Cartography with R and QGIS, which to choose?

Mike Spencer (Speaker)

Activity: Talk, evidence or presentation typesOral presentation


We all love maps. Like many, I grew up with the rich tapestry of Ordnance Survey landranger maps. This OS product uses clever cartography to display many different attributes at the same time. At the opposite end of the scale, we've all seen maps which only display one or two attributes - like continent outlines and temperature. These two map extremes are often created using different tools, with maps featuring many attributes usually developed by hand in a desktop GIS or illustration package and single attribute maps often being the output of a bespoke code, e.g. analysing the output of a climate model. In this talk I'll explore when a point & click interface, like QGIS, is more appropriate to develop a map and when writing code like R is a more suitable solution. I'll use examples from my work in the public sector, consultancy and academia. These examples will encompass environmental data like flood maps, to sociology and economics datasets. You should attend this talk if you want to learn about making maps in R and QGIS and what the advantages of each environment are.
Period20 Sep 2019
Event titleFOSS4GUK 2019
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • cartography
  • maps
  • open source
  • open science