Mapping data using R and leaflet

The R language provides many different tools for creating maps and adding data to them. I’ve been using the leaflet package at work recently, so I thought I’d provide a short example here.

Whilst searching for some data that might make a nice map, I came across this article at ABC News. It includes a table containing Australian members of parliament, their electorate and their voting intention regarding legalisation of same-sex marriage. Since I reside in New South Wales, let’s map the data for electorates in that state.

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The y-axis: to zero or not to zero

I don’t “do politics” at this blog, but I’m always happy to do charts. Here’s one that’s been doing the rounds on Twitter recently:

What’s the first thing that comes into your mind on seeing that chart?

It seems that there are two main responses to the chart:

  1. Wow, what happened to all those Democrat voters between 2008 and 2016?
  2. Wow, that’s misleading, it makes it look like Democrat support almost halved between 2008 and 2016

The question then is: when (if ever) is it acceptable to start a y-axis at a non-zero value?

Read the rest…

Ah yes, the election

election.pngI suppose a brief comment on our recent Australian election is in order, although I prefer not to litter the blog with personal politics. The collage at left, culled from the weekend newspapers, summarises it for me.
It is quite uplifting when after a long, stale and conformist period in history the populace turns around en masse and says “enough, time for change”.

The Labor Party talked the talk during their campaign on science issues: higher education, IT infrastructure, skills shortages, maths/science degrees, technology development and action on climate change. Let’s just hope they deliver on some of those policies.