Mapping and Measuring Country Shapes: The cshapes Package

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Weidmann, Nils; & Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede (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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Authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex

Nils Weidmann

Nils Weidmann

Senior Researcher