Monday, April 29, 2013

d3 <- R with rCharts and slidify

I believe that the NY Times interactive feature 512 Paths to the White House is one of the best visualizations of all time.  It is even better when we have details on the process of creating this marvel.   Although the graphic is not suited for other data sources (please tell me if this is not correct), I just could not resist using the amazing R packages slidify and rCharts from Ramnath Vaidyanathan to build it from R.  I wouldn’t have even thought it possible until I saw his tutorial Replicating NY Times Interactive Graphic and his demo Visualizing the Reinhart and Rogoff Public Debt Study.

I have a feeling that nearly every R user of lattice or ggplot2 will be familiar with Ramnath’s brilliance by the end of the year 2013. He might even convince some d3 users to try a little R.

Even more amazing is the entire tutorial embedded below (click here if it does not appear) is created in R with slidify, so it is entirely reproducible.  rCharts is early in development, but I urge you to try it out.



  1. Thanks for this post!

    I tried to reproduce according to the tutorial. All R code gets executed well but when evaluating p1, there is the error

    Error in file(con, "r") : cannot open the connection
    In addition: Warning message:
    In file(con, "r") :
    cannot open file '/config.yml': No such file or directory

    I double checked that config.yml is present and the directory structure is as you outlined in the tutorial. Any hints?

  2. Try again after reinstalling rCharts from github. Let me know if fixed.

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  4. wow, glad this old post still has some life. Unfortunately, I had not updated to work with the newer rCharts. I have made the changes necessary, so hopefully it will work now. Let me know if it does not.

    As a note, I would work backwards chronologically with my rCharts posts, since the newer ones are more likely to work and also take advantage of new rCharts functionality.

  5. thanks for your time & reply, the changes made eliminated the previous issue and now the view comes up with only text and not graph, not sure if I am missing something but so far complete graph is not rendered.

  6. issue was with chart.html, the changes you made works well on windows and Linux. Thanks.