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The goal of qgisprocess is to provide an R interface to the popular and open source desktop geographic information system (GIS) program QGIS. The package is a re-implementation of functionality provided by the archived RQGIS package, which was partially revived in the RQGIS3 package.



You can install the development version from GitHub with:

# install.packages("remotes")


The qgisprocess package wraps the standalone qgis_process command-line utility, which is available in QGIS >= 3.16.

The package is meant to support current QGIS releases, i.e. both the latest and the long-term release. Although older QGIS releases are not officially supported, it may work since QGIS 3.16. Download instructions for all platforms are available at

If a recent version of QGIS isn’t available for your OS, you can use the Geocomputation with R Docker image with QGIS installed (docker pull See the vignette on ‘getting started’ for more information.

Package configuration

If the automatic configuration fails (or if you have more than one installation and would like to choose which one is used by qgisprocess), you can set options(qgisprocess.path = "path/to/qgis_process"). Specify the qgisprocess.path option in your .Rprofile, to make your choices persistent between sessions. You can run qgis_configure() to reconfigure, or just qgis_configure(use_cached_data = TRUE) to see the gritty details!

#> Attempting to load the cache ... Success!
#> QGIS version: 3.30.2-'s-Hertogenbosch
#> Having access to 1949 algorithms from 13 QGIS processing providers.
#> Run `qgis_configure(use_cached_data = TRUE)` to reload cache and get more details.


Most functions start with the qgis_ prefix, so that functions can be found more easily using tab completion.

The main function is qgis_run_algorithm(algorithm = , ...). It specifies the geoprocessing algorithm to be called with a "provider:algorithm" formatted identifier, e.g. "native:convexhull" or "gdal:hillshade", and it passes the algorithm arguments as R function arguments.

Additional functions are provided to discover available geoprocessing algorithms, retrieve their documentation, handle processing results, manage QGIS plugins, and more.

Spatial layers can be passed to qgis_run_algorithm() as file paths but also as sf, stars, terra or raster objects.

A structured overview of functions is available at To get started, read the ‘getting started’ vignette and use the cheat sheets!

Note that R package qgis extends on qgisprocess by providing a separate R function for each geoprocessing algorithm. In addition, it makes the QGIS algorithm documentation available in the corresponding R function documentation.


The following example demonstrates the buffer algorithm in action.

input <- sf::read_sf(system.file("shape/nc.shp", package = "sf"))

result <- qgis_run_algorithm(
  INPUT = input,
#> Argument `SEGMENTS` is unspecified (using QGIS default value).
#> Using `END_CAP_STYLE = "Round"`
#> Using `JOIN_STYLE = "Round"`
#> Argument `MITER_LIMIT` is unspecified (using QGIS default value).
#> Using `OUTPUT = qgis_tmp_vector()`

#> <Result of `qgis_run_algorithm("native:buffer", ...)`>
#> List of 1
#>  $ OUTPUT: 'qgis_outputVector' chr "/tmp/RtmpsCZuzJ/file7d1b75a4d4eb/file7d1b1ab3935f.gpkg"

output_sf <- sf::st_as_sf(result)

You can read the help associated with an algorithm using qgis_show_help().


It may also be useful to run an algorithm in the QGIS GUI and examine the console ‘Input parameters’ to determine how the various input values are translated to string processing arguments:

A list of available algorithms can be found using qgis_algorithms(). When using R interactively, it may be useful to use View(qgis_algorithms()) to search.

#> # A tibble: 1,949 × 24
#>    provider         provider_title    algorithm     algorithm_id algorithm_title
#>    <chr>            <chr>             <chr>         <chr>        <chr>          
#>  1 3d               QGIS (3D)         3d:tessellate tessellate   Tessellate     
#>  2 cartographytools Cartography tools cartographyt… averagelines Average linest…
#>  3 cartographytools Cartography tools cartographyt… collapsedua… Collapse dual …
#>  4 cartographytools Cartography tools cartographyt… removecross… Remove cross r…
#>  5 cartographytools Cartography tools cartographyt… removeculde… Remove cul-de-…
#>  6 cartographytools Cartography tools cartographyt… removeround… Remove roundab…
#>  7 gdal             GDAL              gdal:aspect   aspect       Aspect         
#>  8 gdal             GDAL              gdal:assignp… assignproje… Assign project…
#>  9 gdal             GDAL              gdal:bufferv… buffervecto… Buffer vectors 
#> 10 gdal             GDAL              gdal:buildvi… buildvirtua… Build virtual …
#> # ℹ 1,939 more rows
#> # ℹ 19 more variables: provider_can_be_activated <lgl>,
#> #   provider_is_active <lgl>, provider_long_name <chr>, provider_version <chr>,
#> #   provider_warning <chr>, can_cancel <lgl>, deprecated <lgl>, group <chr>,
#> #   has_known_issues <lgl>, help_url <chr>, requires_matching_crs <lgl>,
#> #   short_description <chr>, tags <list>, default_raster_file_extension <chr>,
#> #   default_vector_file_extension <chr>, …

Further reading

  • A paper on the original RQGIS package published in the R Journal
  • A discussion options for running QGIS from R that led to this package
  • The pull request in the QGIS repo that led to the development of the qgis_process command-line utility