I need to project a number of reef sites onto the coastline of southwest Madagascar. I was hoping to use R for this as I find ArcGIS too big and clunky. I need to create a basemap for both the reefs and coastline. Is there anyway to 'trace' an existing map and input the coordinates into R since reef are rarely shown on world maps. How would I do this?
For tracing/digitizing the maps, I think you're still better off using an open source GIS like @Spacedman has said. You'd still be manually tracing in R anyway, might as well do it in a GIS. Once you have the digitized layer, you can then automate the mapping process in R.