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Bridging Into New Realms: R-ArcGIS Bridge and Microsoft R

The R-ArcGIS Bridge continues to grow in flexibility and functionality to allows you to take advantage of a vast number of R libraries in your spatial analysis workflows. A new feature added this year is support for rasters . You can find more details on raster support in a new blog and a new learn lesson.

Growing functionality of the R-ArcGIS bridge allow you to integrate more data sources into your spatial problem solving to gain more understanding from big data. A bottleneck in using R often occurs with large scale problems, particularly in terms of memory and speed. Microsoft has open-source versions of R that are designed to overcome these bottlenecks. We are pleased to announce that the R-ArcGIS bridge also bridges into Microsoft’s version of R, MRAN, so that you can leverage the full power of the R language at scale.

Microsoft has multiple offerings of R for desktop such as R-Open and R-Client. You can work with larger data sets and speed-up your analysis using either of these versions.  R-Open provides out-of-the-box performance improvements and R-Client allows you to parallelize your R code.

Demonstrations of bridging into the different Microsoft R offerings using the R-ArcGIS bridge were presented at the 2018 Esri Developer’s Summit. You can find examples of integrating different types of Microsoft R using the R-ArcGIS bridge in this video. In addition, Microsoft has showcased the Microsoft R-ArcGIS integration with an example on seagrass habitat prediction, that follows a previous blog post from ESRI.  From a broader perspective, Microsoft R and ArcGIS integration is another important component of making Microsoft’s global sustainability initiative, AI for Earth, more accessible to ArcGIS community.

Do you want to learn more about what you can do with the R-ArcGIS bridge and the recent enhancements? If yes, whether you are a seasoned “bridger” curious about what is new or if you want to learn the fundamentals of the R-ArcGIS bridge come join us at our Pre-UC workshop! You will explore the different use cases of the R-ArcGIS bridge with real-world case studies.  The entire R-ArcGIS Bridge team on will be on deck for the workshop to work on problems together, answer questions and hear your feedback! Until then you can find our updates on GeoNet.

About the author

Orhun is a senior researcher for the Spatial Statistics team. His role at ESRI includes conducting applied and theoretical research into spatial and spatio-temporal machine learning methods, maintaining and adding functionality to the R-ArcGIS Bridge, and creation of educational resources such as learn lessons. He is also a member of the virtual ESRI Science Team where he works on spatial data science applications for solving problems pertaining to Earth systems. In addition to his role at ESRI, Orhun serves as a lecturer at University of Southern California's Spatial Sciences Institute. He holds a Masters and a PhD in Geostatistics, and a PhD minor in Geology from Stanford University's School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences.


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