Grokbase Groups R r-help March 2002

Although I see your point, perhaps developing a
comprehensive package in R for image processing would not be
the best solution. We cannot expect R to do
everything. From my point of view, a transparent
link to other gnu software might be better. This is
also the case for GIS, which although very useful
in combination with R, is not really statistics.
R is already very large, so much that we are all
beginers as soon as we move a bit from what we
normally do. I'd be careful at increasing
heterogeneity too much, because maintenace, management,
documentation... might become impossible. The
R team, to whom all R users must be thankful, already
has a phenomenal task.

If you need to import many images, you can use
packages that transform from the command
line, so you can make an R function that
transforms the images to pnm using system(), and
then use the pixmap functions.

I've made some functions to have a minimal
functionality in R to display and explore
matrices as images (grey and rgb). Let me
know if these could help you.

A better approach might be using the
new RPy, as Python has an image processing
library (PIL). It used to have as well an
extensive image processing add-on, called
PythonMagick, but I think that this
is no longer available.


Dr. Agustin Lobo
Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC)
Lluis Sole Sabaris s/n
08028 Barcelona SPAIN
tel 34 93409 5410
fax 34 93411 0012
alobo at

On Tue, 12 Mar 2002, Jonathan Q. Li wrote:

Yah, but what if I need to write a package in R that reads these images?
too much manual trouble to use outside software. It's especially infeasible
these become a routine task with many images.
I think that here may be a place to make an improvement to R.
I, for one, can certainly appreciate the use of such reader functions. Are
there any one else
who felt the same way?


-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Peng [mailto:rpeng at]
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 5:43 PM
To: jonathan_li at
Cc: r-help at
Subject: Re: [R] gif, jpeg and png image files reader

The pixmap package has functions for reading pnm (portable anymap) files,
but you still need an outside software to convert (like ImageMagick).

UCLA Department of Statistics
rpeng at
On Mon, 11 Mar 2002, jonathan_li at wrote:

Hi all,

Although R seems to have jpeg() and png() functions that converts data into
jpeg and png formated files, it
doesn't have functions the other way around.
Does one of R contributed packages have gif, jpeg and png image readers? I
did but no luck

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