A free book on Geostatistical Mapping with R

April 2, 2010

Tomislav Hengl of the University of Amsterdam has published new book, A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping. It’s jam-packed with 291 pages on mapping and analyzing spatial data using free software including R, SAGA, GRASS, ILWIS and Google Earth, and freely-available map data. The book itself is also available for free, as an Open Access Publication. You can order the book in printed form for US$12.78, or download it for free as a PDF.

Surprisingly (given the title), this book isn’t just about visual displays of spatial data. In fact, the first two chapters offer a nice overview of statistical analysis of spatial data (although with a greater focus on continuous-field models than point-process models). If you want a concise overview of regression-kriging, this is a great resource.

R-on-topChapter 3 addresses the various software tools you’ll use to analyze the data and create the maps. Some care has been taken in considering how the software elements should be integrated, and Hengl recommends a “R on top” model, where R scripts drive the other tools. 

This is a clever move: making use of the scripting capabilities of R means you can avoid much of the