iPad: Reading for Research

A number of iPad software apps support reading, reviewing, editing, archiving, and sharing documents. The increasing popularity of the device among students and faculty raises questions about the usefulness of those in the context of research: How to manage bibliographies? How to store and share annotations? How to access online academic journals?

Together with my colleagues Regina Roberts and Carlos Seligo I recently offered a workshop
where each of us demonstrated one of our most used iPad apps to manage the reading of documents. Here are my notes about GoodReader [1].

Continue reading

Visualizing data with ggplot from Python

Using my rudimentary knowledge of Python, I was interested in exploring the use of rpy2 to eventually be able to bring together spatial data analysis done in Python, with some higher level tools in R – in this case the powerful graphics library ggplot2 to visualize the results.

My setup is Mac OS 10.7.3, Python 2.7, R 2.14. (R needs to be compiled with ‘–enable-R-shlib’, which the official CRAN binary for Mac is). Also required are Xcode and NumPy.

There is no binary for rpy2 for my configuration available, so I downloaded the source (2.2.3). Extract somewhere, change into the rpy2-2.2.3 directory and install with:

sudo python setup.py build install

The Python code below takes a csv file (output from a some prior geoprocessing done with ArcPy) and produces a graphic with a map and a scatterplot – see the comments for further details.

Data can be downloaded here.

Continue reading