Intro to R programming for geospatial data

Full materials for this Maptime lesson are available at

Below are only the setup instructions.


This repo includes materials for an R tutorial for the Maptime Seattle group. It is aimed at introducing R and it’s geospatial capabilities to non-programmers that have general interest in GIS and spatial analysis. If you are another Maptime group and would like to re-use these materials, please do so.

Follow these steps to get setup for Maptime

Install R

See the download links at the top of this page:

Install Rstudio Desktop

make sure you have already installed R (see above)

Install the packages we will use

Start RStudio (or R) and copy/paste these commands into the command prompt:

packages <- c("rgdal", "rgeos", "leaflet", "RColorBrewer", "raster", "ggplot2")


The first time you install a package, you will get a prompt to select a ‘mirror’ from which to download the files. There is always one or two options in ‘USA (WA)’, so select one of those.

You may also get a prompt that asks if you wish to create a new directory in which to store the package files. Say yes.

If any particular package fails to install (in particular rgdal or rgeos) don’t worry. We can complete most of the tutorial without these packages if necessary.


and download the contents of that repository to get started.