Animate R graphics with Flash

June 12, 2009
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Adobe Flash is a technology for embedding animations (and even applications) into Web pages. On the Keep on Fighting! blog, Yihui Xie has a couple of neat examples of integrating R with Flash.

The first example is creating a tag cloud: a visualization of the frequency of words in a body of text. You can create a static tag cloud in R with the pointLabel function in the maptools package, but you can make it, er, flashier with Flash. Yihui shows how to use the JavaScript interface in R to pass tag data to a “tagcloud” Flash object, which displays the tags in animated glory. Unfortunately, I can’t embed it here, so be sure to check out the page to see it in action.

Another cool (or rather, hot) example is simulating fire in R and then visualizing it as a Flash animation. The frames of the simulated fire were generated using the image function in R, and then converted into Flash with the saveSWF function from the animation package…



Adobe Flash is a technology for embedding animations (and even applications) into Web pages. On the Keep on Fighting! blog, Yihui Xie has a couple of neat examples of integrating R with Flash.

The first example is creating a tag cloud: a visualization of the frequency of words in a body of text. You can create a static tag cloud in R with the pointLabel function in the maptools package, but you can make it, er, flashier with Flash. Yihui shows how to use the JavaScript interface in R to pass tag data to a “tagcloud” Flash object, which displays the tags in animated glory. Unfortunately, I can’t embed it here, so be sure to check out the page to see it in action.

Another cool (or rather, hot) example is simulating fire in R and then visualizing it as a Flash animation. The frames of the simulated fire were generated using the image function in R, and then converted into Flash with the saveSWF function from the animation package.

This is a great way of visualizing all sorts of analyses, and distributing the results via a Web page. All the code you need for both these examples is provided in the linked pages.

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