US Officer Involved Shootings Mar-Apr 2015 with Shiny
Now everyone can be a data analyst with RStudio’s Shiny package. Fellow R programmer and Las Vegas import, Steve Wells, has created a R-markdown report that shows off some of the features of this dynamic framework. Using data derived from the Gun Violence Archive and Google maps, interested users can manipulate this data using four different Shiny empowered HTML Widgets from within a single document.
This example of a living article, allows the reader the opportunity to manipulate the data as they peruse it. Whereas hypertext originally only gave readers reference points (links) within a document, the addition of images illustrated the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. The progression from picture to video and other forms of multimedia provided additional levels of meaning. Today it’s applications that give rise to interactive, living articles.
Many technical books are now moving to online, interactive sessions. Professor Philip B. Stark, chair of Statistics at the University of California Berkley, has delivered his textbook with imbedded videos and sample problems online. In this way he’s able to fix typos and make updates without having to republish a new edition. After completing a section, the student is given one or two interactive summary quiz problems which helps solidify the concepts they just learned. If the student wants more practice they can simply reload the page to get another quiz problem. These interactive resources create an invaluable feedback loop when learning new concepts. Now using a combination of Shiny and R-Markdown, a picture becomes an application. These interactive applications provide the ability to gather views that even the original author could not anticipate.
Build Your Own Living Document with Shiny
Steve provides links to each HTML Widget that was used to make the display so that other data analysts can build out their own interactive Shiny reports. Programmers are encouraged to explore further as the complete source code to the Shiny elements are available on github including the scripts used to add Google maps data to the dataset.