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The Grammar of Graphics

by Leland Wilkinson

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1051210,788 (3.55)None
This book was written for statisticians, computer scientists, geographers, research and applied scientists, and others interested in visualizing data. It presents a unique foundation for producing almost every quantitative graphic found in scientific journals, newspapers, statistical packages, and data visualization systems. This foundation was designed for a distributed computing environment (Internet, Intranet, client-server), with special attention given to conserving computer code and system resources. While the tangible result of this work is a Java production graphics library (GPL) developed in collaboration with Dan Rope and Dan Carr, this book focuses on the deep structures involved in producing quantitative graphics from data. scatterplots, function plots, maps, mosaics, radar charts? These rules are abstracted from the work of Bertin, Cleveland, Kosslyn, MacEachren, Pinker, Tufte, Tukey, Tobler, and other theorists of quantitative graphics. Those less interested in the theoretical and mathematical foundations can still get a sense of the richness and structure of the system by examining the numerous and often unique color graphics it can produce. Professor of Statistics at Northwestern University. He wrote the SYSTAT statistical package and founded SYSTAT Inc. in 1984. Wilkinson joined SPSS in a 1994 acquisition and now works on research and development of graphical applications for data mining and statistics. He is a Fellow of the ASA and an Associate Editor of The American Statistician. In addition to journal articles and the original SYSTAT computer program and manuals, Wilkinson is the author (with Grant Blank and Chris Gruber) of Desktop Data Analysis with SYSTAT.… (more)
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The first part is on developing a grammar of graphics for statistical charting and is possibly relevant to general info vis. This material is why I purchased the book in the first place, because I was looking for some background on H. Wickham's ggplot2. Incidentally, anyone looking for same would be better served just reading the original ggplot2 paper. As such, Wilkinson gives a relatively straight forward look at the constituent grammatical parts and their interaction.

The second part of the book is more theoretical and philosophical in tone. Sections will go by without any direct reference to the grammar, but the issues raised are certainly things I've struggled with when doing ad hoc charting in systems without a grammar, like Processing.

This is not a book for idle browsing. In particular, there are example figures which are suboptimal or not recommended which are not clearly labeled as such necessitating reading the full discussion in the text to find out which these are. This is also not the book for just learning to do statistical graphics (for which I'd recommend H. Wickham, N. Yau, etc.). It might be a book for implementers of comprehensive statistical graphing applications. ( )
  encephalical | Dec 13, 2018 |
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This book was written for statisticians, computer scientists, geographers, research and applied scientists, and others interested in visualizing data. It presents a unique foundation for producing almost every quantitative graphic found in scientific journals, newspapers, statistical packages, and data visualization systems. This foundation was designed for a distributed computing environment (Internet, Intranet, client-server), with special attention given to conserving computer code and system resources. While the tangible result of this work is a Java production graphics library (GPL) developed in collaboration with Dan Rope and Dan Carr, this book focuses on the deep structures involved in producing quantitative graphics from data. scatterplots, function plots, maps, mosaics, radar charts? These rules are abstracted from the work of Bertin, Cleveland, Kosslyn, MacEachren, Pinker, Tufte, Tukey, Tobler, and other theorists of quantitative graphics. Those less interested in the theoretical and mathematical foundations can still get a sense of the richness and structure of the system by examining the numerous and often unique color graphics it can produce. Professor of Statistics at Northwestern University. He wrote the SYSTAT statistical package and founded SYSTAT Inc. in 1984. Wilkinson joined SPSS in a 1994 acquisition and now works on research and development of graphical applications for data mining and statistics. He is a Fellow of the ASA and an Associate Editor of The American Statistician. In addition to journal articles and the original SYSTAT computer program and manuals, Wilkinson is the author (with Grant Blank and Chris Gruber) of Desktop Data Analysis with SYSTAT.

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