StatPlanet Visualization
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Select a region Select a category Graph window View menu Save map Time slider Options Data table Show or hide graph window Proportional symbol map Country selection window Open or close full screen mode Country selection Map controls Map legend Indicators window Thematic map
StatPlanet has a wide range of features to cater to the requirements of different target audiences. It also comes with a set of tools which enable developers to (i) create interactive maps very efficiently, and (ii) customize them extensively. StatPlanet can be used to create anything from basic interactive maps to advanced infographics.

Features for users
Features for developers
StatPlanet components

Features for users

Choose visualization type

Choose your visualization

Easily switch between different types of visualisations with the click of a button. Data can be viewed as maps, bar charts, line graphs and scatter plots.

Select countries Select countries

Select countries by clicking on them in the world map or country selection window. Statistics and details for the country selected are displayed inside popups and visualization components.
Animated interactive scatter plot

Animate changes over time

Maps, bar charts and scatter plots can all be animated over time.

Zoom into map regions

Zoom into map regions

Select map regions such as Europe or Africa, or define your own custom region. Maps and visualizations will narrow down to the selected region and provide additional details.

Level of detail

Hide or reveal details

Change the level of detail by hiding or revealing interface components, country names or statistics.

StatPlanet Dark Themed Map


Customize the colors and value ranges of maps and graphs.

Thematic map Africa


Export maps for use in other applications or publications.

Features for developers

Import data

Automatically import data

Automatically import data using the Excel-based data editor to create new maps and visualizations within minutes.

Design map in Flash Insert or design your own maps

Use the included maps, load ESRI shapefile maps, or custom design your maps in Adobe Flash using the included map template.
USA interactive flash map

Create different map types

StatPlanet can used to create quantitative, qualitative and proportional symbol maps.

Customize map

Customize the appearance

Completely customize the appearance of StatPlanet by selecting the interface components you wish to include, the map details to be displayed, as well as the colors of the interface, maps and graphs.

Customized interactive map

Customize the experience

There are numerous options to customize the experience users will have when using StatPlanet. For example, one can add mouse-over indicator descriptions, country popups displaying country-specific details, customized map regions, and automatic shifting to different map regions depending on the indicator selected.

StatPlanet components

Bar Chart Icon Timeseries Icon Scatterplot Icon
Bar charts Line graphs (time series) Scatterplots
Edit / Resize / Sort graph
Select / bookmark indicators Popup description
Quantitative Qualitative Proportional symbol maps
Save / Export Select region Navigation
Wrench Icon
Customize appearance Change settings
Select countries Create custom region
Table Icon
Tables Save / Export
View eye icon
Show / hide map details and windows
Resize / maximize / minimize windows
Time slider
Change year Animate changes over time

Select a region Select a category Graph window View menu Save map Time slider Options Data table Show or hide graph window Proportional symbol map Country selection window Open or close full screen mode Country selection Map controls Map legend Indicators window Thematic map

StatPlanet components


Select a region Select a category Graph window View menu Save map Time slider Options Data table Show or hide graph window Proportional symbol map Country selection window Open or close full screen mode Country selection Map controls Map legend Indicators window Thematic map

Download as PDF

Thematic map: (see also the Wikipedia article Thematic map)

choropleth map Choropleth Map
This is the main thematic map type in StatPlanet. The map legend shows which map colors are associated with each data range (for example, higher values may be shaded in increasingly darker colors). Both the map colors and the data range can be customized. In version 2.1, the possibility of creating qualitative or descriptive maps was introduced. These types of maps convey non-numerical information, such as which languages are spoken in different regions.
Symbol Map Icon Proportional Symbol Map
A proportional symbol map scales symbols (usually circles) according to the indicator being mapped. In Statplanet the symbol can represent either a country or a region within a country. To create one, click the 'proportional symbol map' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen. The proportional symbol map is overlaid on top of the choropleth map. If you have bookmarked an indicator, the symbol map represents the data for the bookmarked indicator, whereas the choropleth map represents the data for the selected indicator. (If the bookmarked indicator is currently selected, both the symbol map and the choropleth map represent the bookmarked indicator).

