afrimapr tutorial at useR!2021: An overview

• Anne Treasure

On 7 July 2021, we ran a 4 hour tutorial at useR!2021 called “Entry level R maps from African data” in both English and French. The aim was to provide an introduction to mapping and spatial data in R using African data. We developed customised content based on the afrimapr learnr tutorials. For more information on our learning materials and teaching strategy, read the blog post ‘afrimapr tutorial at useR! 2021: Our teaching strategy’.

We had a great team of instructors and helpers on the day, including: English room instructors: Andy South, Laurie Baker; helpers: Anelda van der Walt, Shelmith Kariuki, Anne Treasure; French room instructor: Ghislain Nono Gueye; helpers: Ahmadou Dicko, Bryan Tegomoh.

68 people registered and 29 attended on the day. From our pre-course survey, those interested in the tutorial represented 28 countries:

global map showing participant registrations

We were happy to receive worldwide interest in afrimapr and feedback we received will also help us to assess where we need to focus our efforts and where the gaps lie.

Respondents to the pre-course survey indicated a good diversity in the fields and sectors of those interested in learning how to create maps in R:

survey - in which field do you work

survey - in which sector do you work

There was a range of R and RStudio experience, from some learners never having used R to advanced participants. Teaching such a wide range of skills can be challenging, but our materials and content have been adapted to enable this. More experienced participants were encouraged to look at other complementary tutorials that we have created or to skip ahead and try to adapt some of the code we provided to map their own data.

survey - describe your level of R

survey - have you used rstudio before

We thank our excellent team of instructors and helpers as well as the useR!2021 organising committee and helpers for helping to make this tutorial a success!