[R] embed a bitmap by link reference into a SVG image

Olivier Delrieu olivier at delrieu.org
Sat Feb 25 17:34:32 CET 2012

I would like, in R, to embed a bitmap image /by link reference/ into a SVG
plot image.

Images may be included in an SVG by 
http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/struct.html#ImageElementHrefAttribute  link
reference , or even  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Uri data , for

My objective is to reduce the size of the SVG image files I am generating
(My plots have about 10⁶ points: that's a 250Mb SVG file requiring 8Gb RAM
for editing with  http://inkscape.org/ inkscape  ). I was thinking
generating most of the plot as a bitmap image (say PNG), and some key
elements of the plot (the ones that will later have to be edited by hand) as
an SVG image, and then combine both images using the trick I've just
described above.

I have tried to use the pixmap library, but the bitmap is added as a
vectorial image, dot by dot, which would not reduce the overall file size:

Any thoughts on the way to do this would be more than welcome.

Many thanks.

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