I try to work with geospatial data of North America. Is there any high-resolution map material available for/in R?

2 Answers 2


The R package rgdal has functions for reading in data that can be read by the GDAL (for raster) and OGR (for vector) libraries. This includes Shapefiles, GeoTiff, GML, Arc/Info Grid, GPX, GeoJSON etc etc etc etc. I could go on.

If you can't find the data you want in one of the formats that R can read via the rgdal package, then I would be very surprised. You don't need special map data for R, you can use almost anything.

Read the R Spatial Task View for everything you need to know about spatial data in R.



Have a look at maps ( http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/maps/index.html ) and mapdata ( http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/mapdata/index.html ) for higher resolutions.

  • 1
    Thank you very much for your fast answer! Are there any higher resolutions and more recent maps also available?
    – rabbit
    Apr 9, 2012 at 0:26
  • 1
    You can use the GADM data gadm.org in R. You can download vector data directly in R format. Apr 10, 2012 at 16:13

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