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Using R as a GIS

Preview: What Is R?

by Dr. Nick Bearman

PDF $0.99
30 pages
ISBN (PDF) 978-0-9868052-6-4
Published 2022-11-17 

In this preview chapter, we discuss what R is how we can use it as a GIS and why it is different to many other Geographic Information System (GIS) programs.

This book is in the works and we are offering a single preview chapter for free! Download it here or add it to your cart for $0.99 to keep a copy in your Locate Press account with your other purchases and give some encouragement as we work on the rest of the book.

If you are completely new to GIS, R is not the easiest program to learn GIS with (we recommend QGIS for that), but if you have done a bit of GIS already, then R has many benefits and advantages compared to GIS. In this preview chapter we will discuss some of these advantages and set the scene for the rest of the book.

Preview Chapter

In this preview chapter, you will learn a bit of the background about R, how it's useful for reproducible research, how to write some basic R scripts and make some simple maps using R.

This complete chapter, What Is R? will teach you about:

  • R, the Software
  • Reproducible Research
  • What is R & RStudio?
  • Loading Data into R
  • Bonus Material Loading Spatial Data & Making Maps


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I am passionate about GIS and spatial skills both as a tool to solve problems and as a vital skill to be taught to anyone who uses spatial data to make decisions. I want as many people as possible to be able to use GIS, and I run regular introductory and advanced training courses in QGIS and R/RStudio, to attendees from universities, government organisations, commercial companies and non profit organisations across the globe. I also offer consultancy services, where I use my technical skills with GIS to explore and analyse spatial data using different methods applied to a variety of different applications including in multidisciplinary projects. I am a Chartered Geographer (GIS) and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and OSGeo:UK Chair.

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