6 Infographics

Learning Objectives

Use a custom infographiq Javascript library to intelligently link icons of ecosystem elements to pop-up windows containing data figures, which could be static images or interactive visualizations.

6.1 Install software

6.1.1 InkScape

InkScape is a design tool that is excellent at editing SVG files, which is also its native storage format. It is similar to Adobe Illustrator, except free. Please download it at inkscape.org/release.

(The current version 1.1 for MacOS is 118 MB, so it may take some time to download depending on your connection speed.)

6.1.2 infographiqR

In order to use the infographiq template, you will need to install the following infographiqR R package:


Please close and restart all instances of RStudio before proceeding in order to load the infographiqR template project option.

6.2 Create infographiq project

Please open RStudio by double-clicking on your r3-exercises.Rproj file to set your working directory. In the menu File -> New Project…, New Directory, then Infographiq Project Template:

If you don’t see this option, then you presumably need to install infographiqR AND restart RStudio per the previous step.

Then: 1) specify a directory like infographiq-project inside your r3-exercises folder; and 2) tick Open in a new session; before clicking Create Project:

RStudio should open to a new session with the Source and Files panes looking like so:

6.2.1 Notice Report techniques of index.Rmd

Do you notice two Report techniques in index.Rmd that we discussed last week?

  1. Parameters params in the frontmatter to specify the infographic’s two key inputs: 1) svg of the scalable vector graphic illustration; and 2) csv table matching the icon with the modal window content to open.

  2. Child chunk is used to render the svg. Open _svg-html_child.Rmd to see the parameters used inline with HTML code (which is valid markdown) to load the needed JavaScript then run the main infographiqJS link_svg() function.

The combination of both techniques above allows multiple Rmds to use the same _svg-html_child.Rmd and specify different params for rendering different illustrations altogether.

6.2.2 Knit the index

Knit the index. You should see in the Viewer pane the rendered document.

The icons demonstrate different functionality…

6.2.3 View with local web server

Within the top of the Viewer pane, you can normally click the icon Show in new window to open the knitted web page into a full browser window, but when you try this you’ll get the unsatisfying result that the imagery disappears. This is because the reading of local files is not supported by d3’s fetch() function used to read the SVG, which is visible for instance if you open Google Chrome browser’s View -> Developer -> JavaScript Console:

Per the d3 guru Mike Bostock in this issue, we need a web server to load these files in a standard browser. Thankfully we can easily do this with the servr package. Be sure to specify the same directory as where you created the infographiq-project, which if you are working from that project after ticking Open in a new session in previous step should be ".", i.e. the current working directory.

shelf(servr)     # load package; install if needed
getwd()          # check working directory
httd(dir = ".")  # run web server, aka http daemon

servr::httd()    # one-liner to run web server

RStudio should again open the index.html (i.e. the default web page for a folder) in your Viewer pane, but now you can click the icon Show in new window to see it correctly in a full size web browser. The locally served web address for me is but might be different for you.

Open the files

Further Resources