R Graphics, Second Edition

R Graphics, Second Edition

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  • Comprehensive coverage of the core graphical packages used in R
  • New chapter on ggplot2
  • New chapters on applications and extensions of R Graphics


Extensively updated to reflect the evolution of statistics and computing, the second edition of the bestselling R Graphics comes complete with new packages and new examples. Paul Murrell, widely known as the leading expert on R graphics, has developed an in-depth resource that helps both neophyte and seasoned users master the intricacies of R graphics.

New in the Second Edition

  • Updated information on the core graphics engine, the traditional graphics system, the grid graphics system, and the lattice package
  • A new chapter on the ggplot2 package
  • New chapters on applications and extensions of R Graphics, including geographic maps, dynamic and interactive graphics, and node-and-edge graphs

Organized into five parts, R Graphics covers both "traditional" and newer, R-specific graphics systems. The book reviews the graphics facilities of the R language and describes R’s powerful grid graphics system. It then covers the graphics engine, which represents a common set of fundamental graphics facilities, and provides a series of brief overviews of the major areas of application for R graphics and the major extensions of R graphics.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to R Graphics
R graphics examples
The organization of R graphics

Simple Usage of Traditional Graphics
The traditional graphics model
The plot() function
Plots of a single variable
Plots of two variables
Plots of many variables
Arguments to graphics functions
Specialized plots
Interactive graphics

Customizing Traditional Graphics
The traditional graphics model in more detail
Controlling the appearance of plots
Arranging multiple plots
Annotating plots
Creating new plots

Trellis Graphics: the lattice Package
The lattice graphics model
Why another graphics system?
lattice plot types
The formula argument and multipanel conditioning
The group argument and legends
The layout argument and arranging plots
The scales argument and labelling axes
The panel argument and annotating plots
The par.settings argument and graphical parameters
Extending lattice plots

The Grammar of Graphics: the ggplot2 Package
Quick plots
The ggplot2 graphics model
Why another graphics system?
Geoms and aesthetics
Statistical transformations
The group aesthetic
Position adjustments
Coordinate transformations
Extending ggplot2

The grid Graphics Model
A brief overview of grid graphics
A simple example
Graphical primitives
Coordinate systems
Controlling the appearance of output
Missing values and non-finite values
Interactive graphics
Customizing lattice plots
Customizing ggplot2 output

The grid Graphics Object Model
Working with graphical output
Grob lists, trees, and paths
Working with graphical objects off-screen
7.Capturing output
Placing and packing grobs in frames
Other details about grobs
Saving and loading grid graphics
Working with lattice grobs
Working with ggplot2 grobs

Developing New Graphics Functions and Objects
An example
Simple graphics functions
Graphical objects
Debugging grid

Graphics Formats
Graphics devices
Graphical output formats
Including R graphics in other documents
Device-specific features
Multiple pages of output
Display lists
Extension packages

Graphical Parameters
Line styles
Data symbols
Mathematical formulae

Graphics Extensions
Tricks with text
Drawing formatted text on a plot
Avoiding text overlaps
Peculiar primitives
Confidence bars
Calculations on colors
Custom coordinates
Atypical axes

Plot Extensions
Venn diagrams
Chernoff faces
Ternary plots
Soil texture diagrams
Polar plots
Hexagonal binning

Graphics for Categorical Data
The vcd package
Plots of Categorical Data
Categorical data on the y-axis
Visualizing contingency tables
Categorical plot matrices
Multipanel categorical plots
Customizing categorical plots
The vcdExtra package

Map data
Map annotation
Complex polygons
Map projections
Raster maps
Other packages

Node-and-edge Graphs
Creating graphs
Graph layout and rendering
Other packages

3-D Graphics
3-D graphics concepts
The Canterbury earthquake
Traditional graphics
Lattice graphics
The scatterplot3d package
The rgl package
The vrmlgen package

Dynamic and Interactive Graphics
Dynamic Graphics
Interactive Graphics
Graphics GUIs
Interactive graphics for the web

Importing Graphics
The moon and the tides
Importing raster graphics
Importing vector graphics

Combining Graphics Systems
The gridBase package

Author Bio(s)

Paul Murrell attended Auckland University for his BSc (in Computer Science), BA (in Psychology), MSc (in Psychology), and PhD (in Statistics!). He then spent a year at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Community Medicine as a medical statistician and research assistant, before joining the Department of Statistics at Auckland University in October, 1999. His research interests include computational and graphical statistics. He is currently part of the development team for the R and Omegahat statistical computing projects. He was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2010.

Editorial Reviews

"The book under review is a greatly extended second edition of the well-received 2006 book. The size has almost doubled by adding 12 new chapters of which one is a former appendix, so that the second edition now contains 19 chapters divided into four parts. … this edition is invaluable and a necessity for everyone who regularly has to produce graphs by using R."
—Stefan K. Lhachimi, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, February 2014

"This is a timely revision for a well-liked book. … this book is the place to go for advice on how to draw that graphic. … The strengths of the book remain the clear exposition of the traditional and grid graphics systems and the numerous examples (for which the code is, of course, available on the book’s website). The new coverage of many other graphics packages adds to the book’s attractiveness and in particular the chapter on ggplot2 is an excellent introduction to a complex package. … a very good book, which will be of use to anyone working seriously with graphics in R."
—Antony Unwin, International Statistical Review, 2012

"A lot has changed in the world of statistical graphics during this time, which is reflected in the substantial new material in the second edition. … the changes make this book the essential and comprehensive guide to graphics in R. … This is an excellent book. Everyone who uses R to draw graphics should have a copy!"
Journal of Statistical Software, Vol. 43, September 2011

Praise for the First Edition:
"R Graphics is a must for many useRs and programmmeRs … Paul Murrell, a member of the R Core Development Team, has not only been the main author of ‘grid’ but has also been responsible for several recent enhancements to the underlying R graphics engine. Together with its online companion website, this book will be an indispensable resource for almost everyone interested in how to produce R graphics efficiently and intelligently."
—Martin Maechler, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

"Starting with the basic plotting commands most users are familiar with from introductory texts, the book gives a comprehensive overview of the current state and design principles of visualizing data with R. Paul Murrell is one of the main authors of R’s graphical facilities, and inventor of completely new features like the grid system or expressions for annotation of plots with mathematical formulae. … beginners gradually are turned into programmers while learning the language, having ample material for both novices and experts. It will certainly claim its place on the bookshelf of reference guides next to my desktop."
—Friedrich Leisch, Technical University of Vienna, Austria

"R Graphics is exactly the sort of documentation that R needs. It is written clearly, with many examples, and will be useful for any level of R expertise from novice upwards. It contains more than a hundred figures containing model code and its output. There are extensive cross-references that make finding detailed information easy. My copy of the book is from the first printing, but it is exceptionally free of typographical and other errors. … Murrell is to be congratulated."
—Duncan Murdoch, University of Western Ontario, Canada

"Thanks to Paul Murrell’s new book, the secrets of both traditional graphics and the new, modern grid system get unveiled … a must-have for novices and professionals alike, the ultimate guide to the power (and beauty) of R graphics."
—David Meyer, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, R News, 6(2), 2006

"It achieves its goal of documenting the graphical facilities of R and should be extremely useful to anyone in need of detailed knowledge, in particular, of R’s grid graphics."
—Soren Feodor Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, Journal of Applied Statistics, November 2007, Vol. 34, No. 9

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