An R package of spatial map layers for British Columbia.
Provides access to various spatial layers of British Columbia, such as
administrative boundaries, natural resource management boundaries,
watercourses etc. All layers are available in the BC
projection, which is the B.C. Government standard as
You can install
bcmaps from CRAN:
To install the development version of the
bcmaps package, you need to
remotes package then the
To get full usage of the package, you will also need to install the bcmapsdata package, which holds all of the datasets.
Note that unlike most packages it is not necessary to actually load the
bcmapsdata package (i.e., with
library(bcmapsdata)) - in fact it
is less likely to cause problems if you don’t.
To see the layers that are available, run the
#> Loading required package: sf #> Linking to GEOS 3.6.1, GDAL 2.1.3, PROJ 4.9.3
Most layers are accessible by a shortcut function by the same name as
the object. Then you can use the data as you would any
object. For example:
library(sf) bc <- bc_bound() plot(st_geometry(bc))
Alternatively, you can use the
get_layer function - simply type
'layer_name' is the name of the layer
of interest. The
get_layer function is useful if the back-end
bcmapsdata package has had a layer added to it, but there is as yet no
shortcut function created in
library(sf) library(dplyr) ws <- get_layer("wsc_drainages", class = "sf") plot(ws["SUB_SUB_DRAINAGE_AREA_NAME"], key.pos = NULL)
Simple Features objects
By default, all layers are returned as
library(bcmaps) library(sf) # Load and plot the boundaries of B.C. bc <- bc_bound() plot(st_geometry(bc)) ## Next load the Regional Districts data, then extract and plot the Kootenays rd <- regional_districts() kootenays <- rd[rd$ADMIN_AREA_NAME == "Regional District of Central Kootenay", ] plot(st_geometry(kootenays), col = "lightseagreen", add = TRUE)
It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood
A handy layer for creating maps for display is the
layer, accessible with the function by the same name. This example also
illustrates using the popular ggplot2
package to plot maps in R using
library(ggplot2) ggplot() + geom_sf(data = bc_neighbours(), mapping = aes(fill = name)) + geom_sf(data = bc_cities()) + coord_sf(datum = NA) + scale_fill_discrete(name = "Jurisdiction") + theme_minimal()
As of version 0.15.0 the B.C. BEC (Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem
Classification) map is available via the
bec() function, and an
bec_colours() function to colour it:
bec <- bec() library(ggplot2) ggplot() + geom_sf(data = bec[bec$ZONE %in% c("BG", "PP"),], aes(fill = ZONE, col = ZONE)) + scale_fill_manual(values = bec_colors()) + scale_colour_manual(values = bec_colours())
Spatial (sp) objects
If you aren’t using the
sf package and prefer the old standard
sp way of doing things, set
class = "sp" in either
get_layer or the shortcut functions:
library("sp") # Load watercourse data and plot with boundaries of B.C. plot(get_layer("bc_bound", class = "sp")) plot(watercourses_15M(class = "sp"), add = TRUE)
We have written a short vignette on plotting points on one of the layers
bcmaps. You can view the vignette online
or if you installed the package you can open it using
The package also contains a couple of handy utility functions:
fix_geo_problems()for fixing invalid topologies in
Spatialobjects such as orphaned holes and self-intersections
transform_bc_albers()for transforming any
Spatialobject to BC Albers projection.
SpatialPolygons*object with itself to remove overlaps, while retaining attributes
Getting Help or Reporting an Issue
To report bugs/issues/feature requests, please file an issue.
How to Contribute
Pull requests of new B.C. layers are welcome. If you would like to contribute to the package, please see our CONTRIBUTING guidelines.
Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.
The source datasets used in this package come from various sources under
open licences, including DataBC (Open
Government Licence - British
and Statistics Canada
(Statistics Canada Open Licence
Agreement). See the
data-raw folder for details on each source dataset.
# Copyright 2017 Province of British Columbia # # Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); # you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. # You may obtain a copy of the License at # # http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 # # Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, # WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. # See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.