I would like to calculate zonal histograms (number of raster cells of each type contained in a polygon) using the RQGIS3 package in R. The problem is that I can't seem to find the algorithm name for zonal histograms. For example, if I want zonal statistics, I might do something like:

args <- get_args_man(alg="qgis:zonalstatistics")
args$INPUT_RASTER <- someraster
args$INPUT_VECTOR <- somevector
args$output <- file.path(tempdir(), "out.shp")
out<- run_qgis(alg = "qgis:zonalstatistics", params = args,
        load_output = TRUE,
        show_output_paths = FALSE,
        qgis_env = qgis_env)

But for zonal histograms, I don't know the name of the algorithm to specify, or if I can do this at all from R (it is easily done from within QGIS 3.4).

If I run the following in the Python console in QGIS, I can't seem to find an algorithm name for zonal statistics:

for alg in QgsApplication.processingRegistry().algorithms():
        print(alg.id(), "->", alg.displayName())

Can I do zonal histograms from within R, using the RQGIS3 package?

My motivation is that I want to be able to generate various polygon grids in R and calculate the zonal histograms on the fly. I could do it in R (without QGIS, but QGIS seems much faster than the native R functions.

  • Have you tried find_algorithms()?
    – pat-s
    Feb 14, 2020 at 7:18
  • I hadn't, but I tried it now, and it produces the same output that the python script does, that I showed above (but in a more user-friendly way). But your comment inspired me to try find_algorithms()[grep("histogram",find_algorithms()] to sort through the very long list of algorithms. And then I found it easily - it is native:zonalhistogram rather than qgis:zonalhistogram. I'll provide this as an answer below. Feb 14, 2020 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


I was able to find the algorithm name using find_algorithms()[grep("histogram",find_algorithms()] which led me to native:zonalhistogram instead of the expected qgis:zonalhistogram. And, it appears than a raster extraction that took 52 minutes using R functions, took only 94 seconds with zonalhistogram!

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