Plot methods for spatial data with attributes

Lattice (trellis) plot methods for spatial data with attributes

spplot(obj, ...)
spplot.grid(obj, zcol = names(obj), ..., names.attr, scales = list(draw = FALSE),
 xlab = NULL, ylab = NULL, aspect = mapasp(obj,xlim,ylim),
 panel = panel.gridplot, sp.layout = NULL, formula, xlim = bbox(obj)[1, ],
 ylim = bbox(obj)[2, ], checkEmptyRC = TRUE, col.regions = get_col_regions())
spplot.polygons(obj, zcol = names(obj), ..., names.attr, scales = list(draw = FALSE),
 xlab = NULL, ylab = NULL, aspect = mapasp(obj,xlim,ylim),
 panel = panel.polygonsplot, sp.layout = NULL, formula, xlim = bbox(obj)[1, ],
 ylim = bbox(obj)[2, ], col.regions = get_col_regions())
spplot.points(obj, zcol = names(obj), ..., names.attr, scales = list(draw = FALSE),
 xlab = NULL, ylab = NULL, aspect = mapasp(obj,xlim,ylim),
 panel = panel.pointsplot, sp.layout = NULL, identify = FALSE, formula,
 xlim = bbexpand(bbox(obj)[1, ], 0.04), ylim = bbexpand(bbox(obj)[2, ], 0.04),
 edge.col = "transparent", colorkey = FALSE, col.regions = get_col_regions())
mapLegendGrob(obj, widths = unit(1, "cm"), heights = unit(1, "cm"),
	fill = "black", just = "right")
sp.theme(set = FALSE, regions = list(col = bpy.colors(100)), ...)
layout.north.arrow(type = 1)
layout.scale.bar(height = 0.05)
spplot.locator(n = 512, type = "n", ...)

object of class extending Spatial-class


character; attribute name(s) or column number(s) in attribute table


names to use in panel, if different from zcol names


scales argument to be passed to Lattice plots; use list(draw = TRUE) to draw axes scales; see xyplot for full options


other arguments passed to levelplot (grids, polygons) or xyplot (points)


label for x-axis


label for y-axis


aspect ratio for spatial axes; defaults to "iso" (one unit on the x-axis equals one unit on the y-axis) but may be set to more suitable values if the data are e.g. if coordinates are latitude/longitude


depending on the class of obj, panel.polygonsplot (for polygons or lines), panel.gridplot (grids) or panel.pointsplot (points) is used; for further control custom panel functions can be supplied that call one of these panel functions, but do read below how the argument sp.layout may help


NULL or list; see notes below


if not FALSE, identify plotted objects (currently only working for points plots). Labels for identification are the row.names of the attribute table row.names(as.data.frame(obj)). If TRUE, identify on panel (1,1); for identifying on panel i,j, pass the value c(i,j)


optional; may be useful to plot a transformed value. Defaults to z~x+y for single and z~x+y|name for multiple attributes; use e.g. exp(x)~x+y|name to plot the exponent of the z-variable


numeric; x-axis limits


numeric; y-axis limits


color of symbol edge


if FALSE, use symbol key; if TRUE, use continuous, levelplot-like colorkey; if list, follow syntax of argument colorkey in levelplot (see below for an example)


width of grob


heights of grob


fill color of grob


grob placement justification


logical; if TRUE, trellis.par.set is called, else a list is returned that can be passed to trellis.par.set()


color ramp for the theme


height of scale bar; width is 1.0


see locator


see locator


logical; if TRUE, a check is done to see if empty rows or columns are present, and need to be taken care of. Setting to FALSE may improve speed.


vector with fill colours; in case the variable to be plotted is a factor, this vector should have length equal to the number of factor levels


vector with color values, default for col.regions


spplot returns a lattice plot of class "trellis", if you fail to "see" it, explicitly call print(spplot(...)). If identify is TRUE, the plot is plotted and the return value is a vector with row names of the selected points.

spplot.locator returns a matrix with identified point locations; use trellis.focus first to focus on a given panel.

get_col_regions returns the default value for col.regions


Missing values in the attributes are (currently) not allowed.

spplot.grid, spplot.polygons and spplot.points are S4 methods for spplot; see spplot-methods.

Useful arguments that can be passed as ... are:


integer; for the layout of panels (cols,rows)


logical; choose colour breaks at pretty numbers?


specify at which values colours change


logical; start drawing panels upper-left instead of lower-left


to add marks to each plotted page

for useful values see the appropriate documentation of xyplot (in case of points), and levelplot (otherwise).

If obj is of SpatialPointsDataFrame, the following options are useful to pass:


character: "bottom", "right", "left" or "right" to denote key location, or list: see argument key in the help for xyplot what the options are


character; array with key legend (text) entries; suitable defaults obtained from data


number of cuts, or, for objects of class SpatialPointsDataFrame only, the actual cuts to use


logical; if TRUE use log-linear scale to divide range in equal cuts, else use a linear scale if cuts is only number of cuts


integer; plotting character to use; defaults to 16 if fill is TRUE, else 1


numeric; character expansion, proportional to default value of 1


logical; use filled circles?

layout.north.arrow and layout.scale.bar can be used to set a north arrow or scale bar.

The sp.layout argument is either a single layout item, or a list with one or more layout items. A layout item is one of

  • a list with one or more Spatial* objects, along with style arguments like col, lty, pch, fill etc.

  • a list with its first argument the layout function or the name of the layout function to be called: sp.points for SpatialPoints, sp.polygons for SpatialPolygons object, sp.lines for a SpatialLines object, and sp.text for text to place. The second argument contains the object (or text) to be plotted; remaining arguments are passed to the corresponding panel.* functions.

