I am trying to create a polygon from a coordinate dataframe. I have the minimum and maximum x-y coordinate information. But, I am getting the following error. How can this be fixed?

lon = c(756065.70, 757428.78)
lat = c(4074435.19,4075144.12)

Poly_Coord_df = data.frame(lon, lat)

Poly = Poly_Coord_df %>% 
  st_as_sf(coords = c("lon", "lat"), crs = 32611) %>% 
  summarise((geometry = st_combine(geometry))) %>% 


Error in h(simpleError(msg, call)) : 
  error in evaluating the argument 'x' in selecting a method for function 'plot': polygons require at least 4 points

2 Answers 2


In the specific context you describe - having top right and bottom left corner of your desired polygon - you may be able to get by with sf::st_bbox(). It returns the bounding box of an object, in your case of the Poly_Coords_df data frame (as intepreted in context of EPSG:32611).

poly <- Poly_Coord_df %>% 
  st_as_sf(coords = c("lon", "lat"), 
           crs = 32611) %>% 
  st_bbox() %>% 

You've only got two points so you need to construct five to complete a box.

I don't understand what all that pipeline is supposed to do, the simplest and most direct way is to use st_polygon and feed it a list of a matrix which has five rows and two columns by taking the elements from your data frame:

> pol = st_polygon(

which returns:

POLYGON ((756065.7 4074435, 757428.8 4074435, 757428.8 4075144, 756065.7 4075144, 756065.7 4074435))

You probably then want to add the coordinate system and convert to an sfc:

polc = st_sfc(pol, crs=32611)

> polc
Geometry set for 1 feature 
Geometry type: POLYGON
Dimension:     XY
Bounding box:  xmin: 756065.7 ymin: 4074435 xmax: 757428.8 ymax: 4075144
Projected CRS: WGS 84 / UTM zone 11N
POLYGON ((756065.7 4074435, 757428.8 4074435, 7...

How it works - the sf_polygon function needs a matrix with two columns, with points in rows, the first point and the last point being the same to complete the polygon. For example to construct a "unit square" polygon between (0,0) and (1,1) you could make the matrix by making the columns and combining with cbind:

> cbind(c(0,1,1,0,0), c(0,0,1,1,0))
     [,1] [,2]
[1,]    0    0
[2,]    1    0
[3,]    1    1
[4,]    0    1
[5,]    0    0

And you can feed that into st_polygon, wrapping it in a list because polygons can be complex features with more than one "ring".

> st_polygon(list(cbind(c(0,1,1,0,0), c(0,0,1,1,0))))
POLYGON ((0 0, 1 0, 1 1, 0 1, 0 0))

Plotting that shows a square:

enter image description here

For your specific data frame, you get the latitudes as a vector like this:

> Poly_Coord_df$lat
[1] 4074435 4075144

and if you get them in the right order by subsetting:

> Poly_Coord_df$lat[c(1,1,2,2,1)]
[1] 4074435 4074435 4075144 4075144 4074435

that gets you the latitudes for making a polygon. A similar subset gets them in the right order for the longitude, and then binding them together you can feed them to sf_polygon.

  • Can you please briefly explain what does Poly_Coord_df$lon[c(1,2,2,1,1)] mean? Jul 14, 2021 at 21:59
  • 1
    "briefly" it is standard R data frame column extraction and subsetting, which is normally taught in first steps in R. Not sure how you missed that.
    – Spacedman
    Jul 15, 2021 at 8:03

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