Friday, November 6, 2015

Passing R variables dynamically to JavaScript for data visualization

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For a random project, I was interested to see if there a way to pass data between R and JavaScript. My purpose was to populate a Highcharts graph dynamically using preprocessed data from R. Of course, my first look was rCharts, an R package to create and publish interactive JavaScript visualizations, which also support the Highcharts for building interactive graphs and plots. The rCharts is a great package and widely popular among R users to create interactive charts without knowing the underlying JavaScript.

My requirement was not only the interactive chart but also dynamic that can create chart on near real time as shown in Highcharts demo. It seems to me that rCharts neither provide a straightforward way to add-point on series nor a way to customize the JavaScript to create such dynamic charts. As far as I know, it has limitations (or out of context of rCharts philosophy) for doing sophisticated jobs that requires JavaScript customization. At this moment it only supports the 24 functions from Highcharts API through R interface.

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