Let's say you have some data stored in a primate-tive format like paper. But you'd like to get it into something a little more evolved. A new R package called digitize lets you do just that. Click a few points to calibrate the axis, and all your new shiny scatterplot points will be stored as real digital data. Not a tool you'll use often, but invaluable when you need it.
If you've ever monkeyed around with ArcGIS, you'll know that it produces pretty maps. Unfortunately its interface is terrible, it crashes frequently, and it's not very easy to automate. R, on the other hand, does not crash and is eahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifsy to automate, but its maps are pretty ugly. Enter rworldmap, a package which produces pretty world maps like this:
It's a marked improvement. Read more in the R Journal.