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Does anyone know some good tutorials to handle spatial data in R? I know that there are some packages like rgdal and maptools but I haven't actually found usefull tutorials to get in touch with the basic functions (read, plot, change symbology, join data, etc.) and/or to get a broader overview what are the acutal capabilites of R for spatial analysis and manipulation of Spatial data. Also recomendations for books, papers, blogs, etc. would be warmly welcome.

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Not tutorials as such, but still recommended, in case you haven't checked these out:,, – Paulo Jan 6 '13 at 19:12

7 Answers 7

up vote 17 down vote accepted

There's quite a few resources for learning 'spatial' R online, some of the better ones are:

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Thanks for these very usefull links! After a first look I really liked Frank Davenporst notes. They come with a lot of code. Barry Rowlingsons Site is also very helpfull and gives a good overview as well as examples. So I'll try to make my way through this! :) – Dspanes Jan 7 '13 at 8:58

A couple I've found useful:

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awesome. thank you also for the literature advice! – Dspanes Jan 7 '13 at 12:09
Worth mentioning that ASDAR book has a website with code and data download – radek Jan 7 '13 at 12:13

Few more from my side:

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thanks for your advices!! – Dspanes Jan 7 '13 at 12:10

I'd like to add to the list:

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This book is really extensive, not only about R but about Open Source GIS and data sources as well. Thank you very much for sharing this link. – Dspanes Jan 11 '13 at 9:13

Dr Alec Stephenson talk on Exploring spatial data with R: Slides and scripts

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I find this very hard to grasp. It only has 4 slides that mainly say "look at these packages", and non-commented code that will give you examples, but leave all the research on what exactly this does to the reader. – til_b Jan 7 at 8:35

A few nice tutorials, including some with a focus on interactivity (often listed as a weakness of doing GIS with R)

And this popular and useful book is worth noting, though not freely available online:

Bivand, R. S., Pebesma, E. J., & Gómez-Rubio, V. (2013). Applied spatial data analysis with R (Vol. 747248717). Springer.

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data visualization in the R language: Code School - Try R

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Barely. This is a very basic intro to R. It doesn't include a real GIS component, only an example of a matrix as a treasure map. – Suz Mar 2 '13 at 19:36

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