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Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in R Spatial, Resources | 13 comments

Where is the R Activity?

Where is the R Activity?

R has become one of the world’s most widely used statistics and visualisation software packages with an ever growing user community. Thanks to the release of log files containing all hits to http://cran.rstudio.com/ server it is possible to make a map showing the parts of the world with the most active R users (specifically those mostly using the RStudio interface). The USA comes top with 3,045,960 requests to the server between October 2012 and June 2013. Japan is in 2nd place with a mere 756,177 requests and Germany 3rd. In all 203 countries appear in the server logs. I have scaled the map according to the number of server requests made and you can clearly see the dominance of Japan, Europe and North America compared with other parts of the world, especially Africa. The map of course isn’t a perfect representation of the number of R users, as you could have one or two people making hundreds of server requests a day versus a large number of people only making a couple. This is...

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2011 in Featured Maps, London, Visualisation | 0 comments

Mapping GCSE Scores

Mapping GCSE Scores

In the UK, August is exam results month for 16-18 year olds. Every year, photos of leaping teenagers clutching their results are accompanied by reports of record attainment rates, debates around how challenging modern exams are and, more so recently than ever, concerns for the number of sixth form and university places. Back in March the full list of the 2010 GCSE results (exams taken by UK 16 year olds [except in Scotland]) were released and I mapped them but never got round to sharing them with anyone. Now seems a good time to do this so here goes… The map below uses the increasingly popular cartogram method to show the success of students in each Local Authority (LA) across England. The non cartogram version is also shown alongside. This is quite a coarse map as England is only split into the 152 LAs and we know there is much greater variation between schools at a local level and even sometimes within individual schools. Moreover, schools on authority borders often...

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Posted by on Mar 7, 2011 in Featured Maps, Resources, Visualisation | 2 comments

Flattening the Earth

Flattening the Earth

Flattening the Earth so that it can be easily drawn on a 2-dimensional surface is complicated. Over many years map projections have been developed to aid in this process, but they can only really estimate (albeit very accurately) the shape and dimensions of things on the Earth’s round surface. Whilst it is important to understand the technical aspects of map projections, it is also worth considering the effects that such transformations can have on people’s view of the world. The image below shows an assortment of map projections of the UK (and one of Great Britain). These have all been taken from Wikipedia so the level of detail along the coastline varies a little. They demonstrate nicely the effect that different map projections can have on the shape of a country. As you can see, some of the projections have squashed the UK whilst others have stretched it or changed its orientation. The British National Grid is the best representation because it has been designed specifically for Britain. It...

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