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The Book

Convention and function 2

Nicholas_giniReader Nicholas tried a best-of-both-worlds approach by putting maps and line charts side by side. This will satisfy those who cannot bear to drop the geographical graph paper.

The overlapping lines bring out nicely which states within a given region behave differently from the others.

This is work in progress.  Obviously, the cluster labels (A, G, F, etc.) can be replaced by region names.  The uninformative axis labels can be removed from the maps.

Also, if each state can be colored within a map, and coordinated with the lines on the right, we will be learn more about individual states.

Please email me if you would like to get his code.


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That's superb. It would be great to see the NYT do something like this on their web site, with interactive capability such that when you mouse over a line or a state, the line and state are both highlighted.

Hadley Wickham

Dan Carr coined the named "linked micromap plots" for this type of display. You can read more at:


Hi Hadley,
I did put that reference in my code, and since linked micromaps certainly aren't my idea, should probably be referenced in the post somewhere ;)
I just wanted to see if I could do it in R "easily". and it seemed like the right approach for this data.


There are now two R packages to make linked micromaps. The package micromapST can be used to summarize statistical and spatial data by U.S. states. The package micromap can be used to summarize data over different polygons, or areal units,such as watersheds, ecoregions, etc.

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