Interactive Plotting for API Results

Interactive maps are a great way to present geospatial data, allowing people to zoom, pan, and click on results. leaflet is an R library for making interactive maps built on top of a JavaScript mapping library called Leaflet. The results of queries made using the osdatahub package are returned in GeoJSON format, which is an ideal input for interactive mapping libraries with JavaScript underpinnings, and the OS Maps API can supply tiles for basemaps giving that all important context to your data.


Polygons with Popups

The example uses NGD Water features to show how to plot the API results onto an interactive map and provide additional information about the data to users through popups.

Get Data from the API

# Choose data
collection <- 'wtr-fts-water-1'

# Define query extent. leaflet maps expect shapes in WGS 1984,
# the extent is specified in degrees longitude and latitude
W <- -1.328
S <- 50.979
E <- -1.322
N <- 50.9815

crs <- 'CRS84'
extent <- extent_from_bbox(c(W, S, E, N), crs = crs)

# Query API
surface_water <- query_ngd(extent,
                           collection = collection,
                           crs = crs,
                           max_results = 100000)

Define the Map

The first step in creating a leaflet map is to create a map object. This defines the location in view when the map first loads. Leaflet maps always use coordinates in the WGS84 coordinate reference system, so the starting location must be specified in degrees latitude and longitude.

# m is the map object all other layers will be added to.
m <- leaflet() %>%
  setView(lng = -1.325, lat = 50.98, zoom = 16)

Add a Basemap

This defines the base map. You can access base map tiles via the OS Maps API. By adding the Maps API to the same project as the NGD Features API, you can use the same key for both. To find out more about API keys, check out the “Setting up an API key” example.

LAYER <- 'Outdoor_3857'
ATTR <- paste0('Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right ',
               format(Sys.Date(), "%Y"))

m <- m %>% addTiles(urlTemplate = paste0('',
                                         LAYER ,
                    attribution = ATTR,
                    group = 'OS Maps Outdoor')

Add the Data

Add the API results to the map with a popup showing the area of each polygon. It’s possible to add a simple overlay using addGeoJSON(); however, it’s easier if the query results are parsed to create an sf object. This will give us more control to add a popup to each feature.

df <- st_read(surface_water, crs = st_crs('CRS:84'), quiet = TRUE)
popup <- paste0('Area (m2):', round(df$geometry_area, 1))

m <- m %>%
      addPolygons(data = df,
                  group = 'Surface Water',
                  popup = popup)

Add Bounding Box

bbox <- extent$polygon

# Add the bounding box to the map.
m <- m %>%
      addPolygons(data = bbox,
                  group = 'Bounding Box',
                  fill = FALSE,
                  color = 'black',
                  opacity = 0.9,
                  weight = 1.2,
                  dashArray = 10)

# Add ability to toggle layers
m <- m %>% addLayersControl(overlayGroups = c("OS Maps Outdoor", "Surface Water", "Bounding Box"))

# View the map