Presented 21st January 2015, University of Sydney’s ITLS

What is shiny?

  • A framework for making R output interactive
  • An 'app' development framework
  • A (small) growing community of developers centred around RStudio

Similar projects you should be aware of before diving into Shiny

  • animate package
  • Google Charts (googleVis::)
  • plotly
  • D3

What's shiny good for?

What's shiny not so good for?

Build's on R's existing strengths

  • Data visualisation (Wickham 2011)
  • Increasingline widely understood language for querying data
  • Amazing range of add-on packages



  • House of Commons Criticising the DfT for using closed models
  • 'Impact' and 'engagement' increasingly important for research funding
  • Complex data cannot be adequately summarised in a single static graphic
  • We've been contracted by the DfT (£100,000+) to create a 'propensity to cycle' tool

Interactive online tools

Shiny applications

  • We'll take a look at a few online
  • Precision farming (Jahanshiri and Shariff 2014)
  • Ebola app
  • Census wards app
  • RentSplit
  • No transport-related apps!

Possible transport applications

  • Time tabling
  • Visualising flow data by mode/purpose/time
  • User engagement (e.g. of different scenarios)
  • Forms for questionnaires
  • Public outreach

The anatomy of a Shiny app

The user interface (ui.R)


The server side (server.R)


The practical