Modern Geospatial Data Analysis with R Workshop - rstudio::conf 2020

Modern Geospatial Data Analysis with R Workshop

9:00 AM-5:00 PM
2 Day Workshop

Zev Ross
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis

Make your geospatial data come to life with R. This course will get you quickly up and running with the new R workflow for geospatial data. An explosion of packages for working with spatial data means you can ditch your GIS software and do geospatial analysis in R end-to-end. You will learn to read, manipulate and visualize spatial data and you'll be introduced to functionality that will have you saying "I didn't know you could do that in R!". In addition to learning from Zev Ross, you will benefit from support during the workshop from two additional spatial analysis experts, Angela Li from the Center for Spatial Data Science and Hollie Olmstead from ZevRoss Spatial Analysis, each with extensive experience analyzing spatial data and teaching core concepts.

During the workshop, you will learn:

  • Key strategies for getting spatial data into R. This includes an introduction to powerful packages for accessing data on census, climate, land cover and moreβ€” as well as functionality for reading external files (e.g., shapefiles, geojson, geopackages, grids and tiffs).
  • The latest innovations in spatial data visualization. Participants will create both static and interactive visualizations using the flexible and feature-rich {tmap} and {mapview} as well as explore the landscape of specialized visualization packages such as {cartography}, {geogrid}, {rayshader} and {concaveman}.
  • How spatial data can be integrated into data science workflows, how to manipulate, slice and dice and make sense of spatial data. You will also learn key geoprocessing techniques for both vector and raster data including buffering, clipping, masking, cropping, computing distance and others.

Participants in the workshop do not need to have any previous geospatial experience but they must be proficient in R -- for example, they should be able to use dplyr functions such as select, filter and mutate from memory.


I'm looking forward to the workshop at rstudio::conf2020! During the workshop we will using a cloud version of RStudio (RStudio Server Pro) so there is no need for any advanced preparation.

I'm assuming that everyone participating knows R. A few examples of things I assume you'll know without looking them up:

  1. {dplyr} including select(), mutate(), filter(), group_by(), rename()
  2. The pipe %>%
  3. The double colon, as in dplyr::select()
  4. I use ggplot2 a few times during the workshop so it's helpful to know this but not required
  5. [added 1/17/2020] it would be better (but not 100% required) if you know a bit about R lists. So, for example, how to use [[ ]] to extract a piece of a list. If this is not something you're comfortable with, perhaps do a review.

Although the workshop will be run using cloud RStudio you are, of course, welcome to try installing key packages on your own machine and we can discuss issues you're having during a break. Key packages include {sf}, {raster}, {tmap}, {mapview}.


Excellent! Looking forward as well; first RStudio conf for me.

It's a fun conference :slight_smile:

Hi Zev:

I'm looking forward to the training but have a quick question about the RStudio Server Pro. Is this something we can access by logging into via a web browser? I'm asking because I was hoping to bring my work laptop, as my personal laptop is on its last legs. But we have a firewall at work (I'm in the federal government). We have an internal CRAN mirror, so installing packages isn't a problem. But doing something like accessing data from an API requires getting on a whitelist to get through the proxy. I'm pretty sure if the cloud version of RStudio Server Pro is just running on a web browser it would be fine, but I wanted to check on that.


Hi B.J.,

Good question. You will access the server via a web browser (non Internet Explorer is better!) so I think it will be fine for you unless you think the firewall will block a legitimate URL. All the data etc will be in the RStudio Server browser window.

Perhaps write to me directly, though, and I may be able to give you a URL you can use to test access. Contact me at



Great. I asked a system admin here about this yesterday and he suggested that I try to test access, so I'll send you an email.


If anyone else is reading the note from B.J., he tested a similar URL and it worked fine.

I'll be one of the TAs at the workshop - looking forward to meeting everyone in a week!

The GitHub readme on the workshop has been updated:

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