Announcing the R Shapefile Contest

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Today I am happy to announce the R Shapefile Contest. The goal of the contest is to encourage and promote high quality work at the intersection of R and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The winner of the contest will:

  1. Get featured prominently on my blog
  2. Get a free copy of my course Mapmaking in R with Choroplethr (a $99 value)
  3. Get a free copy of my course Shapefiles for R Programmers (a $99 value)

In many ways this contest is a follow up to the R Election Analysis Contest (1, 2), which I ran in March, and was the first contest that I ran. That contest was so successful that I decided to run another one!

Why a contest?

Over the last few years I’ve written several R packages, and published several analyses, that use R and shapefiles. While I’m happy with my own work, I also feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of this subspecialty. I’m hoping that this contest will lead to the creation of lots of interesting analyses and tutorials in this niche.

kansai-ref satellite-bw-TRUE final-with-reference-map meetup-image-2

If you’d like to dig deeper into this area then I recommend these two books:

  1. Applied Spatial Data Analysis in R
  2. An Introduction to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping

How do I enter?

Entering the contest is easy. Just:

  1. Publish an analysis online between today (7/12/16) and Friday July 29, 2016. If you have a blog, you can publish it there. If you don’t have a blog, you can use rPubs, which is free.
  2. Leave a comment on this page with a description and link to your entry. I will personally read each entry.

Your entry must contain an analysis that is written in R, uses a shapefile in some way and is reproducible. You must write code that works and use data that other people can load. Think of yourself as both writing an analysis and teaching other people how you did it.

I will announce the winner on my blog on Monday, August 1 2016.


  1. Can I submit more than one analysis? Yes.
  2. Can I enter as a group? Yes. In the case that everyone in the group will win get their own copy of the courses.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for analyses to do? Do something that you find personally interesting. If you find it interesting, then the odds are that other people will too!
  4. I have another question. Contact me via my contact page.

How can I help?

Besides submitting an entry, the best way to support the contest is to raise awareness of it. Some easy ways to do that are:

  1. Click the “share” buttons below to share news about the contest.
  2. Click the link below!

Check out the R Shapefile contest! #rstats #gis #datascience
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