Does anyone know some good tutorials to handle spatial data in R? I know that there are some packages like rgdal and maptools but I haven't actually found usefull tutorials to get in touch with the basic functions (read, plot, change symbology, join data, etc.) and/or to get a broader overview what are the acutal capabilites of R for spatial analysis and manipulation of Spatial data. Also recomendations for books, papers, blogs, etc. would be warmly welcome.


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There's quite a few resources for learning 'spatial' R online, some of the better ones are:

  • Thanks for these very usefull links! After a first look I really liked Frank Davenporst notes. They come with a lot of code. Barry Rowlingsons Site is also very helpfull and gives a good overview as well as examples. So I'll try to make my way through this! :)
    – Dspanes
    Jan 7 '13 at 8:58
  • Links are broken... Mar 14 '18 at 18:12

A couple I've found useful:

  • awesome. thank you also for the literature advice!
    – Dspanes
    Jan 7 '13 at 12:09
  • 1
    Worth mentioning that ASDAR book has a website with code and data download
    – radek
    Jan 7 '13 at 12:13

Few more from my side:

  • Virgilio Gómez Rubio's (he is the author of the famous/superuseful ASDAR book, mentioned in other answers) website provides materials to his tutorials from useR! conferences - slides, data and code are available.
  • Apart from ADAR, there is now new book 'An Introduction to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping' by Brundson & Comber with code available for download.

  • CSDE (University of Washington) course on GIS has some spatial R materials, focusing on ESDA, GWR, spatial regression

  • Maps with R I (II, III) series of blog posts offer a lot of extensively commented code that you can learn from.
  • UC Davis Soil Resource Laboratory has a nice collection of tips and examples of spatial R
  • Francisco Rodriguez-Sanchez has a nice materials on 'Spatial data in R: Using R as a GIS'.

A few nice tutorials, including some with a focus on interactivity (often listed as a weakness of doing GIS with R)


I'd like to add to the list:

  • This book is really extensive, not only about R but about Open Source GIS and data sources as well. Thank you very much for sharing this link.
    – Dspanes
    Jan 11 '13 at 9:13

I have some tutorials introducing spatial analysis in R on my website:



Dr Alec Stephenson talk on Exploring spatial data with R: Slides and scripts

  • 1
    I find this very hard to grasp. It only has 4 slides that mainly say "look at these packages", and non-commented code that will give you examples, but leave all the research on what exactly this does to the reader.
    – til_b
    Jan 7 '15 at 8:35

I also made a quick easy and holistic tutorial you folks can check out here https://github.com/mattjbayly/MapsProj. All you need is the R text script and all other material is downloaded remotely from R.

My tutorial covered GIS data imports/exports, basic manipulation of vector & raster data, some of basic plotting and a brief overview of projections. Estimated time to complete: 60mins

  • Please give as much information as you can when linking externally. "Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline." (gis.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer)
    – MaryBeth
    Jan 22 '16 at 21:25

data visualization in the R language: Code School - Try R

  • 1
    Barely. This is a very basic intro to R. It doesn't include a real GIS component, only an example of a matrix as a treasure map.
    – Suz
    Mar 2 '13 at 19:36

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