Blog Archives

Tol Color Schemes

September 23, 2018
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Tol Color Schemes

Introduction Choosing colors for a graphic is a bit like taking a trip down the rabbit hole, that is, it can take much longer than expected and be both fun and frustrating at the same time. Striking a balance between colors that look good to you and your audience is important. Keep in mind that color blindness affects many individuals throughout the world and...

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Furthest Water

September 20, 2018
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Furthest Water

Finding the Location Furthest from Water in the Conterminous United States The idea for this post came a few months back when I received an email that started, “I am a writer and teacher and am reaching out to you with a question related to a piece I would like to write about the place in the United States that is furthest from...

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Beyond Basic R – Version Control with Git

August 23, 2018
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Depending on how new you are to software development and/or R programming, you may have heard people mention version control, Git, or GitHub. Version control refers to the idea of tracking changes to files through time and various contributors. Git is an example of a version control tool, and GitHub is a popular web interface for Git. That’s it....

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Beyond Basic R – Mapping

August 15, 2018
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Beyond Basic R – Mapping

Introduction There are many different R packages for dealing with spatial data. The main distinctions between them involve the types of data they work with — raster or vector — and the sophistication of the analyses they can do. Raster data can be thought of as pixels, similar to an image, while vector data consists of points, lines, or polygons....

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Exploring ggplot2 boxplots – Defining limits and adjusting style

August 9, 2018
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Exploring ggplot2 boxplots – Defining limits and adjusting style

Boxplots are often used to show data distributions, and ggplot2 is often used to visualize data. A question that comes up is what exactly do the box plots represent? The ggplot2 box plots follow standard Tukey representations, and there are many references of this online and in standard statistical text books. The base R function to calculate the box...

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Beyond Basic R – Plotting with ggplot2 and Multiple Plots in One Figure

August 8, 2018
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Beyond Basic R – Plotting with ggplot2 and Multiple Plots in One Figure

R can create almost any plot imaginable and as with most things in R if you don’t know where to start, try Google. The Introduction to R curriculum summarizes some of the most used plots, but cannot begin to expose people to the breadth of plot options that exist.There are existing resources that are great references for plotting in...

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Beyond Basic R – Data Munging

July 31, 2018
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Beyond Basic R – Data Munging

What we couldn’t cover In the data cleaning portion of our Intro to R class, we cover a variety of common data manipulation tasks. Most of these were achieved using the package dplyr, including removing or retaining certain columns (select), filtering out rows by column condition (filter), creating new columns (mutate), renaming columns (rename), grouping data by categorical variables (group_by),...

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Beyond Basic R – Introduction and Best Practices

July 29, 2018
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We queried more than 60 people who have taken the USGS Introduction to R class over the last two years to understand what other skills and techniques are desired, but not covered in the course. Though many people have asked for an intermediate level class, we believe that many of the skills could be best taught through existing online...

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Maps with inlmisc

July 16, 2018
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Maps with inlmisc

Introduction This document gives a brief introduction to making static and dynamic maps using inlmisc, an R package developed by researchers at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Project Office. Included with inlmisc is a collection of functions for creating high-level graphics, such as graphs, maps, and cross sections. All graphics attempt to adhere to the formatting standards for illustrations in USGS publications. You...

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Daily Streamflow Trend Analysis

May 28, 2018
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Daily Streamflow Trend Analysis

Introduction This document describes how to produce a set of graphics and perform the associated statistical tests that describe trends in daily streamflow at a single streamgage. The trends depicted cover the full range of quantiles of the streamflow distribution, from the lowest discharge of the year, through the median discharge, up through the highest discharge of the year. The...

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