# plot - R: plotting a radial distance from a point on world map shapefile

Similarly to my previous question here, say I am plotting countries on a world map using maptools, if I were to plot a country, is there a way of finding the central point of this country and plotting a radial distance from this point? I am using the shapefile `wrld_simpl` that comes with `maptools`, so if I plot Germany:

`` plot(wrld_simpl[wrld_simpl\$NAME=='Germany',], col='red', add=T)``

I would want to find the centre of Germany and plot a circle from this point that shows any area that falls within say a 100km distance. Again I want to be able to do this for lots of different countries so I'd ideally want a general solution, not one specific to just Germany.

This is a partial answer. The code snippet below calculates the centroid of a polygon, so if you can pull the polygon vertex data for your country of interest, this will give you the "center," after which it's trivial to draw a circle. (polyx and polyy are vectors of x- and y- coordinates

``````require(pracma)
pchit <- polyarea(polyx,polyy)
centx <- centy <- 0
for (kk in 1:(length(polyx)-1) ) {
centx <- centx + (polyx[kk]+polyx[kk+1]) * (polyx[kk]*polyy[kk+1]-polyx[kk+1]*polyy[kk])
centy <- centy + (polyy[kk]+polyy[kk+1]) * (polyx[kk]*polyy[kk+1]-polyx[kk+1]*polyy[kk])
}
centx <- -1/pchit/6 * centx
centy <- -1/pchit/6 * centy
``````