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diffusion-based cartograms with R

Cart produces density-equalising maps or "cartograms" based on a diffusion-based method by Michael T. Gastner and Mark E. J. Newman.


Cart, the cartogram software by Michael T. Gastner and Mark E. J. Newman, consists of a couple of C source code files that are shipped with the R package. Cart depends on the FFTW C library, which can be installed on Debian with

apt-get install libfftw3-dev

on Fedora with

yum install fftw3-devel

and on openSUSE with

zypper install fftw3-devel


First, install the R packages that cart depends on:

Rscript -e "install.packages(c('maps', 'maptools', 'rdyncall', 'sp'))"

After checking out a copy of the cart source code, build the R package tarball with:

R CMD build cart/

Then, install it with:

R CMD INSTALL cart_x.y.z.tar.gz

If you want to install the R package tarball and get an error message such as

Error in untar2(tarfile, files, list, exdir) : unsupported entry type ‘x’

this means the R internal function untar2 fails. In this case, set the environment variable R_INSTALL_TAR to a system tar utility, e.g., on GNU/Linux, do

export R_INSTALL_TAR="tar"


Starting with version 0.3.0 I try to follow the semantic versioning rules.