015
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Interactive charts in R

I’m giving a talk tomorrow at the Edinburgh R usergroup (EdinbR) on how to get started building interactive charts in R. I’ll talk about rCharts as a great general entry point to quickly generating interactive charts, and also the newer htmlwidgets … Continue reading →

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Recreating the vaccination heatmaps in R

April 9, 2015
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Recreating the vaccination heatmaps in R

In February the WSJ graphics team put together a series of interactive visualisations on the impact of vaccination that blew up on twitter and facebook, and were roundly lauded as great-looking and effective dataviz. Some of these had enough data available to look … Continue reading →

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Planning an R usergroup meeting in R

March 25, 2015
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Planning an R usergroup meeting in R

The Edinburgh R usergroup (EdinbR) put together a survey a while back to figure out some of the logistical details for organising a succesful meeting. We had 75 responses (and a few more after I grabbed the results) so here’s … Continue reading →

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EdinbR: A new R usergroup for Edinburgh

February 11, 2015
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EdinbR: A new R usergroup for Edinburgh

Inspired by succesful RUGs like LondonR and CambR, I’m pleased to announce a new R usergroup for those in and around Edinburgh: EdinbR! Edinburgh has a large research community using R, spread across different campuses and even universities so a … Continue reading →

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Celebrity twitter followers by gender

May 25, 2014
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Celebrity twitter followers by gender

The most popular accounts on twitter have millions of followers, but what are their demographics like? Twitter doesn’t collect or release this kind of information, and even things like name and location are only voluntarily added to people’s profiles. Unlike Google+ … Continue reading →

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What are the most overrated films?

May 5, 2014
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What are the most overrated films?

“Overrated” and “underrated” are slippery terms to try to quantify. An interesting way of looking at this, I thought, would be to compare the reviews of film critics with those of Joe Public, reasoning that a film which is roundly-lauded by … Continue reading →

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Author inflation in academic literature

April 6, 2014
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Author inflation in academic literature

There seems to be a general consensus that author lists in academic articles are growing. Wikipedia says so, and I’ve also come across a published letter and short Nature article which accept this is the case and discuss ways of … Continue reading →

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Guardian data blog — UK general election analysis in R

March 18, 2014
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Guardian data blog — UK general election analysis in R

The Guardian newspaper has for a few years been running a data blog and has built up a massive repository of (often) well-curated datasets on a huge number of topics. They even have an indexed list of all data sets they’ve put … Continue reading →

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