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Original Articles

Extending ggplot2 for Linked and Animated Web Graphics

ORCID Icon, , , , &
Pages 299-308 | Received 01 Aug 2017, Published online: 14 Nov 2018


Interactive web graphics are great for communication and knowledge sharing, but are difficult to leverage during the exploratory phase of a data science workflow. Even before the web, interactive graphics helped data analysts quickly gather insight from data, discover the unexpected, and develop better model diagnostics. Although web technologies make interactive graphics more accessible, they are not designed to fit inside an exploratory data analysis (EDA) workflow where rapid iteration between data manipulation, modeling, and visualization must occur. To better facilitate exploratory web graphics that are easily distributed, we need better interfaces between statistical computing environments (e.g., the R language) and client-side web technologies. We propose the R package animint for rapid creation of linked and animated web graphics through a simple extension of ggplot2’s implementation of the Grammar of Graphics. The extension allows one to write ggplot2 code and produce a standalone web page with multiple linked views. Supplementary material for this article is available online.

Supplementary Materials

Interactive Figures and Reproducible Research Statement

The source code to create this article and its figures is online at and the interactive figures can be viewed at


The authors thank animint users MC Du Plessis, Song Liu, Nikoleta Juretic, and Eric Audemard who have contributed constructive criticism and helped its development.


1 Interactive versions of all of the figures mentioned in this article are available with the supplementary materials, and may be viewed at

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