How many downloads does my package have?

April 7, 2019

(This article was first published on R Code – Geekcologist , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Everyone that authors an R package is curious about how many users download it. As far as I know there’s still no way to get information on all the downloads, from all the R mirrors. Here I’m using package cranlogs, which only gives information on the downloads from the R Studio mirror. It also does not allow to now from where in the world these downloads were made. However, it has a major advantage: speed! The package cranlogs provides a easy (and way faster) method to get this information without having to download all the log files (which can take a long time).

I have written this little script, which I use to keep track of my packages’ downloads (here I’m using MetaLandSim as an example).

First of all let’s load all the required R packages:


If we want to know about last week’s downloads:

#Last week's downloads
cran_downloads(packages="MetaLandSim", when="last-week")
##         date count     package
## 1 2019-03-30     7 MetaLandSim
## 2 2019-03-31     7 MetaLandSim
## 3 2019-04-01    11 MetaLandSim
## 4 2019-04-02    30 MetaLandSim
## 5 2019-04-03    30 MetaLandSim
## 6 2019-04-04    19 MetaLandSim
## 7 2019-04-05    11 MetaLandSim

Or about the overall downloads (the last date has to be the previous day):

#How many overall downloads
mls <- cran_downloads(packages="MetaLandSim", from = "2014-11-09", to = Sys.Date()-1)


So… the number of downloads MetaLandSim has is…

## [1] 21868


We can now plot the resulting graph, depicting the daily downloads:

gr0 <- ggplot(mls2, aes(mls2$date, mls2$count)) + 
geom_line(colour = "red",size=1) 
gr0 + xlab("Time") + ylab("Nr. of downloads") + 
labs(title = paste0("MetaLandSim daily downloads ", Sys.Date()-1)) 



Or we can plot the cumulative downloads sum  to get an idea about the rate of increase in download numbers:

cumulative <- cumsum(mls[,2])
mls2 <- cbind(mls,cumulative)

gr1 <- ggplot(mls2, aes(mls2$date, mls2$cumulative)) + 
geom_line(colour = "blue",size=1) 
gr1 + xlab("Time") + ylab("Nr. of downloads") + 
labs(title = paste0("MetaLandSim cumulative downloads until ", Sys.Date()-1)) 



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