StatPlanet Lite is an application for creating basic online interactive maps such as the one shown below.
For more advanced interactive maps and infographics, see StatPlanet Map Maker.
Get started: World and USA map versions are included in the download, and versions for several other countries are available for download. For examples of country maps, see: France, Netherlands, Uganda.
Use your own map files: Map files can be loaded directly in the ESRI shapefile format. Setting up a new map only takes a few minutes.
Download map files: ESRI shapefile maps are freely available for most countries, as well as for many provinces, regions, districts and neighborhoods. Some of the best sources of free map shapefiles are listed below.
Customize: StatPlanet Lite can be used to create both quantitative and qualitative maps, and the map legend and appearance can be completely customized.
Instructions for loading an ESRI shapefile (SHP) map into StatPlanet:
1. Go to the folder 'Custom_Shapefile_Map (SHP)', and then the sub-folder 'map'.
2. Remove the included map shapefiles (a USA map), and copy your own shapefiles here.
3. Rename your files (e.g. xxx.shp and xxx.dbf) to map.shp and map.dbf. Only these files are required.
4. Open the StatPlanet_data_editor.xls file. Click on the button 'Setup shapefile' (in the top-left).
5. Select the map.dbf file in the 'map' sub-folder, and follow the instructions.
6. Run StatPlanet.html to see the results with the included sample data.
You can now start importing your own data for the map.
Edit the StatPlanet.html to change the dimensions of the map.
The font and interface components can be enlarged through the Excel sheet 'Settings'.
The following are useful websites for finding free shapefiles (regional / administrative boundaries maps).
Note that you need to download the boundary files in the ".SHP" format.
- Map Library - Public domain maps for most countries in the world.
- UN SALB - Second Administrative Level Boundaries data set project. These maps are free but copyright rests with the UN. The maps are validated by the National Mapping Agencies (NMA) of each UN Member State.
- MapCruzin - A great source for all kinds of shapefiles.
- US Census Bureau - USA County and District Cartographic Boundary Files.
1. Copy and rename your map shapefiles as explained above.
2. Copy and paste the ID column from the map.dbf file to replace the existing ones in the file data.csv. The IDs column can be any column containing unique identifiers (e.g. ISO codes or the actual names), and it may not contain symbols or numbers. This column needs to be copied and pasted into row 7 (the row with "GLOBAL" in the first cell), starting at column L and replacing the IDs of the example map. To convert column data to row data in Excel, paste using 'Paste Special -> Transpose'.
3. Copy and paste the Names column (containing the names of the geographical regions for your map) in row 1 of data.csv, starting at column L (again, using 'Paste Special -> Transpose' if using Excel). You should be replacing the existing names of the example map. It may be that the names in row 1 are the same as what you are using for IDs in row 7. However, the names in row 1 can be anything you like and can include symbols and numbers. You can also insert your own names rather than use the ones in map.dbf.
For the map to work, each ID in row 7 requires a corresponding name in row 1.
4. The final step is to copy the ID column header name, and paste it under 'DBF-ID' in row 3/column 4 in the file data.csv. The ID column header name is the name in row 1 of the column you selected as the ID column. It tells StatPlanet which column you are using as the ID column.
Save the file and run StatPlanet.html - if all was successful it should load your map and show the example data.
ESRI Shapefile Reader - Source Code
The source code for reading the shapefiles is included in the directory SHPreader.
It can be compiled to the file SHPreader.swf, which is read by StatPlanet.
The code was written by Edwin van Rijkom under the LGPL license, with some additions by Andy Woodruff, and some slight modifications for use in StatPlanet.
If you wish to change the names of the map files being read, you can change this in SHPreader.as,
and publish it as SHPreader.swf through the file SHPreader.fla.
For more information, see: http://shp.riaforge.org/