Accessing Climate Change Data and a Custom Panel Function for Filled Polygons

Submitted by dylan on Fri, 2010-03-05 02:21.

GCS Model Grids

Recently finished some collaborative work with Vishal, related to visualizing climate change data for the SEI. This project was funded in part by the California Energy Commission, with additional technical support from the Google Earth Team. One of the final products was an interactive, multi-scale Google Earth application, based on PostGIS, PHP, and R. Interaction with the KMZ application results in several presentations of climate projections, fire risk projections, urban population growth projections, and other related information. Charts are dynamically generated from the PostGIS database, and returned to the web browser. In addition, an HTTP-based interface makes it simple to download CSV-formatted data directly from the CEC server. Some of our R code seemed like a good candidate for sharing, so I have posted a complete example below-- illustrating how to access climate projection data from the CEC server, a couple custom functions for fancy lattice graphics, and more.

Yet Another plyr Example

Submitted by dylan on Thu, 2010-03-04 18:22.

another plyr exampleanother plyr example quantiles (0.05, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 0.95) of DSC by temperature bin

There are plenty of good examples on how to use functions from the plyr package. Here is one more, demonstrating how to use ddply with a custom function. Note that there are two places where the example function may blow up if you pass in poorly formatted or strange data: calls to 1) t.test() and 2) quantile(). Also note the use of the transpose function, t(), for converting column-wise data into row-wise data-- suitable for inclusion into a dataframe containing a single row.

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Dylan E. Beaudette

Submitted by dylan on Tue, 2010-03-02 20:04.
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Un-Wrapping a Sphere with R

Submitted by dylan on Tue, 2009-12-08 19:48.

I was recently asked to print out a fabric pattern that could be used to cover a sphere, about the size of a ping pong ball, for the purposes of re-creating a favorite cat toy (quite important). Thinking this over, I realized that this was basically a map projection problem-- and could probably be solved by scaling an interrupted sinusoidal projection to match the geometry of a ping pong ball. Below are some R functions, and examples of how this endeavor evolved. Thanks to Greg Snow for this helpful post on the R-mailing list, describing how to preserve linear measurement when composing a figure in R. So far the pattern doesn't quite fit.

It looks like it was not the printer's fault-- I had used the wrong radius for a ping pong ball: 16mm instead of 19mm or 20mm (there are 38mm and 40mm diameter ping pong balls). Updated files are attached.

Sinusoidal ProjectionSinusoidal Projection

Aggregating SSURGO Data in R

Submitted by dylan on Thu, 2009-09-10 15:36.

SSURGO is a digital, high-resolution (1:24,000), soil survey database produced by the USDA-NRCS. It is one of the largest and most complete spatial databases in the world; and is available for nearly the entire USA at no cost. These data are distributed as a combination of geographic and text data, representing soil map units and their associated properties. Unfortunately the text files do not come with column headers, so a template is required to make sense of the data. Alternatively, one can use an MS Access template to attach column names, generate reports, and other such tasks. CSV file can be exported from the MS Access database for further use. A follow-up post with text file headers, and complete PostgreSQL database schema will contain details on implementing a SSURGO database without using MS Access.

If you happen to have some of the SSURGO tabular data that includes column names, the following R code may be of general interest for resolving the 1:many:many hierarchy of relationships required to make a thematic map.

This is the format we want the data to be in

    mukey     clay      silt      sand water_storage
   458581 20.93750 20.832237 20.861842     14.460000
   458584 43.11513 30.184868 26.700000     23.490000
   458593 50.00000 27.900000 22.100000     22.800000
   458595 34.04605 14.867763 11.776974     18.900000

So we can make a map like this
So we can make a map like this

Making Sense of Large Piles of Soils Information: Soil Taxonomy

Submitted by dylan on Wed, 2009-05-27 18:43.

Western Fresno Soil Hierarchy: partial view of the hierarchy within the US Soil Taxonomic systemWestern Fresno Soil Hierarchy: partial view of the hierarchy within the US Soil Taxonomic system

Soil Data
Field and lab characterization of soil profile data result in the accumulation of a massive, multivariate and three-dimensional data set. Classification is one approach to making sense of a large collection of this type of data. US Soil Taxonomy is the primary soil classification system used in the U.S.A and many other countries. This system is hierarchical in nature, and makes use on the presence or absence of diagnostic soil features. A comprehensive discussion of Soil Taxonomy is beyond the scope of this post. A detailed review of Soil Taxonomy can be found in Buol, S. W.; Graham, R. C.; McDaniel, P. A. & Southard, R. J. Soil Genesis and Classification Iowa State Press, 2003.

Simple Approach to Converting GRASS DB-backends

Submitted by dylan on Sat, 2009-05-23 21:32.

The current default database back-end used by the GRASS vector model is DBF (as of GRASS 6.5), however this is probably going to be changed (to SQLite) in GRASS 7. The DBF back-end works OK, however it tends to be very sensitive (i.e. breaks) when reserved words occur in column names or portions of a query. Complex UPDATE statements don't work, and just about anything more complex than a simple SELECT statement usually results in an error. Switching to the SQLite (or Postgresql, etc.) back-end solves most of these problems.

Currently GRASS uses a single SQLite (file-based) database per mapset-- convenient if you are interested in joining attribute tables between vectors; but not set-in-stone as the final approach that will be used by default in GRASS 7. Regardless, converting the back-end is a fairly simple matter. Finally, taking the time to convert to an SQLite or Postgresql back-end will undoubtably save you time and sanity if you ever find yourself working with vector+attribute data on a regular basis. Having access to a complete implementation of SQL can make extracting, summarizing, joining, and re-formatting (column names, types, etc.) tabular data much simpler than what is available in the DBF back-end. Also, there are several convenient graphical SQLite managers available, such as SQLite manager, SQLite data browser, and SQLite Admin.

Checking Type Locations

Submitted by dylan on Mon, 2009-04-20 22:18.

Just Checking

-- NAD27 to NAD83 
echo 119d7\'4\"W 36d23\'13\"N | cs2cs +proj=latlong +datum=NAD27 +to +proj=latlong +datum=NAD83 -f "%.6f"