Re: [R] R Graph Gallery : categorization of the graphs

From: Chris Evans <>
Date: Tue 07 Jun 2005 - 19:04:57 EST

On 6 Jun 2005 at 17:48, Sander Oom wrote: ... much snipped ...
> The whole point of a gallery is to show something to the user before
> the user knows what he is looking for. The R help functions currently
> available are hopeless when you have a picture of a graph in your head
> without knowing the required commands.
... much snipped ...

Belief that good graphics are often as important or more important than inferential tests or even CIs was one of the reasons I've moved over the last 15 years from SPSS (still use it a bit 'cos most colleagues do) through SAS (much better, much better graphics) to S+ (same but more so) to R (same and FLOSS!)

The demo graphics and the gallery are wonderful visual arguments for R and also great resources to help us learn. Categories that I think might be useful sometimes might be:

  	describes one variable where that is:
		dichotomous, categorical (n(categories) > 2), polytomous (short),
			polytomous (many levels), or continuous (might allow something on
			superimposing different referential distributions
	describes relationship between two variables where:
		both are dichotomous or polytomous
		one is ditto, other is continuous (box & violin etc: very useful to
			see good e.g.s of how to get most appropriate boxplots as it's 
			always possible to get good ones but not always obvious)
			(pointer to back-to-back histogram in Hmisc here)
		both are continuous (with and without jitter and weighting blobs)
	describe relationships between more than two variables...

However, the gallery idea is a very powerful one and being able to scroll through and drill down is a useful trick that M$ have, I grudgingly admit, used well so could we mimic their galleries from Excel as someone has suggested and perhaps mimic the drop down graphics picker in S+ (I no longer have access).

It's not much help but someone could put up the drop down list for newbies coming from SPSS ... ooh, just opened up my copy (11.0.1) and realised there's a gallery there with the following: bar, line, area, pie, high-low, pareto, control, boxplots, error bar, scatter, histogram, normal P-P, normal Q-Q, sequence, autocorrelations, cross-correlations & spectral. Never knew that the was there! The drop down list below that has essentially the same list but with the last three under a sub-heading of "time series" and ROC curves added.

I wonder if someone hosted a wiki for a while at least it would get people contributing code for examples for some of these? The results could transfer to the wonderful graphics gallery as they accumulated.  My skills aren't that hot but I'd throw in a few things happily and I'm sure a reward would be hearing of better ways to do things both in terms of coding and in terms of better displays/graphics to use.

Cheers all,


Chris Evans <>
Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Rampton Hospital; 
Research Programmes Director, Nottinghamshire NHS Trust, 
Hon. SL Institute of Psychiatry
*** My views are my own and not representative of those institutions 

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Received on Tue Jun 07 20:07:24 2005

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