Introduction to Visualising Spatial Data in R

Abstract

This tutorial is an introduction to spatial data in R and map making with R’s base' graphics and the popular graphics package ggplot2. It assumes no prior knowledge of spatial data analysis but prior understanding of the R command line would be beneficial. For people new to R, we recommend working through an Introduction to R' type tutorial, such as "A (very) short introduction to R" (Torfs and Brauer, 2012) or the more geographically inclined "Short introduction to R" (Harris, 2012). Building on such background material, the following set of exercises is concerned with specific functions for spatial data and visualisation. It is divided into five parts: *Introduction, which provides a guide to R’s syntax and preparing for the tutorial *Spatial data in R, which describes basic spatial functions in R *Manipulating spatial data, which includes changing projection, clipping and spatial joins *Map making with ggplot2, a recent graphics package for producing beautiful maps quickly *Taking spatial analysis in R further, a compilation of resources for furthering your skills An up-to-date version of this tutorial is maintained at https://github.com/Robinlovelace/Creating-maps-in-R and the entire tutorial, including the input data can be downloaded as a zip file, as described below. The entire tutorialwas written in RMarkdown, which allows R code to run as the document compiles. Thus all the examples are entirely reproducible. Suggested improvements welcome - please fork, improve and push this document to its original home to ensure its longevity. The tutorial was developed for a series of Short Courses put on by the National Centre for Research Methods, via the TALISMAN node (see geotalisman.org).

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