Recreating and updating Minard with ggplot2

August 23, 2017

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

Minard's chart depicting Napoleon's 1812 march on Russia is a classic of data visualization that has inspired many homages using different time-and-place data. If you'd like to recreate the original chart, or create one of your own, Andrew Heiss has created a tutorial on using the ggplot2 package to re-envision the chart in R:


The R script provided in the tutorial is driven by historical data on the location and size of Napoleon's armies during the 1812 campaign, but you could adapt the script to use new data as well. Andrew also shows how to combine the chart with a geographical or satellite map, which is how the cities appear in the version above (unlike in Minard's original). 


The data behind the Minard chart is available from Michael Friendly and you can find the R scripts at this Github repository. For the complete tutorial, follow the link below.

Andrew Heiss: Exploring Minard’s 1812 plot with ggplot2 (via Jenny Bryan)


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