International workshop on Interactive Data Visualization on the Web using R

Changed on: 08.04.2019

supported by EFSA

24th–25th September 2018, Vienna, Austria


Within the scope of risk communication, agencies and government bodies need to convey scientific results to different target groups such as stakeholders, the scientific community, interested consumers or the public in general. Efficient, easily comprehensible and unambiguous communication is crucial to avoid misinterpretation. The use of interactive web-based visualizations can help engage the reader and condense information in an aesthetically appealing way while offering sufficient structure to guide the reader through the data.

Interactive reporting on the web ranges from simple reports with clickable internal links to vastly dynamic and complex visualizations that allow a high level of user interaction such as the selection of sub-groups, the animation of spatial-temporal data, or the changing of the thematic focus or graphic mode. These visualizations often require in-depth knowledge of specialized web scripting languages and are typically associated with high programming efforts. In recent years, however, convenient interfaces have been developed that facilitate the generation of interactive visualizations directly from within R.

The open source software R enjoys increasing popularity in the scientific and statistical community and is often used for data management, statistical analyses, and reporting. R packages such as htmlwidgets and shiny allow for seamless integration of interactive reporting into the established workflow while avoiding the need to learn an additional programming language.

In the workshop, different tools and workflows for producing interactive reports on the web will be presented and discussed. The event will allow researchers/programmers from European Risk Assessment Agencies to discuss technological and communicational aspects of interactive web visualization with like-minded colleagues. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences with web visualisation in the form of short presentations or receive feedback on implemented applications.


The workshop mainly focuses on the technical implementation using R and is intended for experts from European Risk Assessment Agencies who

  • are familiar with R programming
  • have experience in interactive visualisation with R and/or
  • have experience in interactive web visualisation using other tools (e.g. JavaScript, Python) and/or
  • have expertise in presenting scientific results on the web, i.e., in how to efficiently visualise and communicate results.


If you want to participate in the workshop, an expression of interest should be sent to by the 30th of June 2018. Please include a brief description of

  • your professional focus,
  • your experience with interactive visualization on the web and
  • your proficiency in the usage of R and other relevant programming languages.

Please further state whether you would be willing to give a short presentation (approx. 10 minutes) on a relevant topic of your choosing, and if so send us a working title and a brief description of your talk. Relevant presentation topics could be previous experiences with R or other tools for web reporting, a comparison of R with other programming languages for web reporting or the discussion of already implemented web-applications.

The number of participants of the workshop will be limited to 17 external experts. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by the end of June 2018. Costs for travel expenses and accommodation will be reimbursed by EFSA.

Please do not make any travel arrangements before your acceptance is confirmed by AGES!


The workshop will be held at the premises of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety in Vienna:

AGES – Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
Spargelfeldstraße 191
1220 Vienna, AUSTRIA

Further information on available accommodations will be sent out with the confirmation of acceptance.



Day 1    24.9.2018, 9:00–17:30

09:00 – 09:35Welcome and introduction round
09:35 – 10:45Overview of web reporting using R
10:45 – 11:15Coffee break
11:15 – 13:00Demonstration example: from pdf to html report, workflow and conceptual considerations
13:00 – 14:00Lunch break
14:00 – 15:40Shiny and more: implementation, customization and further challenges
15:40 – 16:00Coffee break
16:00 – 17:30Experts‘ presentations

Day 2    25.9.2018, 9:00–13:00

09:00 – 09:45R packages bookdown and ioslides: interactivity in manuals and presentations
09:45 – 10:45ShinyProxy: a novel, open source platform for deploying Shiny apps in an enterprise context (Tobias Verbeke, Open Analytics)
10:45 – 11:15Coffee break
11:15 – 13:00Summary of points raised and general discussion
13:00 – 14:00Lunch




1) Hotel Royal - 20 rooms (120 EUR/night)

 Singerstrasse 3
 1010 Vienna
 Tel: +43 1 515 68 0
 Fax: +43 1 513 9698


2) Hotel Donaustadt Kagran - 5 rooms (54 EUR/night)
 Donaufelderstraße 232
 1220 Wien
 Tel.Nr. +43 (1) 20 22 670 100

In case of booking use the reference word “EFSA”.