Thinking Inside the Polygon: Using R to do complex spatial analyses on lakes with strange shapes reproducibly!

For this post, check out the HTML I’ve produced using R Markdown, linked to below over on RPubs!

Click here to check out my post!

Click here to watch my presentation on this topic at the University of Minnesota’s Day of Data event! My talk begins at 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 15 seconds in.

Here is a brief synopsis of some of the topics this post covers:

  1. Many disciplines have spatial questions involving polygonal areas with bendy shapes.
  2. R and its packages terra and sf allow us to do spatial stuff repeatably and reproducibly that we otherwise might struggle to do in GIS.
  3. Sometimes, straight lines don’t make sense!
  4. Least-Cost Path Analysis (LCPA) is cool, with many applications.
  5. LCPA can calculate “bendy” distances inside “bendy” polygons.
  6. LCPA can maybe even find evidence of gerrymandering?!
  7. Calculating “lake fetch” could maybe find even better evidence of gerrymandering?!
  8. I’d ask: Where are “bendy shapes” in your discipline? You should explore them!

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