Working with Geospatial Data in R

Jornada LTER, LTAR, and New Mexico State University

June 24th, 2024

8:00 am to 5:00pm MST

Instructors: Renée Brown, Darren James, Gregory Maurer

Helpers: Dylan Burruss

General Information

The Carpentries project comprises the Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry communities of Instructors, Trainers, Maintainers, helpers, and supporters who share a mission to teach foundational computational and data science skills to researchers.

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Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. The lessons assume you have a working knowledge of the R language and some previous exposure to geospatial data and/or GIS software. These requirements can be fulfilled by: a) Independently completing the Data Carpentry Introduction to Geospatial Concepts and Introduction to R for Geospatial Data workshops, or b) independent exposure to both R and GIS software and data work. If you’re unsure whether you have enough experience to participate in this workshop, please contact the organizer Greg Maurer.

Where: Wooton Hall, New Mexico State University campus, 2995 Knox St.Las Cruces, NM. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: June 24th, 2024. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. For workshops at a physical location, the workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email or for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
Lesson 1 Introduction to R for Geospatial Data
  8:15 am     Introduction to R and RStudio
  8:45 am     Project Management With RStudio
Lesson 2 Introduction to Geospatial Raster and Vector Data for R
  09:15 am     Open and Plot Vector Layers
  09:45 pm Break for 10 minutes
  09:55 am     Explore and Plot by Vector Layer Attributes
  10:55 am     Plot Multiple Vector Layers
  11:55 am Lunch break until 1:00pm
  01:00 pm     Intro to Raster Data
  02:00 pm     Plot Raster Data
  03:10 pm Break for 15 minutes
  03:25 pm     Reproject Raster Data
  04:25 pm     Raster Calculations
  4:45 pm End workshop
After workshop Post-workshop survey


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to software as described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Geospatial workshop can be found at the workshop overview site.