Blog Archives

All Roads Lead to Rome

July 28, 2019
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All Roads Lead to Rome

I was inspired by this visualisation, showing the optimal routes (by car) from the geographic centre of the USA to all counties. The proverb “All Roads Lead to Rome” immediately came to mind and I set out to hack together something along that theme. This is what was required: Find a list of major cities in Europe and Asia. Use OSRM to generate...

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Recreating ‘Unknown Pleasures’ graphic

July 14, 2019
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Recreating ‘Unknown Pleasures’ graphic

For some time I’ve wanted to recreate the cover art from Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album. The visualisation depicts successive pulses from the pulsar PSR B1919+21, discovered by Jocelyn Bell in 1967. Album art.Data The first obstacle was acquiring the data. I found a D3 visualisation by Mike Bostock. This in turn pointed me to a CSV file in a gist...

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Comrades Marathon (2019) Splits

June 30, 2019
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Comrades Marathon (2019) Splits

I’m looking at ways to effectively visualise the splits data for the 2019 edition of the Comrades Marathon. My objectives are to provide: an overall view of the splits across the entire field and a detailed view for individual runners (relative to the rest of the field). Ridge Plot My working solution for visualising the global splits data is a ridgeline plot created...

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Medal Breakdown at Comrades Marathon (2019)

June 29, 2019
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Medal Breakdown at Comrades Marathon (2019)

A quick breakdown of the medal distribution at the 2019 edition of the Comrades Marathon. This is what the medal categories correspond to: Gold — first 10 men and women Wally Hayward (men) — 11th position to sub-6:00 Isavel Roche-Kelly (women)...

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Comrades Marathon: Start Delay

June 14, 2019
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Comrades Marathon: Start Delay

How long does it take to cross the start line at the Comrades Marathon? If you’re lucky enough to be starting in one of the batches which is close to the front then this might be a matter of seconds to a couple of minutes. But if you’re in a batch closer to the back then this could be...

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Comrades Marathon (2019) Start Delay

June 14, 2019
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Comrades Marathon (2019) Start Delay

How long does it take to cross the start line at the Comrades Marathon? If you’re lucky enough to be starting in one of the batches which is close to the front then this might be a matter of seconds to a couple of minutes. But if you’re in a batch closer to the back then this could be...

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A Shiny Comrades Marathon Pacing App

June 3, 2019
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A Shiny Comrades Marathon Pacing App

The Comrades Marathon is an epic ultramarathon run each year between Durban and Pietermaritzburg (South Africa). A few years ago I put together a simple spreadsheet for generating a Comrades Marathon pacing strategy. But the spreadsheet was clunky to use and laborious to maintain. Plus I was frustrated by the crude plots (largely due to my limited spreadsheet proficiency). It...

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emayili: Sending Email from R

May 26, 2019
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emayili: Sending Email from R

At Exegetic we do a lot of automated reporting with R. Being able to easily and reliably send emails is a high priority. There is already a selection of packages for sending email from R: {mailR} {gmailr} {blastula} {blatr} (Windows) {mail} and {sendmailR}. We’ve had the most experience with the first two, both of which are really solid packages. However, {gmailr} uses the Google Mail API so...

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Setting up an R Admin Group

April 10, 2019
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When I set up an R server for clients they often want to be able to install packages so that all users on the machine have access to them. This requires them to be able to install the packages onto the root filesystem rather that under their individual home directories. It would be easy enough to give them su access,...

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Integrating Qlik Sense and R

March 21, 2019
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Integrating Qlik Sense and R

Components Qlik Sense is a tool for exploratory data analysis and visualisation. It’s powerful and versatile. It’s can, however, be significantly enhanced by interfacing with R. Qlik Sense does not currently integrate directly with R. However, it’s not too tricky to get the two systems talking to each other. We’ll need two things to make this happen: Rserve — A TCP/IP...

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