A review of ggplot2 (0.8.3)


simply the best graphics package for R

This package is quite simply the best graphics package available for R -- and arguably the best statistical graphics package for any language.

ggplot2 has two features that put it head and shoulders above any other tool I've used for creating graphics:

(i) It possesses excellent defaults. The package author, Hadley Wickham, put an enormous amount of thought into the default aesthetics. From light gray plotting backgrounds to monochromatically spaced color palettes, ggplot2 builds on decades of work done in the information visualization space.

(ii) It possesses an intuitive syntax. Creating graphics in R often requires specifying an enormous number of parameters. ggplot2's syntax -- the ability to "build up" a graph from layer by layer -- allows for an intuitive way to control complexity.