I am still struggling to get a grasp of R's mapping capabilities. Part of my frustration lies in the fact that I often work on areas near the poles, which complicates interpolation across the 180 degree line. For smaller areas, interpolation can be done using the interp() function in the package akima. I have taken the results from interp and projected the image onto a map. You will need the akima, maps, and mapproj packages and the functions new.lon.lat(), earth.dist(), and pos2coord().
As an example I have mapped the distance from Mecca, Saudi Arabia:
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