[R] maps for Russian Federation

Roger Bivand Roger.Bivand at nhh.no
Fri Sep 24 14:23:03 CEST 2004

On Fri, 24 Sep 2004, Albrecht Kauffmann wrote:

> Dear all,
> I am interested in plotting maps visualizing spatial statistics in an
> aggregated fashion, according to administrative boundaries. Partially, I
> want to visualize some spatial data for administrative units (autonomous
> republics, oblasts, krays) of the Russian Federation on a geographical
> map.
> I have found the maps package (and related) and would like to use this
> package e.g. in a kind of:
> map("state",fill=T,col=color)
> where color is dependent on the statistic of interest.
> Still I lack a data file for counties' boundaries in Russia. Does anybody
> know where to find one? What format do I need? Is there any convenient
> tool for converting from other formats?

It may be that someone has boundary data compiled in maps package format, 
and can let you know. Googling on "Russian federation" and shapefile gave:


which has 88 spatial units in geographical coordinates, and seems not to
be restricted (though you should probably ask the provider for


seems to have 1916 units, also in geographical coordinates.

Shapefiles may be used in R with packages maptools or shapefiles.


has listings of data in ArcInfo e00 format - in addition to zipped 
shapefiles - e00 files may be read using the R package RArcInfo; these 
are projected, Albers equal-area, metadata on the website. The shapefile 
of rayony has 2415 units, that of oblasty 195 (maybe the numbers differ 
if several parts are parts of one multiple polygon object in one source, 
and are separate polygons in the other, this seems to be the case here).

Note that boundary files do get out-of-date, and need careful matching to 
your own data to maintain integrity. Smaller administrative areas 
notoriously merge or split, so a boundary map may only apply so a very 
short time window.

Roger Bivand

> With many thanks for any hint
> Albrecht Kauffmann
> economist, Potsdam university

Roger Bivand
Economic Geography Section, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of
Economics and Business Administration, Breiviksveien 40, N-5045 Bergen,
Norway. voice: +47 55 95 93 55; fax +47 55 95 93 93
e-mail: Roger.Bivand at nhh.no

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