Data Mashups in R by Jeremy Leipzig and Xiao-Yi Li
Summary: Binding data sources in R
Have you ever wondered whether R can utilize regular expressions? Have you been forced to download data from particular source before you start using it within R? Or maybe you were not quite sure how to deal with XML within R scripts. Well, thats what Data Mashups are all about. Jeremy and Xiao-Yi show you how to deal with all these aspects. They show it in very condense way, but still, you can get the feeling what’s R and scripting is all about. You will find here regular expressions, XML parsing, how to use PBSmapping package and description of how to combine all of this within single project.
The book is quite interesting – in terms of the topic. However, it looks little bit messy. I would expect that you get the idea of the problem we want to solve before you start solving it. Well, not this time. Jeremy and Xiao-Yi skip this part and jump straight into solution. It complicates the process of getting through the ideas presented in the book. I prefer to be offered problem before I start looking for a solution. Question here is – maybe for this kind of topic, essay is really enough. I don’t know. I am still getting through R and it’s “traps”, and honestly, I choose other R related titles from O’Reilly over Data Mashups. If you start your adventure with R choose “R Cookbook” or “25 Recipes for Getting Started with R”. If you are already familiar with R, and you want to go beyond what can be called standard, go ahead with Data Mashups.
Idea of the book is very good. The application, not the best one. I can value the solutions and the code snippets that are shown – you can always reuse them at some point in your own projects, however, the way everything is bound and presented doesn’t quite appeal to me.