Data Mashups in R

Data Mashups in RData Mashups in R describes the use of the R language to create a “spatial mashup”, plotting foreclosure data on a map image after downloading and manipulating the underlying data.  It presents a number of techniques that could be used in typical data analysis scenarios and examples of R packages which could be used to complete typical data acquisition and processing tasks, such as retrieving a web page or parsing XML.

The book is quite short, twenty-eight pages in the ebook edition, and is written in a conversational style that reminds me of a senior programmer walking a more junior person through a task.   Statements to the effect of “you need to install the cURL package to handle fetching web pages” are typical – this will tell you how to do the task, but you may not understand *why* to use that particular library.

If you are new to R, this is not the book for you.  Features are presented at a lightning pace and only covered to a depth sufficient to achieve the immediate goal.   For the intermediate or advanced R user, this book is akin to an extended article which could provide grist for future projects.

Overall a worthwhile read if you plan to take time to investigate the libraries and techniques used, and if you have some prior experience with R.


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