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aRT: R-TerraLib API

aRT: R-TerraLib API

aRT is an R package that provides the integration between the statistical software R and the GIS library TerraLib. The aim is to have a package for accessing geospatial data to be analysed in R. R is an open source language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. To learn more about R go to R project web page. TerraLib is an open source GIS classes and functions library, available from the Internet as a collaborative environment for the development of GIS tools. For further information visit TerraLib project web page.

Download and Installation

General Installation

  1. Install aRT dependencies as detailed in the dependencies section.
  2. Install as usual for R packages:
    > install.packages("aRT", contrib="http://www.leg.ufpr.br/aRT")

See FAQ for more details.

Windows binary

  • Instead of using install.packages(), you can download aRT_1.9-2.zip (Thursday, 18-Feb-2014) and use 'Install package(s) from local zip files' from the 'Packages' menu.

Source code

aRT_1.9-2.tar.gz (Thursday, 18-Feb-2014)


aRT depends on other availability of resources as follows and may not run correctly with versions other than indicated.


  1. MySQL version 5.5 or greater. MySQL is an open source DBMS.
  2. sp version at least 1.0-13. sp is an R package with S4 classes and methods for spatial data.


  • Automatic install of all dependencies: install-aRT-dep 32 and 64 bits are apt-based scripts (Debian, Ubuntu, and friends) to facilitate installing aRT dependencies. This script installs MySQL DBMS.
  • Individual dependencies
    1. MySQL version 5.5 or greater. MySQL is an open source DBMS. It is optional, but you have to install at least one DBMS.
      • apt install:
         apt-get install mysql-server-5.5 libmysqlclient-dev
    2. PostgreSQL version 8.3 or greater. PostgreSQL is also an open source DBMS. It is optional, but you have to install at least one DBMS.
      • apt install:
         apt-get install postgresql postgis
    3. Qt version 3.3.3. Qt is a multiplatform toolkit for the development of graphic interfaces, implemented by Trolltech.
      • apt install:
        apt-get install libqt3-mt-dev
    4. GDAL. Geospatial Data Abstraction Library.
      • apt install:
        apt-get install libgdal1-dev
    5. JPEG. A library for working with jpeg image format.
      • apt install:
         apt-get install libjpeg62-dev
    6. Libdime: A library for reading, constructing, manipulating, and writing DXF file data. Necessary to compile TerraView.
      • apt install:
         apt-get install libdime-dev
    7. Libdrm A direct interface with video hardware using the Linux kernel's Direct Rendering Modules. Necessary to compile TerraView.
      • apt install:
         apt-get install libdrm-dev
    8. sp version at least 0.9-26. sp is an R package with S4 classes and methods for spatial data.
    9. TerraLib version 4.2.0. TerraLib is a library of classes for GIS. It is available under svn:
      mkdir terralib
      cd terralib
      svn co https://svn.dpi.inpe.br/terralib/tags/v-4-2-0/src
      mkdir dependencies
      cd dependencies
      svn co https://svn.dpi.inpe.br/terralib/tags/v-4-2-0/dependencies/linux
      cd ..
      svn co https://svn.dpi.inpe.br/terralib/tags/v-4-2-0/terraView
      mkdir build
      cd build
      svn co https://svn.dpi.inpe.br/terralib/tags/v-4-2-0/build/qt
      cd ..
      After that, compile terraView:
      export LD_LIBRARY_PATH
      cd build/qt
      TerraLib directory needs to be registered in LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Put the following lines in your .bashrc (change path to TERRALIBDIR if needed):
      export LD_LIBRARY_PATH
      After that, you can running 'terraView' directly from bash (Important: some new versions of terraView require the argument host for connecting to a DBMS, therefore it is necessary to fill it with ''). If TerraLib is located at any another directory you can still install aRT by calling (replace /terralib/dir accordingly):
      R CMD INSTALL --configure-args=--with-terralib=/terralib/dir/ aRT


The following two figures are one example of R data (from geoR package) that can be exported to a TerraLib database, and then it can be visualized with TerraView.

www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_parana-r.jpg www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_parana-tv.jpg

One of the main objectives of aRT is to do spatial queries and operations in R. For example, in the following figure we have a spatial data from a TerraLib database of Recife city, in Brazil. In the top left figure we have the map of Recife and its districts, with some points, and the bottom left figure shows the seweage. The other two result from spatial queries. The top right answers "Which districts contains the points (yellow) and which ones are their neighbours (green)?" and the bottom right answers "Which sewers are inside (red) or touches (green) the districts that contain the points?"


Another example is shown below. In the left figure there are two cities and their neighbours of first and second order. The right side shows all the neighbours that are completely within a buffer given a distance from the polygons, and the ones that has some overlap with this buffer.



User Guides (also distributed as package vignettes)

Papers and Presentations

Data sets and scripts

Please uncompress the zip files in the current folder before running the scripts. For more examples, see folder 'tests' within aRT installation folder.



Discussion list

  • art_l at leg.ufpr.br


Collaborators in earlier versions

  • Marcos Aurélio Carrero
  • Adriana Zanella Martinhago
  • Thiago Eugênio Bezerra de Melo
  • Elias Teixeira Krainski
  • Karla Donato Fook


aRT has been developed with the computational resources of the Laboratory of Statistics and Geoinformation (LEG), at UFPR, together with Earth System Science Center (CST) and Image Processing Division (DPI), at INPE.

www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_leg.jpg www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_ufpr.jpg www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_dpi.jpg www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_logo-ccst.jpg www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_inpe.jpg

This project is partially supported by Fapesp, process number 04/11012-0, FPLF process 2005.05.066, and CNPq 552044/2002-4.

www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_logo_cnpq.jpg www.leg.ufpr.br_pedro_art_images_saudavel-logo.jpeg


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