Spinning Globes With R

It has been a long held dream of mine to create a spinning globe using nothing but R (I wish I was joking, but I’m not). Thanks to the brilliant mapmate package created by Matt Leonawicz and shed loads of computing power, today that dream beca...


Population Lines: How and Why I Created It

Thanks to the power of Reddit the “Population Lines” print (buy here) I created back in 2013 has attracted a huge amount of interest in the past week or so (a Europe only version made by Henrik Lindberg made the Reddit front page). Ther...


Mapping 5,000 Years of City Growth

I recently stumbled upon a great dataset. It’s the first to provide comprehensive data for world city sizes as far back as 3700BC. The authors (Meredith Reba, Femke Reitsma & Karen Seto) write: How were cities distributed globally in the p...


Mapping (historic) tracks in ggplot2

This tutorial was first published in “Geocomputation a Practical Primer“. Here is a more complex example showing how to produce a map of 18th Century Shipping flows. The data have been obtained from the CLIWOC project and they represent a...


Mapping Flows in R

Last year I published the above graphic, which then got converted into the below for the book London: The Information Capital. I have had many requests for the code I used to create the plot so here it is! The data shown is the Office for National S...


3D Mapping in R

This tutorial has been kindly contributed by Robin Edwards (from UCL CASA). RGL is R’s box of power-tool for 3D object rendering, with functionality for creating 3d mesh objects and curved surfaces, and for using materials and directional ligh...


Great Maps with ggplot2

The above map (and this one) was produced using R and ggplot2 and serve to demonstrate just how sophisticated R visualisations can be. We are used to seeing similar maps produced with conventional GIS platforms or software such as Processing but I ha...


Improved Tree Maps with R

“Treemaps display hierarchical (tree-structured) data as a set of nested rectangles. Each branch of the tree is given a rectangle, which is then tiled with smaller rectangles representing sub-branches. A leaf node’s rectangle has an area ...


Exporting KML from R

Google Earth has become a popular way of disseminating spatial data. KML is the data format required to do this. It is possible to load almost any type of spatial data format into R and export it as a KML file. In my experience R seems much quicker a...



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