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Hyetographs, hydrographs and highcharter

February 6, 2017
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Hyetographs, hydrographs and highcharter

Dual y-axes: yes or no? What about if one of them is also reversed, i.e. values increase from the top of the chart to the bottom? Judging by this StackOverflow question, hydrologists are fond of both of these things. It asks whether ggplot2 can be used to generate a “rainfall hyetograph and streamflow hydrograph”, which … Continue reading Hyetographs,...

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Nice graphic? Are they taking the p…

February 4, 2017
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Nice graphic? Are they taking the p…

Yes, it started with a tweet: Nice graphic on urine components via https://t.co/sfuXNB02sF pic.twitter.com/vhVLahQ8su — Metabolomics (@metabolomics) January 31, 2017 By what measure is this a “nice graphic”? First, the JPEG itself is low-quality. Second, it contains spelling and numerical errors (more on that later). And third…do I have to spell this out…those are 3D … Continue reading Nice...

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The real meaning of spurious correlations

February 2, 2017
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The real meaning of spurious correlations

Like many data nerds, I’m a big fan of Tyler Vigen’s Spurious Correlations, a humourous illustration of the old adage “correlation does not equal causation”. Technically, I suppose it should be called “spurious interpretations” since the correlations themselves are quite real, but then good marketing is everything. There is, however, a more formal definition of … Continue reading The...

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Taking steps (in XML)

February 1, 2017
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Taking steps (in XML)

So the votes are in: Your established blog is mostly about your work. Your work changes. Do you continue at the current blog or start a new one? — Neil Saunders (@neilfws) January 23, 2017 I thank you, kind readers. So here’s the plan: (1) keep blogging here as frequently as possible (perhaps monthly), (2) … Continue reading Taking...

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Evidence for a limit to effective peer review

December 18, 2016
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Evidence for a limit to effective peer review

I missed it first time around but apparently, back in October, Nature published a somewhat-controversial article: Evidence for a limit to human lifespan. It came to my attention in a recent tweet: Just wow https://t.co/fupXIOAC43 pic.twitter.com/vsxT3VyTg6 — Nick Loman (@pathogenomenick) December 11, 2016 The source: a fact-check article from Dutch news organisation NRC titled “Nature

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An Analysis of Contributions to PubMed Commons

December 1, 2016
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An Analysis of Contributions to PubMed Commons

I recently saw a tweet floating by which included a link to some recent statistics from PubMed Commons, the NCBI service for commenting on scientific articles in PubMed. Perhaps it was this post at their blog. So I thought now would be a good time to write some code to analyse PubMed Commons data. The

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Putting data on maps using R: easier than ever

November 23, 2016
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Putting data on maps using R: easier than ever

Using R to add data to maps has been pretty straightforward for a few years now. That said, it seems easier than ever to do things like use map APIs (e.g. Google, Open Street Map), overlay quite complex data visualisations (e.g. “heatmap-style” densities) and even generate animations. A couple of key R packages in this

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The y-axis: to zero or not to zero

November 20, 2016
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The y-axis: to zero or not to zero

I don’t “do politics” at this blog, but I’m always happy to do charts. Here’s one that’s been doing the rounds on Twitter recently: A quick look at turnout data: It seems 2016 was nothing special for the Rep-candidate. It's the Dem-candidate that didn't get the vote out. pic.twitter.com/wby3gta26m — D Yanagizawa-Drott (@yanagiz) November 9,

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Let’s (briefly) revisit the Nobel API

October 9, 2016
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Let’s (briefly) revisit the Nobel API

It’s always nice when 12-month old code runs without a hitch. Not sure why this did not become a Github repo first time around, but now it is: my RMarkdown code to generate a report using data from the Nobel Prize API. Now you too can generate a “gee, it’s all old white men” chart

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Novelty: an update

October 21, 2015
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Novelty: an update

A recent tweet: @neilfws I enjoyed this: https://t.co/ynyHRbgpLN Have you published (or are you thinking about publishing) this analysis anywhere? — Marcus Munafo (@MarcusMunafo) October 7, 2015 made me think (1) has it really been 5 years, (2) gee, my ggplot skills were dreadful back then and (3) did I really not know how to

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