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R has become a go-to tool for spatial analysis in many settings. You can read and edit spatial data, conduct geoprocessing and spatial analysis and create static and interactive maps. Of course, the first step in spatial analysis with R is often reading in your spatial data and this step can be confusing and frustrating. The super-powerful grandfather of functions for reading vector-based spatial data is readOGR from the package rgdal.
You can use this function to read in dozens of different formats but the syntax can be odd and, importantly, is different for different input types.
Mapinfo Professional -Tutorial 06/11
As an example, cojrs might surprised to learn that one of these lines of code for reading a shapefile will work fine and one will fail can you guess which is which? That trailing backslash is toxic and I’ll bet that this single idiosynchrasy has prevented more than one researcher from conducting spatial analysis in R. This post mwpbasic on four formats that are among the most common: Note that this post is limited to reading and writing vector data.
For raster data I use the raster package rather than readGDAL from rgdal and I find that these functions rasterbrick and stack are more straightforward and work smoothly. An example of using the raster function can be found in our post on analyzing raster data in R. You can download the files I use in the post as a ZIP here.
For the blog post I’m storing all files in my directory at X: The rgdal package has been around for more than a decade and provides bindings to the incredible Geospatial Data Abstraction Library GDAL for reading, writing and converting between spatial formats. You need to install the rgdal package before you can run any of the code in this post. Keep in mind that there are several specialty packages for reading or writing various formats e.
But, if possible, I prefer to use one function, one package for reading spatial files and so this post focuses on readOGR. To read or write a specific file type you need to make sure that you have the drivers installed. For the four file types I cover below, these should be all installed by default but you should double check using the ogrDrivers function. Here are the drivers on my machine. Although there are specific examples below, it’s worth noting that for file types that require a dsn argument without a layer name you need to remember to leave off the trailing forward slash.
For files in your current working directory you can use “. With shapefiles the dsn argument requires a directory path without the filename and without the trailing forward slash and the layer argument requires a layer name without the suffix.
GeoJSON is an increasingly common mapbawic. For testing purposes, it’s fun to create and save a layer using the geojson. There are other packages for reading and writing geojson like the geojsonio package that I recommend you look at.
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For me, despite the oddities of readOGR I like using one package, one function if possible. Since the trees and parks have different coordinate systems I need to project before plotting them together:. So I write a name without a period and then use file.
You can see a conversation about this here. Not ideal but it works. With MapInfo the dsn argument requires a full path and suffix and the layer argument requires the layer name without a suffix.
GPS files with a gpx extension can be read in as either tracks lines or waypoints points. In either case the data source name will be the path with the layer name and suffix. Working with rgdal is not pretty but it’s a powerful and important tool for reading vector data.
Knowing the quirks and creating a cheat sheet for yourself will save a lot of hand wringing and allow you to start having fun with spatial analysis in R.
I’m going to start ending blog posts with sessionInfo so that readers can know what R and package versions were used. In case you need a free online tool to easily convert kml to gpx and the vice versa, I suggest trying http: Your email address will not be published.
Original mapbxsic is here.
Mapinfo Professional -Tutorial 06/11
Downloaded with the tigris package and exported to MapInfo. A GPS file just one file that I manually created with this site.
The rgdal package The rgdal package has been around for more than a decade and provides bindings to the incredible Geospatial Data Abstraction Library GDAL for reading, writing and converting between spatial formats. Vector drivers To read or write a specific file type you need to make sure that you have the drivers installed. These are valid dsn arguments for reading a shapefile for a shapefile. The shapefile is at X: The MapInfo file is x: Postscript, R and package details I’m going to start ending blog posts with sessionInfo so that readers can know what R and package versions were used.
Windows 7 x64 build Service Pack 1 locale: Previous post Manipulating and mapping US Census data in R using the acstigris and leaflet packages. Next post Using the new R package, FedData, to access federal open datasets including interactive graphics. I tried somthing like: Please write one about reading and writing.
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