5.1 years ago by
Seattle, WA USA
There isn't an isometric projection plotting function in R that I can find. My guess is that you'd have to make it manually, as the authors did.
I'd instead try going with a 2D heatmap (or levelplot, geom_tile, volcano plot, etc.) to show this kind of data. Use multiple colors to categorize data (e.g. blue, yellow, red, etc.) and apply an intensity or saturation adjustment from 0 (no saturation) to 1 (full saturation) for the normalized variant frequency signal. Read `?hsv` in `R` or search on HSV color space in a search engine for more info.
A heatmap of normalized data would readily communicate relative differences in signal, whereas with the authors' figure, the reader is guess-timating differences based on eyeballing relative plot heights. Further, it isn't immediately clear what differentiates column values; there are no tick marks and no labels along the x-axis, so any trends along that axis are also guess-timated. These choices cause communication problems that make this a less than successful design, IMO.