Weidmann, Nils & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (2010) Mapping and Measuring Country Shapes: The cshapes Package, R Journal 2(1): 18–24.
The article introduces the cshapes R package, which includes our CShapes dataset of contemporary and historical country boundaries, as well as computational tools for computing geographical measures from these maps. We provide an overview of the need for considering spatial dependence in comparative research, how this requires appropriate historical maps, and detail how the associated R package cshapes can contribute to these ends. We illustrate the use of the package for drawing maps, computing spatial variables for countries, and generating weights matrices for spatial statistics.
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Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex
The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) conducts research on the conditions for peaceful relations between states, groups and people.