[R] [R-pkgs] Major update to 'maps': v3.0.0

Alex Deckmyn alex.deckmyn at meteo.be
Sun Sep 27 10:47:35 CEST 2015


I am pleased to announce the availability of 'maps' v3.0.0 
This is a major update, mainly because of a new 'world' map. The new data is adapted from the public domain GIS project Natural Earth (the 1:50m admin-0 countries map). 

This change in data has a number of consequences for users. Most significantly, many new country names have appeared while some other no longer exist. So code that explicitely calls, for instance, 'USSR' or 'Yugoslavia' will no longer work correctly. On the other hand, I have tried to keep other country names more or less identical. Besides the updated political borders, the map also has a slightly higher resolution than before. 

I understand that this change (which by its nature can not be completely backward compatible) may cause some problems for existing code. There are however various ways to fall back to the old legacy world map. It can be addressed directly as map("legacy_world",...). But for quickly fixing existing code, there is also the possibility to have 'world' point at the legacy data base in two different ways: 
- by calling the function world.legacy(TRUE) 
- be setting the environment variable R_MAP_DATA_LEGACY=TRUE prior to loading the maps package 
These 2 solutions should be seen as temporary fixes. 

Other notable changes and additions: 
- a new data set 'iso3166' with 2- and 3-letter ISO codes of all countries plus the sovereignty. A few simple functions allow to map or label coutries by their ISO codes: 
* iso.expand(c("BE","NL","LU")) 
* iso.alpha(c("Belgium","Netherlands","Luxembourg"),n=2) 
* sov.expand("France") 

- internally, these functions and the basic name matching now use perl-style regular expressions. This may be exploited by using regular expressions to (un)select regions in the 'map()' functions directly, e.g. map(regions="(?!Antarctica)",fill=T) 

The README file and NEWS.Rd contain more details and examples. 

I hope this update proves useful. Please inform me of any errors you may find. 

Dr. Alex Deckmyn e-mail: alex.deckmyn at meteo.be 
Royal Meteorological Institute http://www.meteo.be 
Ringlaan 3, 1180 Ukkel, Belgium tel. (32)(2)3730646 

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