tmap (version 2.1-1)

tm_shape: Specify the shape object


Creates a tmap-element that specifies a spatial data object, which we refer to as shape. Also the projection and covered area (bounding box) can be set. It is possible to use multiple shape objects within one plot (see tmap-element).


tm_shape(shp, name = NULL, is.master = NA, projection = NULL,
  bbox = NULL, unit = NULL, simplify = 1, point.per = NA, = "midpoint", filter = NULL, ...)



shape object, which is an object from a class defined by the sf, sp, or raster package. For instance, an sf object, an SpatialPolygons(DataFrame), or a RasterBrick.


name of the shape object (character) as it appears in the legend in "view" mode. Default value is the name of shp.


logical that determines whether this tm_shape is the master shape element. The bounding box, projection settings, and the unit specifications of the resulting thematic map are taken from the tm_shape element of the master shape object. By default, the first master shape element with a raster shape is the master, and if there are no raster shapes used, then the first tm_shape is the master shape element.


Either a crs object or a character value. If it is a character, it can either be a PROJ.4 character string or a shortcut. See get_proj4 for a list of shortcut values. By default, the projection is used that is defined in the shp object itself, which can be obtained with get_projection.


bounding box. One of the following:

  • A bounding box (an sf bbox object, see st_bbox, a 2 by 2 matrix (used by the sp package), or an Extent object used by the raster package).

  • Open Street Map search query. The bounding is automatically generated by querying q from Open Street Map Nominatim. See

  • Another shape object, from which the bounding box is extracted.

If unspecified, the current bounding box of shp is taken. The bounding box is feed to bb (as argument x. The other arguments of bb can be specified directly as well (see ..).


desired units of the map. One of "metric" (default), "imperial", "km", "m", "mi" and "ft". Used to specify the scale bar (see tm_scale_bar) and to calculate densities for choropleths (see argument convert2density in tm_fill).


simplification factor for spatial polygons and spatial lines. A number between 0 and 1 that indicates how many coordinates are kept. See the underlying function simplify_shape, from which the arguments keep.units and keep.subunits can be passed on (see ...). This requires the suggested package rmapshaper.


specification of how points or text labels are plotted when the geometry is a multi line or a multi polygon. One of "feature", "segment" or "largest". The first generates a point/label for every feature, the second for every segment (i.e. subfeature), the third only for the largest segment (subfeature). Note that the last two options can be significant slower. By default, it is set to "segment" if the geometry of shp is a (multi)points geometry or a geometrycollection, and "feature" otherwise.

specification of where points are placed for (multi)line geometries. Either "midpoint" or "centroid". The former places a point at the middle of the line, the latter at the controid.


logical vector which indicated per feature whether it should be included. Features for which filter is FALSE will be colored light gray (see the colorNULL argument in the layer functions)


Arguments passed on to bb (e.g. ext can be used to enlarge or shrinke a bounding box), and simplify_shape (the arguments keep.units and keep.subunits)




Tennekes, M., 2018, tmap: Thematic Maps in R, Journal of Statistical Software, 84(6), 1-39, DOI

See Also

read_shape to read ESRI shape files, set_projection, vignette("tmap-getstarted")


Run this code
current.mode <- tmap_mode("plot")

data(World, metro, rivers)

tm_shape(World, projection="longlat") + 
    tm_polygons() + 
tm_layout("Long lat coordinates (WGS84)", inner.margins=c(0,0,.1,0), title.size=.8)

World$highlighted <- ifelse(World$iso_a3 %in% c("GRL", "AUS"), "gold", "gray75")
tm_shape(World, projection="merc", ylim=c(.1, 1), relative = TRUE) + 
    tm_polygons("highlighted") + 
tm_layout("Web Mercator projection. Although widely used, it is discouraged for
statistical purposes. In reality, Australia is 3 times larger than Greenland!",
    inner.margins=c(0,0,.1,0), title.size=.6)

tm_shape(World, projection="robin") + 
    tm_polygons() +
"Winkel-Tripel projection, adapted as default by the National Geographic Society for world maps.",
    inner.margins=c(0,0,.1,0), title.size=.8)

tm_shape(World) +
    tm_polygons() + 
tm_layout("Eckhart IV projection. Recommended in statistical maps for its equal-area property.",
    inner.margins=c(0,0,.1,0), title.size=.8)

# different levels of simplification
# }
tm1 <- tm_shape(World, simplify = 0.05) + tm_polygons() + tm_layout("Simplification: 0.05")
tm2 <- tm_shape(World, simplify = 0.1) + tm_polygons() + tm_layout("Simplification: 0.1")
tm3 <- tm_shape(World, simplify = 0.25) + tm_polygons() + tm_layout("Simplification: 0.25")
tm4 <- tm_shape(World, simplify = 0.5) + tm_polygons() + tm_layout("Simplification: 0.5")

tmap_arrange(tm1, tm2, tm3, tm4)
# }
# three groups of layers, each starting with tm_shape
# }
tm_shape(World) +
    tm_fill("darkolivegreen3") +
tm_shape(metro) +
    tm_bubbles("pop2010", col = "grey30", scale=.5) +
tm_shape(rivers) +
    tm_lines("lightcyan1") +
tm_layout(bg.color="lightcyan1", inner.margins=c(0,0,.02,0), = FALSE)
# }
# restore current mode
# }

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