Using R as a command line GIS


R is a free and open source computer program that runs on all major operating systems. It relies primarily on the command line for data input. This means that instead of interacting with the program by clicking on different parts of the screen via a graphical user interface (GUI), users type commands for the operations they wish to complete. This seems a little daunting at first but the approach has a number of benefits, as highlighted by Gary Sherman (2008, p. 283), developer of the popular Geographical Information System (GIS) QGIS: ""With the advent of “modern” GIS software, most people want to point and click their way through life. That’s good, but there is a tremendous amount of flexibility and power waiting for you with the command line. Many times you can do something on the command line in a fraction of the time you can do it with
a GUI.""

This workshop aims to illustrate the amazing power waiting within the R environment and packages such as sp, rgdal, rgeos and ggmap. It is aimed at people new to R but with some knowledge of code and GIS and is based on a tutorial I've been delivering in the UK, with very positive results:


Robin Lovelace

Presenter Biography: 

I am an environmental geographer passionate about open source software, cycling and sustainability.

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