22 years later R is still growing, and more than ever. What started as a project to provide a “decent statistical software for our undergraduate Macintosh lab”, nowadays is a standard solution for data analysis around the world, and is becoming big, very big.
There are more than 6500 official packages on CRAN, and many others in github; is calling the attention of the media; students are massively signing up for online R courses; new R-related books appear every week, and many R users are writing about it in their blogs.
So, how to be involved in this development? How to share with others the passion you feel about R?, or if you are starting, where you can find a place where look for help and learn from others?, how to avoid getting lost in this big wave? Well, be part of a community!
Worldwide community: The UseR! Conference
Next june, in Aalborg, Denmark, will be the next UseR! International Conference. This is a great opportunity to meet other users, learn from the experts, share your experience, participate in tutorials, and have fun. Abstract submission is now closed, but if you have the chance to attend, the effort totally worth.
Since global R users community can be too big, there are plenty of smaller groups united by a specific topic, platform, language, or city you can join. In this post I will review some of these communities, who they are, what they are doing and where you can find them. Welcome to the R communities!
R local users groups
This can be the easiest way to interact face to face with other R users. There are more than 150 local groups, most of them meeting regularly. The first alternative to an official list of R users groups around the world is provided by Revolution Analytics, who mantains a directory, and also sponsors them.
Most of those groups have a webpage on meetup.com, where you can find R groups by location, join for free, and receive their news and details about the next meetings. For example, this is the meetup page of the LondonR group. Meetup also provide a list of R-related groups here.
To complement that information I would like to make a visualization of R local groups based on the meetup list. Since there is one interesting map with the geolocalization of the groups in the blog of Revolution Analytics, I will propose something different: Using rvest for webscrapping, dplyr for data crunching and leaflet for visualization, I want to create a choropleth map of R users per country, and obtain the top five groups by number of members. You can see similar choropleths maps generated in R here and here.
I believe a blog post with R code is funnier than one without, except if that code is too long. So, forgive me that this time I will provide the code in a separate page, but here you have the map (Click on a country to see the top five groups) :