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An Introduction to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping

An Introduction to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping

Second Edition
Additional resources:

December 2018 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This is a new edition of the accessible and student-friendly 'how to' for anyone using R for the first time, for use in spatial statistical analysis, geocomputation and digital mapping. The authors, once again, take readers from ‘zero to hero’, updating the now standard text to further enable practical R applications in GIS, spatial analyses, spatial statistics, web-scraping and more.

Revised and updated, each chapter includes:

  • example data and commands to explore hands-on;
  • scripts and coding to exemplify specific functionality;
  • self-contained exercises for students to work through;
  • embedded code within the descriptive text.


The new edition includes detailed discussion of new and emerging packages within R like sf, ggplot, tmap, making it the go to introduction for all researchers collecting and using data with location attached. This is the introduction to the use of R for spatial statistical analysis, geocomputation, and GIS for all researchers - regardless of discipline - collecting and using data with location attached.





Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Data and Plots
Chapter 3 Handling Spatial Data
Chapter 4 Programming in R
Chapter 5 Using R as a GIS
Chapter 6 Point Pattern Analysis
Chapter 7 Spatial Attribute Analysis
Chapter 8 Localised Spatial Analysis
Chapter 9 R and Internet Data
Chapter 10 Epilogue

There's no better text for showing students and data analysts how to use R for spatial analysis, mapping and reproducible research. If you want to learn how to make sense of geographic data and would like the tools to do it, this is your guide.

Richard Harris
University of Bristol

Students and other life-long learners need flexible skills to add value to spatial data. This comprehensive, accessible and thoughtful book unlocks the spatial data value chain. It provides an essential guide to the R spatial analysis ecosystem. This excellent state-of-the-art treatment will be widely used in student classes, continuing professional development and self-tuition.

Paul Longley
University College London

In this second edition, the authors have once again captured the state of the art in one of the most widely used approaches to spatial analysis. Spanning from the absolute beginner to more advanced concepts and underpinned by a strong ‘learn by doing’ ethos, this book is ideally suited for both students and teachers of spatial analysis using R.

Jonny Huck
The University of Manchester

A timely update to the de facto reference and textbook for anyone — geographer, planner, or (geo)data scientist — needing to undertake mapping and spatial analysis in R. Complete with self-tests and valuable insights into the transition from sp to sf, this book will help you to develop your ability to write flexible, powerful, and fast geospatial code in R.

Jonathan Reades
King's College London

Brunsdon and Comber’s 2nd edition of their acclaimed text book is updated with the key developments in spatial analysis and mapping in R and maintains the pedagogic style that made the original volume such an indispensable resource for teaching and research.

Scott Orford
Cardiff University

The future of GIS is open-source! An Introduction to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping is an ideal introduction to spatial data analysis and mapping using the powerful open-source language R.  Assuming no prior knowledge, Brunsdon and Comber get the reader up to speed quickly with clear writing, excellent pedagogic material and a keen sense of geographic applications. The second edition is timely and fresh. An Introduction to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping should be required reading for every Geography and GIS student, as well as faculty and professionals.

Harvey Miller
The Ohio State University

While there are many books that provide an introduction to R, this is one of the few that provides both a general and an application-specific (spatial analysis) introduction and is therefore far more useful and accessible. Written by two experts in the field, it covers both the theory and practice of spatial statistical analysis and will be an important addition to the bookshelves of researchers whose spatial analysis needs have outgrown currently available GIS software.

Jennifer Miller
University of Texas at Austin

Brunsdon and Comber have produced that rare text that is both an introduction to the field of spatial analysis and, simultaneously, to the programming language R. It has been my go-to text in teaching either subject and this new edition updates and expands an already deeply comprehensive work.

Jim Thatcher
University of Washington Tacoma

This book was used as essential reading throughout my module (on an MSc level) not just for learning the key principles of spatial analysis; but for understanding the practical component for geo-processing of spatial data in RStudio, as well as for learning the coding etiquettes for implementing spatial analysis and gaining mastery in RStudio. An excellent book for student beginners!

Dr Anwar Musah
Department of Geography, University College London
April 12, 2023

Having already used R for text, audio and image analysis in my course on R, I was very interested in the book by Brunsdon et al. They explain spatial analysis and mapping with the help of R in an extremely understandable way. This leads to an excellent dynamic in the seminar, which also gives me great pleasure as a lecturer. Therefore I recommend this book for seminars with advanced students in R.

Mr Wolfgang Kotowski
Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University
August 17, 2019