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A function that will download maps for a vector of basins or country codes and return a data frame that has the kml output processed such that it can be plotted with ggplot2 and other mapping functions:





The a vector of ISO3 country code's that you want data about. ( or the basin ID's [1-468] (


kml files can be quite large (100k-600k per country) making downloading them every time you want to make a map time consuming. To reduce this time it's easiest to download kml files and store them. To set the directory use a line like this: options(kmlpath="/Users/emh/kmltemp") The option must be called "kmlpath". These files will be persistent until you delete them.


if (FALSE) {
to_map <- create_map_df(c("USA","MEX","CAN"))
ggplot(to_map, aes(x=long, y=lat,group=group))+ geom_polygon()