Visualizations and the grammar of graphics


  • Identify the importance of graphics in communicating information
  • Define the layered grammar of graphics
  • Demonstrate how to use layered grammar of graphics to build Minard’s graph of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia
  • Practice generating layered graphics using ggplot2

Before class

  • Read chapters 1-4 from R for Data Science
    • Chapters 1, 2, and 4 are very short but set the stage for the next few weeks
    • Chapter 3 is crucial - you need to read this chapter and complete some of the exercises before coming to class. Exercise solutions can be found here.
  • Read The grammar of graphics
  • Install and setup software
    • Definitely have R and RStudio installed and operational for class today
    • If you haven’t gotten GitHub setup yet, that’s fine but you will need it to complete homework 1

Class materials

Additional resources

Graphical design


Useful cheatsheets

What you need to do after class

If you do not already have the remotes library installed, you will get an error. Go back and install this first using install.packages("remotes"), then run remotes::install_github("cis-ds/rcis") in the console.
Benjamin Soltoff
Benjamin Soltoff
Lecturer in Information Science