Ways of plotting map data in R (and python)

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Thanks to Scott Jackson, Daniel Ezra Johnson, David Morris, Michael Shvartzman, and Nathanial Smith for the recommendations and pointers to the packages mentioned below.

  • R:
    • The maps, mapsextra, and maptools packages provide data and tools to plot world, US, and a variety of regional maps (see also mapproj and mapdata). This, combined with ggplot2 is also what we used in Jaeger et al., (2011, 2012) to plot distributions over world maps. Here’s an example from ggplot2 with maps.
    Example of using ggplot2 combined with the maps package.
    Example use of ggplot2 combined with the maps package (similar to the graphs created for Jaeger et al., 2011, 2012).

Using pyjamas to program external Mechanical Turk experiments

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I recently set up my first external Mechanical Turk study. My greatest friend and foe in this process was pyjamas, a Python-to-Javascript compiler and Widget Set API. THE great advantage of using pyjamas: you can program your entire experiment in python, and pyjamas will create the browser-dependent javascript code. If you already know javascript, writing your experiment in python without having to worry about browser-dependent issues will save you time. And if you don’t, you don’t have to go through the frustrating process of learning javascript. On the downside, the documentation for pyjamas is currently not very good, so figuring out how to get things to work can take a while.

That’s why I’m providing the (commented) code that I generated to create my MechTurk experiment. A short demo version of the experiment can be found here.

If you find this code helpful, please consider acknowledging it via the following URL in your paper/presentation to spread the word:

A screenshot of the experiment. Participants were asked to rate on a 7-point scale how natural the statement they heard was as a description of the scene.

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