Select country on the world map

  • Mouse over country: Moving the mouse over a country on the world map brings up a popup containing information about that particular country for the selected indicator (as well as the bookmarked indicator, if there is one). In addition, the country data for all indicators in the current category is shown in the indicators window.
  • Click on country: You can select a country by clicking on it in the map. This will highlight the country in the graph, and can also be used to define a custom region. See also the Country selection window. Note that countries can also be selected by clicking on them in the graph.
  Map legend
  • Change map colors: Clicking on any of the colors in the legend will bring up a color selection window. In this window you can change both the colors (either Sequential or Diverging color schemes), as well as the number of color classes (between 3 and 9). The color schemes are from the Color Brewer website, which is an excellent resource for more information on selecting map colors.
  • Change map legend ranges: To adjust the data range of the map legend, click on any of the values. Use the popup to increment or decrement the value, or enter a new value.
  Custom maps (national / regional / state maps etc.)
You can use StatPlanet Map Maker to insert your own maps, using the included map template (map.fla). This requires the Adobe Flash software. See also: importing your own map into StatPlanet.
Floppy Disk Icon Save / export map
You can find the save map button in the bottom-left corner of the screen. To change the image type, size or quality, use the options window. This feature is only available in the online version. However, it is possible to save an image of a map produced with your own data if you download StatPlanet Map Maker. You need to open StatPlanet in the directory 'Offline', click the icon shown on the left, and then follow the on-screen instructions. Please include a reference to StatPlanet when publishing the image.
Map navigation controls
The map navigation controls are normally hidden from view. Move the mouse towards the bottom-right of the screen to make them appear.
  • Zoom: You can zoom in and out of the map using the 'zoom in' and 'zoom out' buttons, or by dragging the zoom slider up or down. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also use this to zoom in and out.
  • Moving the map: click and drag the map with the mouse to move it to a new position.
  • Restore map position: the button shown on the left restores the map to the original coordinates for the selected region.

Graph window:

  Bar chart
Bar Chart Icon Click the 'graph' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to open or close the Graph window. You will find the same graph button in the graph window. Use this button to switch between horizontal and vertical bar charts.

Use the "sort" button to sort the graph from lowest to highest, highest to lowest, highest to lowest starting in the middle, or alphabetically.
  Time series (line graphs)
Timeseries Icon

In the Graph window (see "Bar chart" above) you will find the time series button. When you click on this button, a list of countries appears which you can add to the time series graph. Click on a country to add it to the graph, and click on it again if you wish to to remove it. (See also Country selection window)

Use the "sort" button to sort the time series labels.

  Scatter Plot

Scatterplot Icon


In the top left of the Graph window (see "Bar chart" above) you will find the scatter plot button. Clicking on the button will automatically use the selected indicator as the x-axis variable. You need to select a second indicator as the y-axis variable.

Indicators can be selected either from the Indicator window, or in the graph window (see below).

Use the drop-down menu in the top of the graph window to change the scale of the 'bubbles' according to a selected indicator.

Use the 'options' icon in the graph window to show or hide the trendline. Move the mouse over the trendline to see the slope and trendline equation. (See also the Wikipedia article Linear regression)

Note: the x-axis and y-axis indicators are shown in seperate windows to the left of the graph window. The y-axis indicator is shown in Indicator window, and the x-axis indicator in the Bookmarked window right below.


Select x-axis / y-axis indicator
Click on the x-axis or y-axis label, then select an indicator from the drop-down menu.

  Adjust graph size
resize cursor

To change the graph size, move the mouse to the sides or corners of the graph window until you see the cursor change to look like the one shown on the left. Click and hold down the left mouse button, then drag the window to the size you want . Release the mouse button once you have the right size.

  Adjust graph scale
You can adjust the graph scale by selecting and editing the values. The graph updates as you type.

Indicators window:

  Select category

Use the drop-down menu in the top of the indicators window to select a new category (online version only).

dropdown Select region
Use the drop-down menu in the top of the indicators window to select and zoom into a different region, such as 'Africa' or 'Europe'. It is also possible to select countries to define a custom region.
  Indicator bars



The bars are scaled in proportion to the maximum value of that particular indicator for all countries in the selected region. For example, if the value for country X is 20 and the maximum value for all countries is 100, the bar will be scaled at 20%. You can also scale the bars as a percentile by selecting 'Percentile' as the Visualization type in the options window.
  Bookmark indicator
Star Icon Click the 'star' button in the indicators window to bookmark the selected indicator. The bookmarked indicator will stay even when you switch to another category. This allows you to (i) create scatter plot graphs, (ii) compare the bookmarked indicator with indicators from other categories, and (iii) compare two indicators through the choropleth map (representing the selected indicator) and the proportional symbol map (representing the bookmarked indicator).
  Indicator definitions
If a definition exists for an indicator, the definition will appear in a popup when moving the mouse over the indicator. The definition only shows for the indicator which is selected or bookmarked.

