Low (mid) resolution World Map

This updated (2013) world map is imported from the Natural Earth project (the 1:50m resolution version). It replaces a much older version based on the CIA World Data Bank II data. That older version is still included in the package and can reached as legacy_world.


As of version 3.1, the world database no longer contains any lakes. These have been moved to a separate database called lakes.


The data file is merely a character string which specifies the name of an environment variable which contains the base location of the binary files used by the map drawing functions. This environment variable (R_MAP_DATA_DIR_WORLD) is set at package load time if it does not already exist. Hence setting the environment variable before loading the package can override the default location of the binary datasets.

During a transition period (maps version 3.0--1) it is possible to switch to the old legacy map using the function world.legacy(TRUE) or by setting the setting the environment variable R_MAP_DATA_LEGACY=TRUE prior to loading the package.


Richard A. Becker, and Allan R. Wilks, "Maps in S", AT\&T Bell Laboratories Statistics Research Report [93.2], 1993.

Richard A. Becker, and Allan R. Wilks, "Constructing a Geographical Database", AT\&T Bell Laboratories Statistics Research Report [95.2], 1995.

See Also


  • world
  • worldMapEnv
# notice how some polygons extend beyond the [-180,180] interval:
map('world', fill = TRUE, col = 1:10)
# if you wrap at [-180,180], you also can get a clean closure of Antarctica
map('world', fill = TRUE, col = 1:10, wrap=c(-180,180) )
Documentation reproduced from package maps, version 3.2.0, License: GPL-2

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