January 13, 2023
Journal Article

rmap: An R package to plot and compare tabular data on customizable maps across scenarios and time


`rmap` is an R package that allows users to easily plot tabular data (CSV or R data frames) on maps without any Geographic Information Systems (GIS) knowledge. Maps produced by `rmap` are `ggplot` objects and thus capitalize on the flexibility and advancements of the `ggplot2` package and all elements of each map are thus fully customizable. Additionally `rmap` automatically detects and produces comparison maps if the data has multiple scenarios or time periods as well as animations for time series data. Advanced users can load their own shapefiles if desired. `rmap` comes with a range of pre-built color palettes but users can also provide any `R` color palette or create their own as needed. Four different legend types are available to highlight different kinds of data distributions. The input spatial data can be both gridded or polygon data. `rmap` is desgined in particular for comparing spatial data across scenarios and time periods and comes preloaded with standard country, state, and basin maps as well as custom maps compatible with the Global Change Analysis Model (GCAM) spatial boundaries. `rmap` has a growing number of users and its products have been used in multiple multisector dynamics publications as well as a required dependency in other R packages such as `rfasst` and `metis`. `rmap's` automatic processing of tabular data using pre-built map selection, difference map calculations, faceting, and animations offers unique functionality which makes it a powerful and yet simple tool for users looking to explore multi-sector, multi-scenario data across space and time.

Published: January 13, 2023


Khan Z., M. Zhao, C.R. Vernon, T. Wild, and B.N. Yarlagadda. 2022. rmap: An R package to plot and compare tabular data on customizable maps across scenarios and time. Journal of Open Source Software 7, no. 77:4015. PNNL-SA-168873. doi:10.21105/joss.04015

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