Introduction

Changes in the representation of coordinate reference systems (CRS), and of operations on coordinates, that have been occurring over decades must now be implemented in the way spatial objects are handled in R packages. Up to the 1990s, most spatial data simply used the coordinates given by the local mapping authority; for example, the Meuse bank data set used a planar representation in metres, which turned out to be EPSG:28992, “Amersfoort / RD New.” A major resource for finding out why CRS were specified as they were are Clifford J. Mugnier’s columns in Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, references to which are available in rgdal; the Netherlands were covered in the February 2003 column:

td <- tempfile()
dir.create(td)
Sys.setenv("PROJ_USER_WRITABLE_DIRECTORY"=td)
library(rgdal)
## Loading required package: sp
## Please note that rgdal will be retired by the end of 2023,
## plan transition to sf/stars/terra functions using GDAL and PROJ
## at your earliest convenience.
## 
## rgdal: version: 1.5-28, (SVN revision 1158)
## Geospatial Data Abstraction Library extensions to R successfully loaded
## Loaded GDAL runtime: GDAL 3.4.0, released 2021/11/04
## Path to GDAL shared files: /usr/local/share/gdal
## GDAL binary built with GEOS: TRUE 
## Loaded PROJ runtime: Rel. 8.2.0, November 1st, 2021, [PJ_VERSION: 820]
## Path to PROJ shared files: /tmp/RtmpTwRRyK/file35c32875473:/usr/local/share/proj:/usr/local/share/proj
## PROJ CDN enabled: FALSE
## Linking to sp version:1.4-6
## To mute warnings of possible GDAL/OSR exportToProj4() degradation,
## use options("rgdal_show_exportToProj4_warnings"="none") before loading sp or rgdal.
data("GridsDatums")
GridsDatums[grep("Netherlands", GridsDatums$country),]
##                               country      month year ISO
## 50 Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles     (July) 2002 ABW
## 57     The Kingdom of the Netherlan