fanplot: An R Package for Visualising Sequential Distributions

Fan charts, first developed by the Bank of England in 1996, have become a standard method for visualising forecasts with uncertainty. Using shading fan charts focus the attention towards the whole distribution away from a single central measure. This article describes the basics of plotting fan charts using an R add-on package alongside some additional methods for displaying sequential distributions. Examples are based on distributions of both estimated parameters from a time series model and future values with uncertainty.

Guy J. Abel

CRAN packages used

vars, forecast, fanplot, R2OpenBUGS, zoo, tsbugs, RColorBrewer, shiny

CRAN Task Views implied by cited packages

TimeSeries, Econometrics, Finance, Environmetrics, gR, Graphics, Spatial, WebTechnologies


Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".


For attribution, please cite this work as

Abel, "The R Journal: fanplot: An R Package for Visualising Sequential Distributions", The R Journal, 2015

BibTeX citation

  author = {Abel, Guy J.},
  title = {The R Journal: fanplot: An R Package for Visualising Sequential Distributions},
  journal = {The R Journal},
  year = {2015},
  note = {},
  doi = {10.32614/RJ-2015-002},
  volume = {7},
  issue = {1},
  issn = {2073-4859},
  pages = {15-23}