The order of items in sp.layout matters; objects are drawn in the order they appear. With respect to obj, default plot order and precedence of sp.layout items is as follows: for points and lines, sp.layout items are drawn over (after) obj; for grids and polygons, sp.layout items are drawn behind (before) obj. Transparency may further help making multiple things visible. Adding a first argument to a layout item overrides its default plotting order with respect to obj:

Special control elements of sp.layout items:


logical; should the layout item be drawn before the obj (TRUE), or after (FALSE)? This overrides the default order (points and lines in front, polygons and grids behind).


integer; controls to which panel a layout item should be added. If which is present in the main, top-level list it applies to all layout items; in sub-lists with layout items it denotes the (set of) panel(s) in which the layout item should be drawn. Without a which item, layout items are drawn in each panel.

sp.theme returns a lattice theme; use, after loading package lattice, the command trellis.par.set(sp.theme()) after a device is opened or changed to make this work. Currently, this only sets the colors to bpy.colors.

If the attributes to be plotted are of type factor, spplot tries to create a legend that reflects this. In this case, the color ramp passed needs to be of the same length as the number of factor levels. The factor levels are derived from the first map; subsequent factors with different factor levels result in an error.


obj = "SpatialPixelsDataFrame"

see spplot

obj = "SpatialGridDataFrame"

see spplot

obj = "SpatialPolygonsDataFrame"

see spplot

obj = "SpatialLinesDataFrame"

see spplot

obj = "SpatialPointsDataFrame"

see spplot



See Also

xyplot, levelplot, panel.identify to identify objects

  • spplot
  • spplot.grid
  • spplot.locator
  • spplot.polygons
  • spplot.points
  • layout.north.arrow
  • layout.scale.bar
  • mapLegendGrob
  • sp.theme
  • spplot-methods
  • spplot,SpatialPixelsDataFrame-method
  • spplot,SpatialGridDataFrame-method
  • spplot,SpatialPolygonsDataFrame-method
  • spplot,SpatialLinesDataFrame-method
  • spplot,SpatialPointsDataFrame-method
  • spplot,SpatialMultiPointsDataFrame-method
  • sppanel
  • sppanel,Line-method
  • sppanel,Lines-method
  • sppanel,NULL-method
  • sppanel,SpatialGrid-method
  • sppanel,SpatialLines-method
  • sppanel,SpatialPixels-method
  • sppanel,SpatialPoints-method
  • sppanel,SpatialPolygons-method
  • sppanel,character-method
  • sppanel,list-method
  • panel.RgoogleMaps
  • panel.ggmap
  • sppanel-methods
  • set_col_regions
  • get_col_regions
trellis.par.set(sp.theme()) # sets bpy.colors() ramp
demo(meuse, ask = FALSE, echo = FALSE)
l2 = list("SpatialPolygonsRescale", layout.north.arrow(), offset = c(181300,329800), 
	scale = 400)
l3 = list("SpatialPolygonsRescale", layout.scale.bar(), offset = c(180500,329800), 
	scale = 500, fill=c("transparent","black"))
l4 = list("sp.text", c(180500,329900), "0")
l5 = list("sp.text", c(181000,329900), "500 m")

spplot(meuse, c("ffreq"), sp.layout=list(l2,l3,l4,l5), col.regions= "black", 
	pch=c(1,2,3), key.space=list(x=0.1,y=.95,corner=c(0,1)))
spplot(meuse, c("zinc", "lead"), sp.layout=list(l2,l3,l4,l5, which = 2),
# plotting factors:
meuse$f = factor(sample(letters[6:10], 155, replace=TRUE),levels=letters[1:10])
meuse$g = factor(sample(letters[1:5], 155, replace=TRUE),levels=letters[1:10])
spplot(meuse, c("f","g"), col.regions=bpy.colors(10))

if (require(RColorBrewer)) {
	spplot(meuse, c("ffreq"), sp.layout=list(l2,l3,l4,l5),
		col.regions=brewer.pal(3, "Set1"))

meuse.grid$g = factor(sample(letters[1:5], 3103, replace=TRUE),
meuse.grid$f = factor(sample(letters[6:10], 3103, replace=TRUE),
spplot(meuse.grid, c("f","g"), col.regions=bpy.colors(10))

# example modifying colorkey for points:
spplot(meuse["dist"], colorkey = list(
	right = list( # see ?levelplot in package trellis, argument colorkey:
		fun = draw.colorkey, 
		args = list(
			key = list(
				at = seq(0, 1, .1), # colour breaks
				col = bpy.colors(11), # colours
				labels = list(
					at = c(0, .2, .4, .6, .8, 1), 
					labels = c("0x", "20x", "40x", "60x", "80x", "100x")
l6 = list(meuse.grid["dist"], col = grey(seq(.5,.9,length.out=10)))
spplot(meuse, c("zinc", "lead"), sp.layout = l6)
spplot(meuse, c("zinc", "lead"), 
	sp.layout = list(meuse.grid, meuse.riv, col = 'grey'))

#  Custom legend placement, taken from 
# http://stackoverflow.com/questions/29344692/custom-placement-of-spplot-legend-in-the-map
s <- spplot(meuse.grid[,'dist'], colorkey = list(space = "left", height = 0.4))

args <- s$legend$left$args$key

## Prepare list of arguments needed by `legend=` argument (as described in ?xyplot)
library(lattice) # draw.colorkey
legendArgs <- list(fun = draw.colorkey,
                   args = list(key = args),
                   corner = c(0.05,.75))

## Call spplot() again, this time passing in to legend the arguments
## needed to print a color key
spplot(meuse.grid[,'dist'], colorkey = FALSE,
       legend = list(inside = legendArgs))
Documentation reproduced from package sp, version 1.2-5, License: GPL (>= 2)

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