R - ArcGIS News and Plans for 2017

It’s been about a year and half since we released the R-ArcGIS Bridge on GitHub, and we just passed 6,000 downloads. Thanks to all who’ve provided feedback to help us continually improve the project.

Last year, Esri joined the R Consortium, a coalition of software companies focused on supporting the R community in its efforts to maintain, distribute, and improve R software. Esri’s R Consortium membership will allow us to better support the needs of the community and further strengthen our relationships with other consortium partners, including Microsoft and IBM, that actively support the R open source project. Esri’s membership made the list of biggest R stories of 2016 and was also announced in a Computerworld article.

On the technical side, there are a few new things in the works worth mentioning. Using the new ArcGIS API for Python, you can now use R in Jupyter notebooks along with your other scripting. The bridge also works with R tools for Visual Studio (RTVS) and with the high-performance Microsoft R Open.

There’s also a new toolbox project and tutorial available developed by Francesco Tonini called CHANS (Coupled Human Natural Systems Tools). It uses the FactoMineR and missMDA R packages presented as ArcGIS geoprocessing tools to perform factor analysis on mixed quantitative/qualitative data.

If you have a project such as a sample toolbox and tutorial that you’d like to share with the community, reach out to us on GitHub or GeoNet. We would be happy to help you polish and publish your project.

The most requested enhancement for the R-ArcGIS project has been raster support, which is the number one development priority for the project in 2017.

Soon we’ll release the first in a series of new online training materials to help beginners get going and also training to help advanced tool developers build robust integrated solutions.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the Developer Summit in Palm Springs next month and hearing about the interesting work you’re doing.


This blog article is provided by Steve Kopp. Steve is a senior product engineer with Esri’s Software Development team. He is involved in the design and development of spatial analysis and geoprocessing functionality for ArcGIS. Questions for Steve:

About the author

Jian Lange is a principal product manager with Esri’s Product Management team in Redlands, California. She is responsible for various aspects of ArcGIS Spatial Analysis products, including business planning, road maps, requirements, and management.

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