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Catégorie : rleafmap

rleafmap: R Markdown in interactive popups

rleafmap: R Markdown in interactive popups

This is the second « big » feature coming with branch 0.2 of rleafmap (now on CRAN!). With this new version you can write popups content in R Markdown which will be processed when you generate the map. This can be useful to format popups using markdown syntax (if you need more control remind that popups can also be formatted with html tags). More interesting with R Markdown is the possibility to include outputs of R code chunks. Thus, results, simulations and plots can be easily embedded within popups content.

To activate R Markdown for a layer you just have to pass the R Markdown code to the popup argument and set popup.rmd to TRUE.

The chunkerize function

You can write your R code chunks manually but you can also use the function chunkerize which tries to make your life simpler. This function has two purposes:

  • It turns a function and its arguments into an R code chunk.
  • It can decompose the elements of a list and use them as values for a given argument.

The latter may be useful when you have different features on your map and you want to execute the same function for each of them but with different data as input. This can be done by tagging the list containing the data with a star character (*). See the following example:

Data you need for the example: download and unzip
First we load the packages we need:


Then we load the data: a shapefile of regions and a dataframe giving the evolution of the population for each region.

reg <- readShapePoly("regions-20140306-100m")
reg <- reg[c(-11,-12,-16,-19,-20),]
pop <- read.csv("population.txt", sep = "\t", row.names = 1)
pop <- pop[rev(rownames(pop)), sort(names(pop))]

We prepare some colors for the map and a legend:

gcol <- rev(heat.colors(5))
gcut <- cut(as.numeric(pop["2012", ]),
            breaks = c(0, 2000000, 3000000, 4000000, 8000000, 12000000))
reg.col <- gcol[as.numeric(gcut)]
reg.leg <- layerLegend(style = "polygons",
                       title = "Population",
                       labels = levels(gcut),
                       fill.col = gcol)

We prepare the data for chunkerize: pop is already a list, since it is a dataframe but for clarity we turn it into a simple list.

Year <- as.numeric(rownames(pop))
L <- as.list(pop)
L2 <- as.list(names(L))

Now is the trick. We create a chunk based on a plot function. We provide 5 arguments (names and values). Each arg.values is going to be recycled, except L and L2 which are tagged with a star. In that case, each element of these lists is going to be used as values.

popup <- chunkerize(FUN = plot,
                    arg.names = c("x", "y", "type", "ylab", "main"),
                    arg.values = c("Year", "*L", "'b'", "'Population'", "*L2"))

Now we just have to create the layers and compile the map: <- basemap("cartodb.positron.nolab") <- spLayer(reg,
                   fill.col = reg.col,
                   legend = reg.leg,
                   popup = popup,
                   popup.rmd = TRUE)

Et voilà ! There is a problem with Rstudio and Firefox. It happens that popups do not appear where they should on the first click. It works fine on Chromium.

Fully customizable legends for rleafmap

Fully customizable legends for rleafmap

This is a functionality I wanted to add for some time… and finally it’s here! I just pushed on GitHub a new version of rleafmap which brings the possibility to attach legends to data layers. You simply need to create a legend object with the function layerLegend and then to pass this object when you create your data layer via the legend argument. Thus, a map can contain different legends, each of them being independent. This is cool because it means that when you mask a data layer with the layer control, the legend will also disappear.

You can create legends with five different styles to better suit your data: points, lines, polygons, icons and gradient (see the graphic).


Legends for John Snow’s cholera map

I give as example a new version of the cholera map.
Here is the code:


n.chol <- ifelse(cholera$deaths$Count > 4, 6, cholera$deaths$Count) + 2

# Basemap layer <- basemap("cartodb.positron.nolab")

# Legends
death.leg <- layerLegend(style = "points", title = "Deaths",
                         labels = c("1", "2", "3", "4", "> 4"), size = c(3, 4, 5, 6, 8),
                         fill.col = "red", fill.alpha = 0.9)
pumps.leg <- layerLegend(style = "icons", title = NA, labels = "Water pump",
                         png = "/home/francois/water.png", png.width = 31, png.height = 31)

# Data layers
death.points <- spLayer(cholera$deaths, legend = death.leg,
                        size = n.chol, fill.col =  "red", fill.alpha = 0.9)
pumps.points <- spLayer(cholera$pumps, legend = pumps.leg,
                        png = "/home/francois/water.png",
                        png.width=31, png.height=31)

my.ui <- ui(layers = "topright")

writeMap(, pumps.points, death.points, interface = my.ui,
         setView = c(51.5135, -0.137), setZoom = 17)

And here the result. Enjoy and check out the legend interactivity when you play with the layer selector 😉

Contours and Networks with epimap and rleafmap

Contours and Networks with epimap and rleafmap

In February, I participated in a hackaton organized by Thibaut Jombart at Imperial College, London, to work on visualization tools for outbreak data. This was a great time spent with great people! Thanks again, Thibaut, for organizing. I took part in the development of epimap, an R package for statistical mapping. The aim of epimap is to provide tools to quickly and efficiently visualize spatial data. There is a set of functions designed to do that and you can check out the Github page for a demo.

