[R] label outliers in geom_boxplot (ggplot2)

From: Mihalicza Péter <mihalicza.peter_at_eski.hu>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 16:58:40 +0200

Dear List and Hadley,

I would like to have a boxplot with ggplot2 and have the outlier values labelled with their "name" attribute. So I did    

> library(ggplot2)
> dat=data.frame(num=rep(1,20), val=c(runif(18),3,3.5),

> p=ggplot(dat, aes(y=val, x=num))+geom_boxplot(outlier.size=4,

> p+geom_text(label=dat$name)

But this -of course- labels all the data points. So I searched high and low to find the way to only label the outliers, but I couldn't find any solution. Probably my keywords were inappropriate, but I looked at the ggplot website and the book also. So I did this:    

> boxout=boxplot(dat$val)$out
> outname=as.character(dat$name)
> outname[(dat$val %in% boxout)==FALSE]="\n"
> p+geom_text(label=outname)

This works, but seems like a hack to me. Is there an obvious solution that I am missing?

Another thing: it seems, that if there is only one outlier, ggplot doesn't show it, although it adjusts the axis to it, and also plots the label, when doing geom_text():

>dat=data.frame(num=rep(1,20), val=c(runif(19),3), name=letters[1:20])
>ggplot(dat, aes(y=val, x=num))+geom_boxplot(outlier.size=4,


 > sessionInfo()
R version 2.6.2 (2008-02-08)


attached base packages:
[1] splines grid stats graphics grDevices utils datasets [8] methods base

other attached packages:

[1] ggplot2_0.6        colorspace_0.95    RColorBrewer_1.0-2 
[5] proto_0.3-8        reshape_0.8.0      Hmisc_3.4-3      

loaded via a namespace (and not attached): [1] cluster_1.11.10 lattice_0.17-6 tools_2.6.2

Thank you for your help!

Best wishes,

Peter Mihalicza

National Institute for Strategic Health Research
6-8. Arany János utca, Budapest-1051, Hungary

Tel.: +36-1-354-5320
E-mail: mihalicza.peter_at_eski.hu

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Received on Tue 27 May 2008 - 17:10:54 GMT

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