How is R used with ArcGIS for Desktop?

I have seen posts talking about combining rasters while using R.

I have not had much experience with R so not 100% certain of its capabilities.

I had thought that R was a scripting language for data analysis with tabulated data and data bases, but its seems much more than that.

Are there particular R libraries to incorporate it with ArcGIS for Desktop?


Something very similar came up in the GIS Chat Room yesterday where @Kersten suggested reviewing Integrating external programs within ModelBuilder:

This section describes how to integrate R, an external statistical package, within the ModelBuilder environment. In the example described below, there are two scripts needed to execute R functionality: a Python script that calls the R source code and the actual R source code. The Python script is what is called from ModelBuilder and serves as a conduit, essentially organizing and piping the arguments from ModelBuilder to R.

and I responded with:

With ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Desktop and ArcGIS Pro 1.1 (both currently scheduled for release during the second quarter of 2015), you will be able to run your native R scripts directly as script tools and allow R to access ArcGIS data. Using the geoprocessing framework, your R script will work directly with Esri-supported feature data, honoring its selection and projection.

A new open-source bridge library on GitHub will allow users of recent versions of ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS Pro to directly build R into their workflows and to pass data between ArcGIS and R.

  • 3
    I have been alpha testing the ESRI bridge and it is fairly useful both in passing data back-and-forth but also in running R as an inline process. Toolbox scripts are easy to deploy where R function calls are as simple as (in.parm, out.parm). Jul 17 '15 at 0:58
  • Does anyone know of tutorials for the R bridge?
    – mmann1123
    Dec 30 '15 at 18:19

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