Installation and use

Pedro J. Aphalo



This package contains data sets used in the code examples in the book “Learn R …as you learnt your mother tongue” by Pedro J. Aphalo, available at The book uses mostly data sets included in the R distribution itself and in the packages available through CRAN that are described in the book, so few data sets are included as R data in this package. However, to demonstrate the reading of foreign data formats I use in the book several files. These files are part of this package and installed in the extdata folder.

Installation of packages

Installation of the package itself is not different to that of any other package available through CRAN.


In the code examples in the book I use more than 40 packages available from CRAN, and three not yet in CRAN but available from Github. They are listed at the start of each chapter. To facilitate their installation and use, vectors containing package names used in each chapter of the book are provided, as well as a vector will all the names together.

To install all the packages used in the book you can use.


If you rather install only the packages used in a given chapter use, for example, for theplotting with `ggplot’ chapter.


Even though three of the packages are not in CRAN, they are all listed in the vectors of names in the hope that in the future they will be submitted to CRAN.

An additional vector pkgs_at_github provides the paths to the Github repositories for these three packages.

These can be installed as follows.

# install.packages("devtools")
for (pkg in learnrbook::pkgs_at_github) {

Use of examples files

Example files are installed in folder extdata under the root folder of the installed package. The location and path to where a package is installed is dependent on the operating system and account settings, and the settings in the .Rprofile file. However, R provides a simple way for querying this path to where the example files are stored.

system.file("extdata", package = "learnrbook")

We can also easily get a list of the available example files.

path2examples <- system.file("extdata", package = "learnrbook")
##  [1] "BIRCH1.SYS"           "Book1.xlsx"           "areatable.dat"       
##  [4] "dahlia-uva.tif"       "dahlia-vis.tif"       "logger_1.txt"        
##  [7] ""        "my-data.sav"          "my-data.xlsx"        
## [10] ""           "" "thiamin.sav"

The formats of these files are:

File name “tag” Format other
.SYS Systat proprietary, format depends on operating system
.tif TIFF Bitmap, variations exist in bit depth and compression used
.sav SPSS proprietary
.txt ASCII open
.nc NetCDF open
.xlsx Excell proprietary, modern, XML based

The files are used in Chapter “Storing and manipulating data with R” and in Chapter “Plotting maps and images”.

The sources of the data in these files, and a short descriptions of the data follows. However, see the individual help pages for additional details on the data sets.

File when saved Data Source
BIRCH1.SYS 1992 Birch seeedlings Aphalo and Rikala (2002)
Book1.xlsx 2017 artificial data Original
dahlia-uva.tif 2017 photograph Original, P. J. Aphalo
dahlia-vis.tif 2017 photograph Original, P. J. Aphalo
logger_1.txt 2016 from Yocto Puce datalogger Original, P. J. Aphalo 2017 meteorological see help for source
my-data.sav artificial
my-data.xlsx artificial 2014 meteorological Data of Anders Lindfors ???? ???? ????
thiamin.sav ????