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by Andrie de Vries

Just more than a year ago I cobbled together some code to work with the (then) new version of Google Sheets. You can still find my musings and code at the blog post Reading data from the new version of Google Spreadsheets.

Since then, Jennifer Bryan (@JennyBryan) published a wonderful package that does far more than I ever tried, in a much more elegant way.

by Antony Unwin
University of Augsburg, Germany


David Moore's definition of data: numbers that have been given a context.

Here is some context for the finch dataset:

Fig 1: Illustrations of the beaks of four of Darwin's finches from "The Voyage of the Beagle".  Note that only one of these (fortis) is included in the dataset.

by Richard Kittler, Revolution R Enterprise PM, Microsoft Advanced Analytics

There hasn't really been a break-out Summer hit this season, but Macklemore's latest — an ode to mopeds, of all things — might just be it (some language NSFW):


Loving the 70's styling and dance moves. And despite the Seattle-focused lyrics, Spokane makes a great backdrop for the music video.

That's all for this week. See you back here on Monday!

Cortana Analytics Suite is Microsoft's cloud-based big data and advanced analytics suite. It includes a complete set of all the services need to build advanced analytics applications: from data ingestion and management, data warehousing, advanced analytics, data visualization and solution frameworks.

by Andrie de Vries

A few days ago I received an unexpected parcel in my letterbox. To my delight, it turned out to be a translation into Simplified Chinese of R for Dummies, co-authored by myself and Joris Meys. Let me clarify: Joris and I wrote the book, but were not involved in the translation at all. The Wiley publishing machine took care of all of that.

by Ari Lamstein, consultant specializing in software engineering and data analysis and author of the free email course Learn to Map Census Data in R.

Zillow, the leading real estate and rental marketplace in the USA, uses R to estimate housing values. Zillow's signature product is the Zestimate, their estimated market value for individual homes, and it's calculated using R in a parallel batch job for 100 million homes nationwide.

Photographing an object at regular intervals over a long time period, and then stitching the results into a timelapse video, is a great way to "speed up time" and observe slow-motion changes (for example, the growth of plants). But creating a timelapse video is hard: you have to set up a camera, make sure it can't move, and take regular shots while maintaining consistent lighting from shot to shot. The longer the observation period, the harder it is: making timelapses over a period of years is just about impossible.