The tanaka package

The tanaka package has been released on CRAN. This package is a simplified implementation of the Tanaka method.
Also called « relief contours method », « illuminated contour method » or « shaded contour lines method », the Tanaka method enhances the representation of topography on a map using shaded contour lines.
North-west white contours represent illuminated topography and south-east black contours represent shaded topography.

The contour lines creation relies on isoband, spatial data manipulation and display rely on sf.

tanaka is a small package with only two functions:

  • tanaka() uses a raster object and displays the map directly;
  • tanaka_contour() builds the isopleth polygon layer.

This is a typical example of the package usage based on the dataset shipped with the package.

ras <- raster(system.file("grd/elev.grd", 
                          package = "tanaka"))
tanaka(x = ras, breaks = seq(80,400,20), 
       legend.pos = "topright", 
       legend.title = "Elevation\n(meters)")

In the second example, the elevatr package is used to download an elevation raster on a specific area. Then the tanaka_contour() function is used to create an isopleth layer and finally the tanaka()function is used to to display the map with a custom color palette.

# use elevatr to get elevation data
ras <- get_elev_raster(
  locations = data.frame(
    x = c(6.7, 7), y = c(45.8,46)
  z = 10, prj = "+init=epsg:4326", 
  clip = "locations"
# create the isopleth layer
iso <- tanaka_contour(
  x = ras, 
  breaks = seq(500,4800,250)
# display the isopleth layer
# create a custom color palette
pal <- colorRampPalette(colors = c("#F9D3A1", "#1E315B"))
# display the map
tanaka(iso, col = pal(nrow(iso)))

The last example illustrates the use of tanaka with non-topographical data. This map is based on the Global Human Settlement Population Grid (1km).

Code for this figure

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