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R bindings for Mapnik?




I frequently find myself doing some analysis in R and then wanting to make a quick map. The standard plot() function does a reasonable job of quick, but I quickly find that I need to go to ggplot2 when I want to make something that looks nice or has more complex symbology requirements. Ggplot2 is great, but is sometimes cumbersome to convert a SpatialPolygonsDataFrame into the format required by Ggplot2. Ggplot2 can also be a tad slow when dealing with large maps that require specific projections.

It seems like I should be able to use Mapnik to plot spatial objects directly from R, but after exhausting my Google-fu, I cannot find any evidence of bindings. Rather than assume that such a thing doesn't exist, I thought I'd check here to see if anyone knows of an R - Mapnik binding.

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Peter Avatar asked Nov 04 '22 13:11


2 Answers

The Mapnik FAQ explicitly mentions Python bindings -- as does the wiki -- with no mention of R, so I think you are correct that no (Mapnik-sponsored, at least) R bindings currently exist for Mapnik.

You might get a more satisfying (or at least more detailed) answer by asking on the Mapnik users list. They will know for certain if any projects exist to make R bindings for Mapnik, and if not, your interest may incite someone to investigate the possibility of generating bindings for R.

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David Alber Avatar answered Nov 09 '22 03:11

David Alber

I would write the SpatialWotsitDataFrames to Shapefiles and then launch a Python Mapnik script. You could even use R to generate the Python script (package 'brew' is handy for making files from templates and inserting values form R).

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Spacedman Avatar answered Nov 09 '22 03:11