Country selection window:

Countries can selected in various ways. An efficient way of finding and selecting a country is through the country selection window, as explained below. However, a country can also be selected by clicking on it in the world map, in the data table window, or in the bar chart or scatter plot graph. In each case the country will be highlighted in all of these StatPlanet components.

Icon select

To open the country selection window, click the 'select' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen. A list of countries will appear according to the region selected. Click to select the countries you wish to show on the map or in the graph window. To narrow down the list of countries, select a region from the drop-down menu in the indicators window. You can also press the first letter of a country name to quickly jump to a country in the list.

Select countries to create a custom region
Press this button to create a custom region of the countries in your selection. Note: for the time series graph, there is no need to press this button as the countries will appear in the graph window as soon as you click on them.

Clear selection
Press this button to clear your selection.

Remove countries
To remove countries, select the countries you wish to remove and press this button.

Data table window:

Table Icon Click the 'table' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to get a data table of the selected indicator. If an indicator has been bookmarked, the data for both the bookmarked and selected indicator will be displayed. The table also shows the mean, standard deviation and range.
Floppy Disk Icon Online version: Save / Export table
You can save the table as a .CSV file which can be opened by most spreadsheets (such as Excel). You can find the save table button in the top-right corner of the table window.

Copy Icon

Offline version: Copy table
The offline version of StatPlanet does not allow you to save the data as a file. Instead, you can copy the entire table into Excel using the 'copy' button, and then 'paste' it in Excel. If you do not have Excel, you can also do the following: (i) paste the data into a basic text editor such as Notepad, (ii) save the document as 'data.html', (iii) open the file using your Web Browser.

Time slider:

Time slider

Use the slider or click on the arrow buttons to change the year. Click on the play button to show changes over time as an animation, starting from the beginning. The animation speed can be set in the Options window (under the General tab). The 'play' button changes to a 'stop' button once the animation is running. You can press this button to stop the animation at any time.

Options window:

Wrench Icon Click the 'options' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to open the options window.


  • Map colors: map background, map borders, map text color, map text outline color, etc.);
  • Map text size;
  • Map symbol size (proportional symbol map symbols);
  • Map legend - estimate best value distribution: adjust the values so that there is a more equal distribution of countries for each color class. This will usually result in a map with a better distribution of colors. If this is switched off, the value range for each color class will be set at equal intervals based on the highest and lowest value in the data range.
  • Map legend - show maximum & minimum values
  • Map legend colors.


  • Graph colors: background, bar & scatter points, scatter point borders;
  • Graph text size;
  • Transparency level of graph area (bars / bubbles);
  • Size of bubbles (scatter plot graph).

General options:

  • Animation duration;
  • Decimal places shown;
  • Adjust map/graph scale:
    StatPlanet automatically adjusts the map and graph scale to suit the data set. However, in some cases you may wish to keep it fixed, for example if you have manually set the scale. You can set (or prevent) the automatic updating of the map/graph scale on (i) changing indicator, (ii) changing region, (iii) changing year. The default setting is for StatPlanet to adjust the scale when changing indicator or region, but not year.
    Note: you can press the 'refresh button' in the map legend (shown below) to auto-update the map legend for the current indicator, year and region:
  • Choose to view statistics as percentiles.

Save/export map: (online version only)

  • Image type: PNG or JPEG;
  • Image size (% of original);
  • Image quality (%): for JPEG images only.

View menu:

Move the mouse over the 'View' button to see various options for showing or hiding StatPlanet map and graph elements and windows.
View eye icon
  • Show or hide country/region names on the map or graph (country names can be shown in full, in abbreviated form or as ISO3 codes);
  • Show or hide country statistics on the map or graph (country statistics can only be shown on the horizontal bar chart);
  • Show or hide the map popup and its components - bar chart, indicator and statistic;
  • Show or hide various windows.

Resize windows:
Minus IconPlus Icon Shrink / enlarge windows
Use the buttons shown on the left to shrink or enlarge the StatPlanet windows. This may be useful for space management when you have several windows open at the same time, or to focus in on certain areas.
Minimize IconMaximize Icon Minimize / maximize windows
Use these buttons to minimize or maximize the windows. The indicators window has a special minimized state in which indicators can still be selected.
resize cursor Adjust graph window size
Drag and drop the graph window borders to adjust the size. Read more.
Click on this button in the bottom-left of the screen to either switch to fullscreen mode, or go back to normal window mode.

Additional notes: