by Marie-Hélène Brice
The processing and analysis of spatial data under R goes back more than a decade ago. With a wide range of packages, R enables advanced geospatial statistics, modeling and visualization. But, why use R to manipulate spatial objects when there are very powerful and specialized tools (like ArcGIS or QGIS)? The answer lies in task automation and reproducibility of the entire workflow (importation, modification of geometry, statistical analysis, cartography, exportation).
Until recently, spatial analysis in R has largely relied on the package sp and its helper packages, rgdal and rgeos. Recently, the sf package allows R users to implement the ISO standard for access and manipulation of spatial vector data, simple features. One of the advantages of sf over the sp family is the use of data.frames and the simplification of data structures for spatial geometries, making spatial data handling easier and faster. During this workshop, we will see how to use the different packages of R (notably sf) to manipulate and analyze spatial objects and create nice and informative maps. The workshop is intended as an overview of R’s functionalities in the field of spatial analysis, with the aim of making the analysis of geospatial data more accessible to all within the framework of a reproducible workflow.