First steps in spatial data handling and visualization

First steps in spatial data handling and visualization

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KampalR and NairobiR are honored to be facilitating one of the useR! 2020 tutorials; First steps in spatial data handling and visualization

About this event


The tutorial is designed for R users from a variety of fields who are interested in working with spatial data and creating maps with R.

No knowledge of cartography is required.

Prior knowledge of (non-spatial) graphic making and data handling with the {tidyverse} in R is recommended.

Instructors background:

Sébastien Rochette (@statnmap) is R trainer and consultant at ThinkR

Spatial data manipulation in R is one of his preferred topics in tutorials for academics and private companies. Category 'spatial' on his website is full of examples on this topic:

Also, two presentations may be relevant "2018-07 - GIS and mapping with R (French)" and "2019-02 - Everything but maps with spatial tools", both available on Github

Earlier in his career, he was building models of species distribution in marine science.

Dorris Scott (@Dorris_Scott) is a GIS Librarian/Social Science Data Curator at Washington University - St. Louis(WashU).Her background is in geography, with an emphasis on data visualization and GIS for public health applications. One of her roles at WashU is to provide consultation and training on spatial data sources, spatial software, and programming for GIS. She has provided training on how to make web maps using leaflet for R in various educational settings and recently held a workshop on leaflet for R at WashU. You can access the material for her workshops here.

Jakub Nowosad (@jakub_nowosad) is an assistant professor in the Department of Geoinformation at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. His primary research is focused on developing and applying spatial methods to broaden our understanding of processes and patterns in the environment. He has extensive teaching experience in the fields of spatial analysis, geostatistics, statistics, and machine learning. Jakub is also an active member of the #rspatial community and a co-author of the Geocomputation with R book.

His blog posts, presentations, and workshop materials can be found here and here


Geo-spatial data manipulation and maps creation.

Relevant Subject Areas: Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Statistics, Public Health, to name a few.

Points of appeal:

Spatial data analysis has long been one of R's strengths.

R's spatial ecosystem allows for easy spatial data access, handling, visualization, and modelling.

This tutorial will focus on getting started with the spatial data analysis in R by showing how to create maps and handle spatial data.

Spatial data is used in multiple fields.

Maps are created in journalism to provide context to the story, to visualize species distributions in ecology, or understand movement patterns in transportation studies. Spatial data and maps are also relevant for geomarketing, public health and social work, ...

Learning objectives:

By the end of the tutorial participants should:

  • Be able to create static maps with a popular package: {tmap}
  • Understand basic cartographic principles in map-making
  • Manipulate vector objects using the {sf} and {dplyr} packages
  • Understand and be able to apply map projections to maps

Computing requirements:

ThinkR will provide an e-learning platform with Rstudio already installed with all requirements. An Internet connection will be necessary for each attendee.

In case of problems, attendees could use their own computer, following these instructions. Please note that the workshop will be too short to help in the installation procedure.

Expected level of audience’s R background:

  • Upper-beginner to Intermediate.
  • Attendees should already have experience with R and be able to:
  • Manipulate rectangular data with {dplyr}: select, filter, mutate, group_by, summarize
  • Create graphs
  • Work with Rmarkdown documents

Please go through this site, to learn more about the basic {dplyr} verbs.

Note: This tutorial is not a webinar, but a private lesson. Attendees are expected to participate and answer questions. Instructors will make sure this participation will be in a safe environment, in plain group and in small groups during exercises. Instructors will ask questions to individuals to be sure everyone understands what they teach. Attendees should expect to share their screen individually or to the group so that the instructors can help. Instructors will try to make the course active and exciting. Attendees are expected to help in this way too.

Please read the useR! 2020 Code of Conduct carefully: All participants are required to agree to it.

Only 30 slots are available for this tutorial.

The event tickets will be available from July 13th 2:00 PM UTC to July 17th 8:30 PM UTC.

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