Geographic Information System Application

A geographic information system (GIS) graphical user interface (GUI) that provides data viewing, management, and analysis tools.

Travis Build Status CRAN Version USGS Category


Development of this package has halted. If you are interested in taking over maintainer status for the package, please email the author.


The R package RSurvey is a geographic information system (GIS) graphical user interface (GUI) that provides data viewing, management, and analysis tools. The cross-platform application was designed to be simple enough for non-technical users.


If R is not already installed on your computer, download and install the latest binary distribution from the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN). Windows users should set R to operate as a single document interface (SDI) application during installation by choosing to customize the start-up options and specifying the SDI interface (not the default).

If your operating system is macOS, download and install XQuartz, and reboot your computer.

RSurvey uses the Tk toolkit for GUI rendering, access to Tk is provided by the tcltk package. To check if Tk is available, startup an R session and type the following at the command prompt


Support for viewing and editing table data is provided by Tktable, a spreadsheet-like Tk widget (typically included with the binary distribution of R). To check if Tktable is available, use the command

inherits(tcltk::tclRequire("Tktable", FALSE), "tclObj")

To install the stable version of RSurvey from CRAN use the command


Or use devtools to install the development version from GitHub.


In addition to its required packages, RSurvey can make use of the functionality in its suggested packages. If any of the suggested packages are missing, you will be prompted to install them when it first starts up.

If you're running into difficulties with package installation, see the R Commander installation notes for possible solutions. R Commander is another GUI implemented as an R package.


Load RSurvey in the current R session and launch its main GUI using the command



This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

Although this software program has been used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS or the U.S. Government as to the accuracy and functioning of the program and related program material nor shall the fact of distribution constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in connection therewith.


RSurvey 0.9.3

  • Fix broken cross-reference links in the help documentation.

  • Remove stray next command from ManagePolygons function.

RSurvey 0.9.2

  • Change USGS package status from 'Research' to 'Orphan'.

  • Stop including variables of class factor in histogram plots.

  • Fix bug resulting in error when viewing data for coordinate variables with sort order set.

RSurvey 0.9.1

  • Replace R copy/paste commands with those in Tcl/Tk.

  • Move package repository to USGS-R/RSurvey on GitHub.

  • Account for coordinate reference system not being applicable for spatial data.

  • Use valid Tk-key-binding names, prevents errors on Linux OS.

RSurvey 0.9.0

  • Complete redesign of the graphical user interface and plotting routines.

  • Remove GPL (>=2) software license and place in the public domain (CCO).

  • Change to in-source documentation using roxygen2 package.

  • Leverage functions in the inlmisc package for plotting and polygon operations.

  • Add CITATION file to be used by the citation function.

  • Remove BuildPackage function and replace with Makefile.

  • Change NEWS file to markdown format.

  • Change format for package version numbering from #.#-# to #.#.#

  • Fix bug that prevents data import from text files.

RSurvey 0.8-3

  • Revised GUI in the LoadPackages function to make it more obvious that the missing packages are not necessary (thanks, @geneorama, #1).

  • Changed donttest to dontrun in the man files.

RSurvey 0.8-2

  • Removed require for conditioning in package code, now using requireNamespace.

RSurvey 0.8-1

  • Fixed a bug in the EditData function that resulted from not updating the search index when a new cell selection was made.

  • Improved handling of time zones in variables of class 'POSIXt'.

  • Added the ProgressBar function to show the status for long-running operations. The progress bar is implemented when indexing search results.

  • In the EditData function, the class of the object used to populate the spreadsheet-like table has been changed from a 'data.frame' to a 'list' with vector components of equal length. This change has resulted in a noticeable performance boost.

RSurvey 0.8-0

  • Fixed bug that converted all exported data fields to character class when writing Shapefiles and R data files.

  • Added ImportSpreadsheet function, imports a worksheet from an Office open XML Workbook file (*.xlsx).

  • Show individual observations and density estimate in histogram plot.

RSurvey 0.7-9

  • In the DESCRIPTION file, packages declared in the 'Depends' field were moved to the 'Imports' field.

  • Redesigned GUI layout in the Format function.

RSurvey 0.7-8

  • Variables of class 'Date' are now handled correctly.

  • Removed dependency on the rgl package.

  • Improved performance for counting the number of lines in a file.

  • Fixed bug that was preventing data imports using paste operation.

  • Improved performance in the EditData function by removing its reliance on a copy of the data frame that was coerced into character-class components.

  • The base::format function is now used when a format conversion specification string is not supplied. Previously defaulted to a general string representation; for example, numeric objects were formatted using the '%f' string.

  • Removed SummarizeVariable function and replaced it with the more general base::summary and utils::str functions.

RSurvey 0.7-5

  • Graphics opened in a platform-independent way using the function.

  • Function name changes: ViewText to EditText, and ViewData to EditData.

  • Calendar date-time variables are accurately converted to character strings using the POSIXct2Character function.

  • Added ability to import, edit, and export comment string.

  • Added ability to edit raw data in a spreadsheet with final edits are saved in a change log.

  • Added GUI for importing data from an R package. R data sets may also be imported from a file.

  • RSurvey project files are specified using the *.RData file extension. The *.rda extension is reserved for R data files.

  • Functions ReadFile and WriteFile have been embedded into the ImportText and ExportData functions, respectively.

  • Additional arguments have been added to the ExportData GUI.

  • In the ImportText GUI, added decimal and encoding arguments, and custom entries for separator, NA strings, and comment parameters.

RSurvey 0.7-4

  • Main GUI is launched automatically when RSurvey is loaded.

  • Added ability to view single variable in the ImportText GUI.

  • It is no longer required to have a data set loaded to open the DataManagement GUI.

  • Fixed bug with finding unique values in EditFunction GUI.

  • The header line specifying variable names now comes before the format header line. Users need to update header lines in their input text files to reflect this change.

  • Measurement units have been removed. Users need to remove unit headers from their input text files.

  • Added GUI for sorting the processed data set.

RSurvey 0.7-3

  • Removed dependency on the tripack package because of its restricted license which explicitly forbids commercial use.

Reference manual

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0.9.3 by Jason C. Fisher, 3 years ago

Browse source code at

Authors: Jason C. Fisher [aut, cre]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

Task views: Analysis of Spatial Data

CC0 license

Imports colorspace, graphics, grDevices, inlmisc, MBA, methods, raster, rgdal, rgeos, sp, stats, tcltk, utils

Suggests dichromat, leaflet, rgl, XML

System requirements: Tcl/Tk (>= 8.5), Tktable (>= 2.9, optional)

See at CRAN