EMPLOYEE0If you have thematic data in a spreadsheet (*.csv or *.xls) and want to map it, you’ll first need to join it to an existing data source and then load it into indiemapper. In the example below, we’ll join data from a CSV file to an existing DBF (*.dbf) file. DBF files contain the thematic data that is associated with the geographic features in Shapefiles.
1. Get OpenOffice at http://www.openoffice.org.
We use OpenOffice (Calc), but any spreadsheet editing program that can open and save DBF files will work.
2. Open the existing DBF in OpenOffice.
Here, we’ve opened a Natural Earth DBF: http://indiemapper.com/files/join/50m...
It comes with the following Shapefile: http://indiemapper.com/files/join/50m...
The DBF already has three columns in it for country, feature class, and sovereign nation.
3. Add new columns and column names to the Natural Earth DBF
This is where your thematic data will go in step 5.
4. Grab some thematic data at the country level
We found some free data at the CIA World Factbook on population, internet users, and internet hosts and converted it to CSV (comma delimited *.csv file) for use in Open Office.
5. Open the World Factbook files in OpenOffice and copy+paste the cells into the empty columns you created in step 3.
Be sure to match up the data correctly – to do this easily, both DBF and CSV should have one column in common. Here, both datasets have a column of country names.
Note: This step can be labor intensive, depending on the number of rows of data you have and because sometimes the two datasets do NOT match up perfectly. In this example, although both datasets have a country name column, the rows differ. For example, the World Factbook file has some countries (e.g., Akrotiri) that are not in the Natural Earth DBF, and vice-versa.
6. Save the DBF
Here is the newly joined data: http://indiemapper.com/files/join/50m...
7. Launch indiemapper and open the Natural Earth Shapefile (see file above) along with your newly joined DBF.
The file names do not have to match. Your new thematic data (from the CSV) will appear in the attributes list when you click on the orange plus button to add a new layer. You are then ready to make your map.
Open the SHP + DBF:
Review your new attributes in the list:
Make your map:
This doesn't really let you add a table of values...
There are other tools that will allow you to upload a table from csv/excel, then generate a shapefile out of that (really a multi-file format that includes *.shp, *.dbf, *.shx, *.prj and up to 10 or more other files of the same name).
EMPLOYEE0It's definitely a manual process and it's not ideal.
GeoCommons (http://geocommons.com) is a good way to generate data from a table if you're OK with making it public. Just upload it there and download it as a Shapefile or KML and you can load it into indiemapper.
What are the other tools you know of? Any help you can give will be helpful to everyone.
GeoBC allows you to upload shapefiles securely through their iMap BC application (which can be accessed securely with a free BCeID... but that works best in BC Canada.
There are a variety of opensource GIS tools that allow you to do this and a variety of other operations on your desktop... including GPS Babel...
ArcGIS.com allows you to upload *.csv, but it doesn't allow you to save it as a shape.
I think you can turn a tabel into a *.kml using Google... but I haven't tried it in awhile.
Or you can use something like: http://csv2kml.appspot.com/
Couple of things I learned trying to do this that might not be obvious to someone trying the first time.
The column headers matter. When I first added a new set of numbers to a *.dbf file, they appeared as labels because I just had titled the column "POPULATION", and it treated the numbers as characters, rather than values. Things got better when I made the column title. "POPULATION,N". Then I was able to make my choropleth map.
Don't reorder the rows in the shapefile *.dbf (or if you do, make sure to put them back the way they were). Reorder them in your spreadsheet to match the *.dbf.
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