[Incubator] Initiating the process for R-Spatial to become an OSGeo community project

Robin Lovelace rob00x at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 06:21:05 PST 2021

We would like to apply, as the 'R-Spatial' community, to become an OSGeo
affiliated organisation.

We are a diverse group with a shared interest in developing free and open
tools for the reproducible analysis of geographic data. R is a popular and
rapidly growing language for statistical computing and 'data science'. It
is already part of the OSGeo ecosystem: the OSGeo Live distribution ships
with R <https://github.com/OSGeo/OSGeoLive/blob/master/bin/install_R.sh>
and R integrates with established OSGeo projects such as GRASS GIS
<https://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/R_statistics>, SAGA
<https://cran.r-project.org/package=RSAGA> and QGIS
<https://docs.qgis.org/3.16/en/docs/>. R tutorials (which would benefit
from being updated) are listed on the tutorials listed on OSGeo's old
website <http://old.www.osgeo.org/educational_content>. We would like to
update existing content and create new OSGeo-affiliated tutorials for using
R-Spatial software. Many R-Spatial projects have support from the R
Consortium <https://www.r-consortium.org/>, opening the possibility of
stronger links between R and OSGeo at an organisational level.

After a discussion on our GitHub Organisation at github.com/r-spatial, it
is clear that closer links could be mutually beneficial. Collaboration is
at the heart of open source software and the R community has a long
history. The history of R-GRASS GIS bridges, for example, covers more than 20
years <https://doi.org/10.1016/S0098-3004(00)00057-1> and goes in both
directions. R interfaces enable a wide range of people to access
OSGeo-supported software from a reproducible command-line interface.

Continued development and innovation in R-OSGeo links are illustrated the
qgisprocess <https://github.com/paleolimbot/qgisprocess> package, which
motivated positive changes in the QGIS source code (see
github.com/paleolimbot/qgisprocess/issues/21). The R-Spatial community
relies on the OSGeo projects GDAL, PROJ and GEOS for data access and
geographic operations. Core R-Spatial packages sf, raster and terra use
bindings to the libraries for much of the heavy lifting and many thousands
of people using R for spatial research (often without knowing) run OSGeo
support code every day. We would like to support the ongoing work of these
vital components of the wider community that is represented by the
OSGeo-affiliated conference series FOSS4G. We also anticipate benefits from
being part of the wider OSGeo community and would like to be more active
members of the wider movement advocating free and open source software for

'R-Spatial' can be loosely defined as the ecosystem of code, projects and
people using R for working with and adding value to spatial data. A
manifestation of the wider R-Spatial community is the friendly, vibrant and
diverse range of voices using the #rspatial
<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23rspatial> tag on Twitter. For the purposes
of OSGeo supported *software* projects however, we define R-Spatial as the
packages found at https://github.com/r-spatial/ (which includes sf, stars,
mapview, gstat, spdep and many other popular packages for working with
spatial data) and https://github.com/rspatial/ (which includes packages
raster and terra). A (possibly incomplete) list with R packages that
directly link to OSGEO libraries is found here
Thousands of R packages depend on these packages one way or another.

We would like to initiate the process needed for R-Spatial to eventually
become an OSGeo community project, by achieving the first two of the three
steps as outlined on the Incubation Committee web page

   - We would like to create an OSGeo web page with information about key
   packages in the 'R-spatial stack', including how they relate to OSGeo
   - We would like to become an OSGeo Community Project

All the best,

R-Spatial developers and contributors, including: Robin Lovelace, Roger
Bivand, Edzer Pebesma, Tim Appelhans, Robert Hijmans, Jakub Nowosad, Nick
Bearman, Emmanuel Blondel, Andy Teucher, Marynia Kolak, Timothée Giraud,
Ahmadou Dicko, Andrea Gilardi, Lorena Abad, Martijn Tennekes
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/incubator/attachments/20210222/5fc9a6e2/attachment.html>

More information about the Incubator mailing list