R

Custom fonts and plot quality with ggplot on Windows

Graphics devices are weird, and operating systems are even weirder. If you are a Mac of Linux user, lucky you, you can go on your merry way! But if you’re a Windows user and you’ve ever screamed at your computer “Why the #&*$ wont my fonts work!?!?” or “Why are my plots so &#**ing pixelated!?!”, then read on. Note this is accurate as of May 2019. There is a lot of development happening on ggplot and graphics in R, courtesy of Thomas Lin Pederson and the rest of the ggplot team.

Orbital glyphs, part 1 (12 Months of aRt, April)

Welcome to my latest aRt project, which is very much a work-in-progress. I usually try to wrap things up in a nice bow before posting them, but this one was just too big for that, so I decided to split it over two months. This is part 1, in which I define a base algorithm for drawing various types of glyphs. I honestly don’t know what to call these, they started out with the idea of “orbits” and then evolved into something more like summoning circles.

Making the Data Visualization Society Timeline

The Data Visualization Society recently held their inaugural challenge. My final submission was a switchback style timeline that visualized each member as a watercolor splotch. I made the base graphic in R, and applied stylings to the SVG using manual editing and Inkscape. I got several questions about how I made it, so here’s the story from concept to final design. Concept From first looking at the DVS challenge data, I knew I would make a timeline.

Animating Pi (12 Months of aRt, March)

Pi is an infinite, non-repeating decimal – meaning that every possible number combination exists somewhere in pi. Converted into ASCII text, somewhere in that string of digits is the name of every person you will ever love, the date, time, and manner of your death, and the answers to all the great questions of the universe. Converted into a bitmap, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is a pixel-perfect representation of the first thing you saw on this earth, the last thing you will see before your life leaves you, and all the moments, momentous and mundane, that will occur between those points.

Strange Attractors (12 Months of aRt, February)

Something strange this way comes What is a strange attractor? Wikipedia says an attractor is a set of numbers towards which a system tends to evolve. It then says that an attractor is called strange if its set is fractal. If you’re like me, that definition went in one ear and out the other. Here’s an infinitely better definition: Imagine how a planet orbits a star. The planet is attracted to the center of the star by gravity, but its angular momentum flings it into an ellipse, rather than just letting it fall into the star.

Tessellated Menagerie (12 months of aRt, January)

Motivation Welcome to the inaugural post of my 12 months of aRt project! In these posts I’ll walk through my motivations, technical aspects, and design choices for various generative/data art projects I make using R. Read more about my reasons and expectations for this project in my intro post. I’ve always loved the aesthetics of low-poly animal sketches, so I set out to see if I could recreate this in R.

12 Months of aRt

Announcement! Announcing a new project: 12 Months of aRt! In this post I’ll explain what this project is, why I am doing it, and what I hope to accomplish. I’m currently rewatching 30 Rock, so enjoy this story as told by 30 Rock gifs. What is aRt? The goal of this project is to use R to make generative or data-driven art. Each month I hope to explore a new idea or algorithm–my only requirement is that the primary purpose of the work is creative, not functional 😉.

The Most Dangerous Place to be Transgender

Trigger warning Introduction Getting and cleaning data Trends in violence by region Is South America more dangerous for transgender people, or just for all people? Country level analysis Proportion of murder victims that are transgender Number of transgender victims by age Conclusions Trigger warning This is an exploratory data analysis of murders of transgender people. The data contains graphic descriptions of violence against transgender people.

Animated Species Invasions with rgbif and gganimate

Introduction Getting data with rgbif Data cleaning Data wrangling Make the animation Another example with Kudzu Introduction Since I discovered GBIF, I’ve been hooked. What is GBIF? From their website: “GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and research infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.” In 2018, GBIF passed the mark of one billion occurence records, which is just incredible.

Finding Combinations in the Tidyverse

Introduction Trials and tribulations The solution Introduction Drama, intrigue, arrogance, dashed hopes, rock-bottom, perseverance, and eventual triumph, this post has it all! It starts with me watching Rachael Tatman’s recent live-coding video, and ends with a thrilling race-to-the-bottom between two pathetically slow functions. What lies ahead: many a WTF moment, lots of trial and error, and some useful tidyverse data wrangling tips. Rachael Tatman is a data scientist at Kaggle, and does these awesome live coding sessions every Friday.