The R Journal: article published in 2012, volume 4:2

It's Not What You Draw,It's What You Don't Draw PDF download
Paul Murrell , The R Journal (2012) 4:2, pages 13-18.

Abstract The R graphics engine has new support for drawing complex paths via the functions polypath() and grid.path(). This article explains what is meant by a complex path and demonstrates the usefulness of complex paths in drawing non-trivial shapes, logos, customised data symbols, and maps. One of the design goals of the R graphics system is to allow fine control over the small details of plots. One way that the R graphics system does this is by providing access to low-level generic graphics facilities, such as the ability to draw basic shapes and the ability to control apparently esoteric, but still useful, features of those shapes, such as the line end style used for drawing lines. In R version 2.12.0, another low-level graphics facility was added to R: the ability to draw complex paths (not just polygons). This article describes this new facility and presents some examples that show how complex paths might be useful.

CRAN packages: grImport, maptools, maps
CRAN Task Views implied by cited CRAN packages: Spatial

CC BY 4.0
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license .

  author = {Paul Murrell},
  title = {{It's Not What You Draw,It's What You Don't Draw}},
  year = {2012},
  journal = {{The R Journal}},
  doi = {10.32614/RJ-2012-017},
  url = {} ,
  pages = {13--18},
  volume = {4},
  number = {2}