Leaflet is one of the most popular open-source JavaScript libraries for interactive maps. It’s used by websites ranging from The New York Times and The Washington Post to GitHub and Flickr, as well as GIS specialists like OpenStreetMap, Mapbox, and CartoDB.

This R package makes it easy to integrate and control Leaflet maps in R.


  • Interactive panning/zooming
  • Compose maps using arbitrary combinations of:
    • Map tiles
    • Markers
    • Polygons
    • Lines
    • Popups
    • GeoJSON
  • Create maps right from the R console or RStudio
  • Embed maps in knitr/R Markdown documents and Shiny apps
  • Easily render Spatial objects from the sp package, or data frames with latitude/longitude columns
  • Use map bounds and mouse events to drive Shiny logic


To install this R package, run this command at your R prompt:

# to install the development version from Github, run
# devtools::install_github("rstudio/leaflet")

Once installed, you can use this package at the R console, within R Markdown documents, and within Shiny applications.

Basic Usage

You create a Leaflet map with these basic steps:

  1. Create a map widget by calling leaflet().
  2. Add layers (i.e., features) to the map by using layer functions (e.g. addTiles, addMarkers, addPolygons) to modify the map widget.
  3. Repeat step 2 as desired.
  4. Print the map widget to display it.

Here’s a basic example:


m <- leaflet() %>%
  addTiles() %>%  # Add default OpenStreetMap map tiles
  addMarkers(lng=174.768, lat=-36.852, popup="The birthplace of R")
m  # Print the map

In case you’re not familiar with the magrittr pipe operator (%>%), here is the equivalent without using pipes:

m <- leaflet()
m <- addTiles(m)
m <- addMarkers(m, lng=174.768, lat=-36.852, popup="The birthplace of R")

Next Steps

We highly recommend that you proceed to The Map Widget page before exploring the rest of this site, as it describes common idioms we’ll use throughout the examples on the other pages.

Although we have tried to provide an R-like interface to Leaflet, you may want to check out the API documentation of Leaflet occasionally when the meanings of certain parameters are not clear to you.

The "leaflet" R package is copyright © 2014-2015 RStudio, Inc.
The Leaflet JavaScript library is © 2010–2014 Vladimir Agafonkin, 2010–2011 CloudMade.
Maps © OpenStreetMap contributors unless otherwise noted.

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