Make ggplot graphics2 interactive with ggiraph

October 10, 2016

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

R's ggplot2 package is a well-known tool for producing beautiful static data visualizations that you can include in a printed report. But what if you want to include a ggplot2 graphic on a webpage and provide the ability for the user to interact with the data? The ggiraph package by David Gohel  (available for installation via CRAN). WIth ggiraph, you can take an existing ggplot2 bar chart, scatterplot, boxplot, map, or many other types of chart and add one or both of the following iteractions:

  • Display a tooltip of your choice (e.g. data values or labels) when the cursor hovers over sections of the chart
  • Perform an action (a javascript function you provide: jump to another page, for example) when the viewer clicks on an element of the chart

The tweet below (from Duc Quang Nguyen, a data journalist at shows an animation of ggiraph in action: a map of the net migration rate into (green) or out of (brown) regions in Europe.

You can try out other examples of interactive charts in this ggirpah vignette. If you already have chart written in ggplot2, it's easy to make interactive: just replace the existing geom call (e.g. geom_map) with its ggiraph equivalent (geom_map_interactive) , and provide extra arguments with information about the labels and/or javascript actions. For more details on using ggiraph, check out its home on github, linked below.

Github (davidgohel): ggiraph

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