I made a GIF with ggplot2 and rworldmap

By | April 15, 2017

In my last post, I mentioned that I was interested in exploring the mapping capabilities of ggplot2.

Well, shortly after I wrote that, I was searching the internet for “ggplot2 animated gif”, and I stumbled across this excellent walkthrough by Rafael Periera, which he had posted just minutes earlier! His blog, Urban Demographics is coincidentally already one of my favorites.

I wanted to make an animated map of world population density (such as this one on Wikipedia).

Using data from the World Bank, I was able to make this GIF with only a modicum of code (on GitHub here).

Here is the final product:

Population Density World Map GIF


So… Maybe the change in the population density over the last 50 years isn’t that exciting. Mostly countries population density hasn’t significantly changed (with the exception of a few outliers such as Nigeria, Uganda, and Pakistan). The density measure is the population divided by the land area, both stats from the World Bank. I tried to write the code in such a way that I will be able to easily expand it to other country-based data later.