Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R

useR! 2015 Conference

Aalborg, Denmark

Tutorial outline

This introductory tutorial is aimed at researchers that have to deal with the analysis of spatial (and spatio-temporal) data. The tutorial will tackle the problem of analysing spatial (and some spatio-temporal) data with the R programming language. Different types of spatial data will be covered, such as point patterns, lattice data and data coming from irregular measurements of continuos processes (geostatistics). In addition, different worked examples will be presented showing how to proceed with the analysis of a wide range of spatial data sets.

The topics of the tutorial will contain an introduction to various R packages for the analysis of spatial data. This includes data import/export, data management and visualisation, and how to fit a broad range of models for spatial data. The worked examples will focus on particular real data sets from Epidemiology, Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Economics and others.

Although most of the contents will include live demonstrations of the software, a working knowledge of the R software is desirable to follow the examples. R is distributed as free software, and it can be downloaded from . Similarly, the tutorial will introduce the statistical concepts behind the analysis, but a basic knowledge of statistics and regression analysis will be necessary.

The tutorial will make particular emphasis on Bayesian inference for spatial and spatio-temporal modelling. Hence, examples based on packages R-INLA, BayesX and WinBUGS will be included. We will also discuss the main differences among these and other packages for spatio-temporal modelling.

Summary of tutorial contents

Summary of tutorial instructors

Dr. Virgilio Gómez-Rubio, Department of Mathematics, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)

Tutorial materials

You can download a ZIP file with all the tutorial files from here

Additional information on the analysis of spatial data with R, including a gallery of figures, can be found via

Pre-tutorial materials

Given that the tutorial will be very intensive (and intense!!), we have prepared a list with some materials to get the attendants familiar with R.


R software and packages
This is the main site to download R and the packages that we will use in the tutorial.

Script to install some packages for spatial data analysis: install_pkgs.R.txt
Please, run this script on your laptop before coming to the tutorial.

An Introduction to R (HTML, PDF)
Introductory tutorial to R, ideal for beginners. It contains a description of data types, commands, etc. and how to make basic statistical analysis.

Other software

This software will be used (or, at least, mentioned) in the tutorial. No prior knowledge will be assumed, but it will help to understand the topics covered in the tutorial.

Software for Bayesian data analysis.

Software for Bayesian data analysis.

Software for Bayesian data analysis.


Here I have included some recent papers that may be relevant for the tutorial:


Roger S. Bivand, Edzer J. Pebesma and Virgilio Gómez-Rubio. Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R Springer. July 2013