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loon is a toolkit for interactive data visualization and exploration. Currently, loon is embedded in R and Tcl.

To get more on either system, go look at the README in the corresponding directory above, R or Tcl.

We also have two documentation websites

  • Tcl and R documentation here
  • R only manual style documentation here

loon is joint work of Adrian Waddell and R.W. Oldford.

On the name

The software is named after a large aquatic bird known as the common loon in Canada and the United States, or the great northern diver in the United Kingdom. (Hence the name of the github organization:

The loon is a visual predator, diving deep beneath the surface, there chasing its prey with speed and remarkable maneuvrability. Once apprehended, the prey are either swallowed immediately or, when large, at least brought to the surface to be dealt with there.

This seemed an excellent metaphor for an agile, interactive, and exploratory visualization system; one which empowered an analyst to chase, and perhaps discover, whatever features might be revealed in the data by quickly diving below its surface. The goal is to provide such a system in loon.

As an acronym "loon" does not fare so well (least obvious ostensive name) and perhaps its synonym "diver" would be better (direct interactive visual exploration in R). But, then, "loon" is funnier ... diveR is the name of a collection of "loon" related packages.