This package also provides two functions to coerce complex objects to Spatial classes so that they can be easily included in a map.

  • The contour2sp function takes a SpatialGrid object and returns contour lines as a SpatialLinesDataFrame.
  • The graph2sp function takes a graph (from igraph package) with geolocated vertices and returns a list of Spatial objects (points and lines).

Following this post of Arthur Charpentier (who nicely plays with rleafmap!), I decided to include the John Snow’s Cholera dataset in epimap so it can be simply used for tests.

In this post I want to show how epimap and rleafmap can be combined to create fully customizable interactive maps with complex objects. The cholera dataset gives the locations of cholera deaths and the locations of water pumps in London. The maps will show the location of cholera deaths with points, the local density of deaths with colored contour lines and the location of water pumps with icons. Moreover, the pumps will be represented within a network where two pumps are connected if there are close enough.



# Create a network of pumps
pump.adj <- as.matrix(dist(sp::coordinates(cholera$pumps)))
pump.graph <- graph.adjacency(pump.adj < 0.003, diag = FALSE)
V(pump.graph)$lat <- coordinates(cholera$pumps)[, 2]
V(pump.graph)$lon <- coordinates(cholera$pumps)[, 1]

# Convert death density SpatialGrid to contour SpatialLines
death.cont <- contour2sp(cholera$deaths.den, nlevels = 10)

# Basemap layer <- basemap("cartodb.darkmatter.nolab")

# Data layers
death.points <- spLayer(cholera$deaths,
                        size = 1,
                        fill.col =  "white",
                        fill.alpha = 0.5,
                        stroke = FALSE)
death.contour <- spLayer(death.cont,
                         stroke.col = heat.colors(12)[cut(death.cont$level, 12)],
                         stroke.lwd = 1.5,
                         stroke.alpha = 1)
pumps.points <- spLayer(graph2sp(pump.graph)[[1]],
                        png = "/home/francois/water.png",
                        png.width=31 ,
pumps.links <- spLayer(graph2sp(pump.graph)[[2]],
                       stroke.lwd = 3,
                       stroke.col = "white")

my.ui <- ui(layers = "topright")

writeMap(, death.points, death.contour,
         pumps.links, pumps.points, interface = my.ui)

And here is the map we get:

Introducing rleafmap. An R package for interactive maps with Leaflet.

Introducing rleafmap. An R package for interactive maps with Leaflet.

Obviously, I am late…

I released rleafmap about 1 year ago and I am just writing this blog post today. During this time, I presented the package to the french R-users community at the 3eme Rencontres R in Montpellier and could get some good feedbacks. Now, I would like to communicate better on the project. My idea is to post news about the development and communicate on new features illustrated with examples on this blog. The documentation and tutorials will be published on the project website ( if I can save time for that.

Purpose and philosophy

rleafmap is an R package that can be used to generate interactive maps with your data. If you manipulate spatial data in the R environment, at some point you probably want to visualize them. The most common way to visualize spatial data is maps. Like other packages (googleVis, rMaps…) rleafmap is designed to produce maps with interactivity to bring a richer experience to the end user. This is made possible by the use of Leaflet, the amazing open-source javascript library created by Vladimir Agafonkin.

There are two things important to be aware for a good start with rleafmap.

  • First, the package use exclusively input data inheriting from the Spatial class of the sp package. These classes are central and allows to work with many packages. If you don’t know it, a good place to start is the vignette of the sp package on CRAN. If you prefer a good book have look to Bivand et al. 2013 [1].
  • The second point is about how the package works. Data layers are stored in independent R object with their own symbology. The map consists in a compilation of these objects. The idea is to stick to the philosophy of the traditional GIS software.

For a more complete view of the package I strongly recommend that you have a look to the website.

[1] Bivand R.S., Pebesma E.J. & Gómez-Rubio V. (2013) Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R, 2nd edn. Springer, New York.