world: Low (mid) resolution World Map

worldR Documentation

Low (mid) resolution World Map


This world map (updated in 2013) is imported from the public domain Natural Earth project (the 1:50m resolution version). It replaces a much older version based on the CIA World Data Bank II data. The old legacy data is still available in the package mapdata (v2.3.0).




The data file is merely a character string which specifies the name of an environment variable which contains the base location of the binary files used by the map drawing functions. This environment variable (R_MAP_DATA_DIR_WORLD) is set at package load time if it does not already exist. Hence setting the environment variable before loading the package can override the default location of the binary datasets.


As of version 3.1, the world database no longer contains any lakes. These have been moved to a separate database called lakes. The legacy world map (dating from around 1990) has been removed from the package and is now available from the mapdata package in two different resolutions (worldHires and worldLores).


The Natural Earth data set is in the public domain and available from


Richard A. Becker, and Allan R. Wilks, "Maps in S", AT&T Bell Laboratories Statistics Research Report [93.2], 1993.

Richard A. Becker, and Allan R. Wilks, "Constructing a Geographical Database", AT&T Bell Laboratories Statistics Research Report [95.2], 1995.

See Also



# notice how some polygons extend beyond the [-180,180] interval:
map('world', fill = TRUE, col = 1:10)
# if you wrap at [-180,180], you also can get a clean closure of Antarctica
map('world', fill = TRUE, col = 1:10, wrap=c(-180,180) )

maps documentation built on Oct. 31, 2022, 1:07 a.m.

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