I want to make a map in R that appear old (yellowish and stained). For example:

enter image description here

Is it possible to achieve this effect entirely within R rather than bringing a map into an image processing program such as Illustrator or Photoshop?

  • Wouldn't it be quicker to save as a common image type format then modify it inside a Photoshop/Gimp tool ?
    – gisnside
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:57
  • There might be some insight here: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/48828/…
    – Map Man
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:58
  • @gisnside That's a good idea, though some small letters could become unreadable. Maybe a mix of old looking/legible text may be preferable.
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:59
  • 1
    I'm no R expert but as a suggestion, you could maybe make an old looking image in a image software then reference it below your vector and text items. After that, you make your R analysis on top of it ? Or you switch to a gis software like QGIS :D
    – gisnside
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 18:03
  • @gisnside That's an even better idea, since I wouldn't have to redo all steps in Gimp after every change in R. And no, I prefer R, because once the script is done, I can do something else while R runs (in QGIS I would have to do many clicks every time a single thing changes). And R serves for many other things beyond maps.
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Following @gisnside comment, I produced an "old paper look" image in Gimp (following this tutorial from this thread). Then I added it as a PNG image inside R (using readPNG from library png and rasterImage from graphics). Then all I had to do was draw over the image.

Below is the map produced (still needing some adjustments, but you get the idea).

Estrada Real

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