There are quite some nice possibilities to analyse spatial data in R and in the context of my current project I would like to use R more frequently to do that.

Until now I plot my maps with ggplot2 package that brings a lot of practical tools to plot and explore data. Still my maps are not nearly as good looking as the ones I used to plot in ArcGIS.

So for publishing purposes I wonder if there are any good tutorials, books, practical tips, packages etc. that I could use to experiment a little bit and make my maps more good looking?


5 Answers 5


In addition to the ones posted here, in the R gallery website there are a few examples:

other websites with tutorials and good mapping examples in R:

I hope this helps. The last one gives you one example with vector data and another with satellite imagery, while the r-bloggers has many other mapping examples with R.

  • thank you for the links. the ucsb tutorial seems really interesting and cover some of the important basic operations.
    – Dspanes
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 15:12
  • 2
    @A.R first link appears to be dead.
    – user173
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 15:22
  • Could you please edit the answer to update/remove the dead links?
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 12:48
  • A compendium of useful information, it's a shame it has been closed. There been some really great R mapping advances recently.
    – derelict
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 17:45

According to your question the very good example is on this link . This link contains various beautiful map collections using R software . I am sure this will help you!!. I am also referring above site for reference.

  • these are really beautifull maps. especially the London cycle hire. The code is fully provided. Some of the maps miss some basic features (legend, scale, northarrow etc.) but from a asthetic point of view they are great. thanks.
    – Dspanes
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 15:08

The ebook "Data mashups in R" is just 40 Pages long and will walk you through an example project (mapping foreclosures in Washington DC)

From the first reader-review :

This book presents an interesting project, drawing together a number of data sources and geocoding them.

I've once skimmed the PDF, want to have a closer look someday. It's on my to-do list.

  • thank you for the link. I've just checked out the book. It seems quite interesting and it's for free :) not that much layout advices though.
    – Dspanes
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 15:06

I have found a nice example R-script with several demonstrations of packages, map styling and also basic GIS operations. Maybe this'll come in handy for some readers.

Using R as a GIS


If somebody is still following. Here you can find a huge amount of tutorials and links on diffrent mapping themes in R:


and for some basic stuff like legend, scalebar and north-arrow look at the code here: http://spatialanalysis.co.uk/2010/09/rmaps/

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