ggplot2 – data visualization package for the programming language R

ggplot2 is a powerful and flexible R package for declaratively creating graphics, based on The Grammar of Graphics.

You provide the data, tell ggplot2 how to map variables to aesthetics, what graphical primitives to use, and it takes care of the details.

The Grammar of Graphics is a concept where you independently specify plot building blocks and combine them to create just about any kind of graphical display you want.

Read our interactive tutorial for data science using R and RStudio. No programming knowledge required.

Building blocks of a graph include:

  • data.
  • aesthetic mapping – aesthetic means “something you can see”.
  • geometric object – the actual marks we put on a plot.
  • statistical transformations.
  • scales – control aesthetic mapping.
  • coordinate system.
  • position adjustments.
  • faceting – this means small multiples, separa

ggplot2 has been under development for more than 10 years.

Features include:

  • Consistent underlying grammar of graphics.
  • Plot specification at a high level of abstraction.
  • Very flexible.
  • Theme system for polishing plot appearance – there are various built-in themes, and other third party themes are available.
  • Mature and complete graphics system.
  • Many users, active mailing list.

Support: Manual, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Hadley Wickham, Winston Chang, Lionel Henry, Thomas Lin Pedersen, Kohske Takahashi, Claus Wilke, Kara Woo, RStudio
License: GNU General Public License v2.0

If you are new to R, check out these excellent free R programming books.

Here’s an example chart produced using ggplot2.


ggplot2 is written in R. Learn R with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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