Suppose I have this list of rasters:

(L <- setNames(replicate(3, raster(matrix(runif(100), 10))), c('A', 'B', 'C')))

How can I unlist a list of rasters to individual objects in R?

With a list of dataframes, I can use something similar to the following code:

df <- data.frame(matrix(unlist(l), nrow=132, byrow=T),stringsAsFactors=FALSE)

1 Answer 1


Not entirely clear what you are after here. If you would like a single raster class object containing all of the rasters, this would be quite different than creating individual raster objects. If the extents, dimensions and resolutions match you can create a stack.

(L <- setNames(replicate(3, raster(matrix(runif(100), 10))), c('A', 'B', 'C')))
r <- stack(L[[1]])
  for(i in 2:length(L)) r <- addLayer(r, L[[i]])

If you want separate raster (RasterLayer class) objects in the current R environment, you can use assign but, this is a somewhat risky function to work with.

(L <- setNames(replicate(3, raster(matrix(runif(100), 10))), c('A', 'B', 'C')))
  for(i in 1:length(L)) assign(names(L)[[i]], raster(L[[i]]) )

Now you should have raster objects "A", "B" and "C" in your R environment. Although, keep in mind that for this to work names need to be assigned to the stack, which is not the case by default. You could replace names(L)[[i]] with code that generates a name based on i, something like paste0("r", i)

BTW, a better approach to your unlisting data.frame example would be to use do.call. ie., do.call("rbind", l)

  • I want them as individual raster objects, but the stack example is useful too.
    – derelict
    Sep 15, 2017 at 17:09

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