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The ggmap package can be used to access maps from the Google Maps API and there are a number of examples on various statistics related blogs. These include here, here and here.

The ggmap package has a function get_map that can download maps from various sources including Google Maps.

``` require(ggmap) ```

The first example specifies the longitude and latitude close to the London 2012 Olympic park from Google and selects the satellite map type. The extent=”device” argument stretches the map to fill the whole graphics device.

``` mapImageData1 <- get_map(location = c(lon = -0.016179, lat = 51.538525), color = "color", source = "google", maptype = "satellite", zoom = 17)   ggmap(mapImageData1, extent = "device", ylab = "Latitude", xlab = "Longitude") ```

The second example is based on the terrain map type which looks slightly odd.

``` mapImageData2 <- get_map(location = c(lon = -0.016179, lat = 51.538525), color = "color", source = "google", maptype = "terrain", zoom = 16)   ggmap(mapImageData2, extent = "device", ylab = "Latitude", xlab = "Longitude") ```

The third example is roadmap and is uncluttered and provides an overview of the surroundings.

``` mapImageData3 <- get_map(location = c(lon = -0.016179, lat = 51.538525), color = "color", source = "google", maptype = "roadmap", zoom = 16)   ggmap(mapImageData3, extent = "device", ylab = "Latitude", xlab = "Longitude") ```

The final example is a combination of the satellite image and some road and location names.

``` mapImageData4 <- get_map(location = c(lon = -0.016179, lat = 51.538525), color = "color", source = "google", maptype = "hybrid", zoom = 15)   ggmap(mapImageData4, extent = "device", ylab = "Latitude", xlab = "Longitude") ```

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