I am attempting to create a map of selected Canadian provinces/territories and selected U.S. states. So far the nicest maps appear to be those generated with GADM data: http://www.gadm.org/ However, I have not been able to plot the U.S. and Canada on the same map or plot only selected provinces/territories and states. For example, I am interested in Alaska, Yukon, NWT, British Columbia, Alberta, and Montana among others. Maybe spplot does not allow users to specify projections. I did not see an option to select a projection on the spplot help page. I know how to select projections with the map function in the maps package but those maps did not appear to look as nice and I could not plot the desired subset of provinces/territories and states with that function either. I do not know how to begin adding a latitude-longitude grid. However, Section 3.2 of the file 'sp.pdf' seems to address the topic. Below is the code I have come up with so far. I have loaded every map-related package I have stumbled upon and commented out GADM data except for provincial/territorial or state boundaries. Thanks for any help. So far I have made no progress with Steps 2 - 4 above. Perhaps I am asking for too much. Perhaps I should simply switch to ArcGIS and try that software. I have now borrowed an electronic copy of 'Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R' Bevand et al. (2008) and downloaded (or located) associated R code and data from the book's website: If and when I learn how to accomplish the desired objectives I will post solutions here. Although I may eventually move to ArcGIS if I cannot accomplish the objectives in R. To plot multiple SpatialPolygons objects on the same device, one approach is to specify the geographic extent you wish to plot first, and then using plot(..., add=TRUE). This will add to the map only those points that are of interest. Plotting using a projection, (e.g. a polyconic projection) requires first using the spTransform() function in the rgdal package to make sure all the layers are in the same projection. Adding other features to the map, such as highlighting jurisdictions of interest, can easily be done using the same approach: Add grid-lines when a projection is used is sufficiently complex that it requires another post, I think. Looks as if @Mark Miller as added it below! Below I have modified PaulG's outstanding answer to display a latitude-longitude grid. The grid is coarser than I would like, but might be adequate. I use the United Kingdom with the code below. I do not know how to include the result in this post. Source.