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Minimalist Density Plotting in R

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Minimalist Density Plotting in R

Make minimalist maps using R for data visualization based on locations such as cities by population and airports.

· Big Data Zone
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This week, I mentioned a series of maps, on Twitter,

some minimalist maps http://t.co/YCNPf3AR9n (poke @visionscarto) pic.twitter.com/Ip9Tylsbkv

— Arthur Charpentier (@freakonometrics) 2 Septembre 2015

Friday evening, just before leaving the office to pick-up the kids after their first week back in class, Matthew Champion (aka @matthewchampion) sent me an email, asking for more details. He wanted to know if I did produce those graphs, and if he could mention then, in a post. The truth is, I have no idea who produced those graphs, but I told him one can easily reproduce them. For instance, for the cities, in R, use

> library(maps)
> data("world.cities")
> plot(world.cities$lon,world.cities$lat,
+ pch=19,cex=.7,axes=FALSE,xlab="",ylab="")

It is possible to get a more minimalist one by plotting only cities with more than 100,000 unhabitants, e.g.,

> world.cities2 = world.cities[
+ world.cities$pop>100000,]
> plot(world.cities2$lon,world.cities2$lat,
+ pch=19,cex=.7,axes=FALSE,xlab="",ylab="")

For the airports, it was slightly more complex since on http://openflights.org/data.html#airport, 6,977 airports  are mentioned. But on http://www.naturalearthdata.com/, I found another dataset with only 891 airports.

> library(maptools)
> shape <- readShapePoints(
+ "~/data/airport/ne_10m_airports.shp")
> plot(shape,pch=19,cex=.7)

On the same website, one can find a dataset for ports,

> shape <- readShapePoints(
+ "~/data/airport/ne_10m_ports.shp")
> plot(shape,pch=19,cex=.7)

This is for graphs based on points. For those based on lines, for instance rivers, shapefiles can be downloaded from https://github.com/jjrom/hydre/tree/, and then, use

> require(maptools)
> shape <- readShapeLines(
+ "./data/river/GRDC_687_rivers.shp")
> plot(shape,col="blue")

For roads, the shapefile can be downloaded from http://www.naturalearthdata.com/

> shape <- readShapeLines(
+ "./data/roads/ne_10m_roads.shp")
> plot(shape,lwd=.5)

Last, but not least, for lakes, we need the polygons,

> shape <- readShapePoly(
+ "./data/lake/ne_10m_lakes.shp")
> plot(shape,col="blue",border="blue",lwd=2)

Nice, isn’t it? See See the world differently with these minimalist maps for Matthew Champion‘s post.

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Topics:
big data ,data visualization ,r language ,density plots

Published at DZone with permission of Arthur Charpentier, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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