The n2khab R package provides preprocessing functions and standard reference data, supporting reproducible and transparent analyses on Flemish Natura 2000 (n2k) habitats (hab) and regionally important biotopes (RIBs).

The package’s core aim is to provide readily standardized (preprocessed) data in your R environment. This facilitates collaboration and reproducibility.

The standard reference data include: checklists, spatial habitat distribution, administrative & environmental layers, GRTSmaster_habitats.

Installing and using the n2khab package

To install, run:

Sys.setenv(R_REMOTES_NO_ERRORS_FROM_WARNINGS = "true") # as a precaution
                        build_vignettes = TRUE,
                        upgrade = TRUE)

Note that this will install the package from the master branch. If you need a version from another branch, add the ref argument in the above function to provide the branch name.

Repeat the installation when you wish to upgrade.

Have a look at the vignettes to quickly find your way!

help(package = "n2khab")
# vignettes only: browseVignettes("n2khab")
# documentation of whole package: package?n2khab

Data setup

Please take note that you must set up the needed data sources as explained in vignette("v020_datastorage") and demonstrated in vignette("v022_example"). There is a major distinction between:

  • raw data (Zenodo-link), to be stored in a folder n2khab_data/10_raw;
  • processed data (Zenodo-link), to be stored in a folder n2khab_data/20_processed.

Suppressing rgdal warnings about proj4string degradation

Setting coordinate reference systems (CRS) of geospatial R objects is taken care of by the package, in a way that is compatible with older and current versions of PROJ and GDAL backend libraries. This is done by gratefully implementing such features from the sf and sp packages. The functions never specify a CRS by means of a proj4string, which is an aged format not supported by the current backend versions.

Please note that nonetheless you will see warnings about degraded proj4strings when using certain n2khab functions or when converting resulting sf objects to sp objects. This is normal! It is the current default behaviour of rgdal to yield these warnings. However in the case of n2khab functions and resulting objects these warnings are trivial and unnecessary. You can suppress them in your R scripts by inserting below statement before loading geospatial packages:

options(rgdal_show_exportToProj4_warnings = "none")

See this tutorial if you would like to learn more about this. In short: don’t use proj4strings to define CRSs!

You are welcome to contribute!

Please have a look at our contributing guide!

Intention for the future

At a later date, the intention is to incorporate functionality to enhance workflow reproducibility and ease the setup:

  • let a user declare which versions of which data sources are used in an R workflow (at the beginning of a script or R markdown file);
  • perform checks whether the needed versions of those data sources are locally present;
  • if missing, download the needed data from the Zenodo collections.

Currently these aspects must be taken care of in a more manual fashion. See vignette("v022_example") for example code to currently accomplish specific aspects.

Background information

From its aim, it follows that the package supports various N2KHAB projects, i.e. projects that focus on Natura 2000 habitat (and which may as well use the n2khab-prefix for their git repository name, such as this one).

The package is a companion to the n2khab-preprocessing repo. Beside direct preprocessing functions, n2khab provides several functions that return datasets, generated in n2khab-preprocessing, as standardized R-objects. Having processed datasets readily available is useful in the case of time-consuming calculations to produce them.

The data definitions & standard checklists (reference data) provided by the package are textual files in the vc-format. Some of them come over from another repository. Others may be written as the result of a synchronization script to give them a start. The code to reproduce these files is inside the misc folder of the source code. The package provides the necessary functions to return these as standardized tibbles (vignette("v010_reference_lists")).