Every so often Prof D watches Hans Rosling's TED talk or TV show and thinks to himself, "Barry could do that". And so the other week he said to me, "Could we do graphics like that in R?". Because he only really understands R, and Ben had recently cooked up some interactive R plots using tk widgets. Here's the kind of thing that www.gapminder.org can serve up with their Adobe Flash widget:
Well obviously you could do this in R. Or something like it. But why? On CRAN there's the googleVis package which pumps your data into google's visualisation library and you can do just this kind of chart. Doing it in vanilla R would be painful, and the whole chart would have to be redrawn every time. It's not really designed for it.
Here then is preview number 1.
I'll never have the time to make it as polished as Gapminder or Googlevis, but here is the start of an open-source version of these charts.
Ooh did I say 'open-source'? Anyone want the code?