The rasterbc R Package

Dean Koch 2023-11-08

rasterbc provides access to a collection of 100m resolution gridded spatial ecological data on the province of British Columbia during the period 2001-2018, including yearly rasterized Forest Insect and Disease Survey (FIDS) pest damage polygons. Given a user-defined geographical region (polygon), the package downloads and imports requested data layers into R as SpatRaster objects. The goal is to improve access to a number of publicly accessible datasets on BC forests and simplify data ingress for modellers.

The available layers are:

All datasets were downloaded and processed in the years 2018-2020, then stored as raster tiles in the standard BC Albers projection, and hosted on FRDR. Follow the links in the list above for code and documentation on this process. The collection is published as a data publication for permanence and easy referencing.


See the introduction vignette for instructions on getting started with this package.


rasterbc is available on CRAN:

rasterbc v1.0.1

Install it in R using the command


This will also install the dependencies sf and terra, if you don’t have them already.

Note that FRDR’s direct download services are occasionally unavailable, at which times the download functionality of rasterbc will also be unavailable. Check the FRDR homepage (eg for news about maintenance downtime) if you are having trouble downloading data tiles with rasterbc.


This project grew out of my doctoral thesis project on modelling outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle in central BC. Parts of of the rasterbc collection can be found in research publications with professors Mark Lewis and Subhash Lele on statistical methods for spatial data, models for animal dispersal, and an analysis of MPB activity in the Merrit TSA. We gratefully acknowledge the support of NSERC, TRIA-Net, and the University of Alberta Lewis Lab in this work.