Introduction to working with geospatial data in R

12-13 March 2020

Instructors: Zsofia Koma (Th), Bart Kraunstauber (Th), Stacy Shinneman (Fri), Johannes De Groeve (Fri)

Helpers: Berend Wijers, Maja Bradaric, Elspeth Sage

General Information

This workshop is organized by the core members of the Amsterdam Science Park Study group. This small community of computational biologists aims to promote skill sharing and collaboration through the organisation of interactive workshops. It acts as the main local hub to set-up Software and Data Carpentry workshops (official workshops and Carpentry-style). All are welcome to this study group, regardless of scientific research area, affiliation or training level.

For more information on what we teach and why, see our website: "scienceparkstudygroup".

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 masters and PhD students and other researchers. It is important for the organizers to know how many participants will be there so we can make sure there are enough helpers, so please reserve your space in advance. We will restrict the course to a maximum of 20 participants. You should have a basic working knowledge of R, but you don't need to have any previous experience working with geospatial data. If you would like to refresh your R skills before the course, you can complete this lesson. You must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that you have administrative privileges on, and you should download the data and install R and RStudio on your laptop before the course.

Where: Science Park 904, University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Rooms: This course has been assigned to multiple rooms

Included: Coffee and tea will be included; Lunch is not included.

When: 12-13 March 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. 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 for more information.

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: Thursday 12 March 2020
(Room D1.112)

Introduction to geospatial concepts and the datasets

Intro to raster data in R
Coffee/tea break
Plot raster data in R
Reproject raster data in R
Coffee/tea break
Raster calculations in R
Work with multi-band rasters in R

Day 2: Friday 13 March 2020
(Room A1.04: morning sessions)
(Room B0.203: afternoon sessions)

Open and plot shapefiles in R
Explore and plot by shapefile attributes
Coffee/tea break
Plot Multiple Shapefiles in R
Handling spatial projection & CRS in R
Convert from .csv to a shapefile in R
Coffee/tea break
Manipulate Raster Data in R



To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software 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.