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Interactive Maps with leaflet in R

Learn how to produce interactive web maps with ease using leaflet.

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4 Hours16 Videos55 Exercises10,971 Learners
4500 XP

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Course Description

Get ready to have some fun with maps! Interactive Maps with leaflet in R will give you the tools to make attractive and interactive web maps using spatial data and the tidyverse. In this course, you will create maps using the IPEDS dataset, which contains data on U.S. colleges and universities. Along the way, you will customize our maps using labels, popups, and custom markers, and add layers to enhance interactivity. Following the course, you will be able to create and customize your own interactive web maps to reveal patterns in your data.

  1. 1

    Setting Up Interactive Web Maps


    Chapter 1 will introduce students to the htmlwidgets package and the leaflet package. Following this introduction, students will build their first interactive web map using leaflet. Through the process of creating this first map students will be introduced to many of the core features of the leaflet package, including adding different map tiles, setting the center point and zoom level, plotting single points based on latitude and longitude coordinates, and storing leaflet maps as objects. Chapter 1 will conclude with students geocoding DataCamp’s headquarters, and creating a leaflet map that plots the headquarters and displays a popup describing the location.

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    Introduction to leaflet
    50 xp
    Loading the leaflet Library
    50 xp
    Creating an Interactive Web Map
    100 xp
    Map Tiles
    50 xp
    Provider Tiles
    100 xp
    Adding a Custom Map Tile
    100 xp
    Setting the Default Map View
    50 xp
    A Map with a View I
    100 xp
    A Map with a Narrower View
    100 xp
    Plotting DataCamp HQ
    50 xp
    Mark it
    100 xp
    Adding Popups and Storing your Map
    100 xp
  2. 2

    Plotting Points

    In chapter 2 students will build on the leaflet map they created in chapter 1 to create an interactive web map of every four year college in California. After plotting hundreds of points on an interactive leaflet map, students will learn to customize the markers on their leaflet map. This chapter will also how to color code markers based on a factor variable.

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  3. 3

    Groups, Layers, and Extras

    In chapter 3 students will expand on their map of all four year colleges in California to create a map of all American colleges. First, in section 3.1 students will review and build on the material from Chapter 2 to create a map of all American colleges. Then students will re-plot the colleges on their leaflet map by sector (public, private, or for-profit) using groups to enable users to toggle the colleges that are displayed on the map. In section 3.3 students will learn to add multiple base maps so that users can toggle between multiple map tiles.

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  4. 4

    Plotting Polygons

    In Chapter 4 students will learn to map polygons, which can be used to define geographic regions (e.g., zip codes, states, countries, etc.). Chapter 4 will start by plotting the zip codes in North Carolina that fall in the top quartile of mean family incomes. Students will learn to customize the polygons with color palettes and labels. Chapter 4 will conclude with adding a new layer to the map of every college in America that displays every zip code with a mean income of $200,000 or more during the 2015 tax year. Through the process of mapping zip codes students will learn about spatial data generally, geoJSON data, the @ symbol, and the addPolygons() function. Furthermore, students will have an opportunity to practice applying many of the options that they learned about in the previous chapters, such as popups and labels, as well as new ways to customize their maps, such as the highlight option in addPolygons().

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In the following tracks

Interactive Data VisualizationSpatial Data


Chester IsmayBecca Robins
Rich Majerus Headshot

Rich Majerus

Assistant Vice President at Colby College

Rich Majerus is Assistant Vice President of Donor Relations and Advancement Strategy at Colby College. At Colby, he develops new approaches to modeling and visualizing fundraising data. He regularly teaches R workshops and is listed in RStudio’s directory of instructors. Prior to his work at Colby, Rich was a founder of Third Coast Analytics, a successful and profitable data science consulting firm (Third Coast’s IP was acquired by Capture Higher Ed in 2016).
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