How to create an Interactive Map in 5 minutes

Uploaded by StatPlanet on 16.12.2009

In this video I will show you how to create an interactive map such as this one in about
5 minutes. The name of the software is StatPlanet, so if you head over to Google and type StatPlanet,
you will find the website among the first few links. You can see it over here. And I
am going to head straight over to the Download section. So there’s several downloads available.
To create your own maps, you need to download ‘Map Maker’. This is a ZIP file, which
means I need to extract the contents of the ZIP onto my computer. So I am just going to
grab the folder and drag it and drop it somewhere onto my computer, this is a folder on my desktop.
So let’s have a look at the contents of the StatPlanet Map Maker folder. You see here
it contains 3 sub-folders. There is a DOC folder which contains the user guide. There’s
a CUSTOM MAP folder which contains the software for creating your own maps. For example, there’s
a Flash template which you can edit in Adobe Flash to create your own maps. And there’s
the WORLD MAP folder which we’ll be looking at in this video. It contains 3 files. The
data file contains the data which is read by StatPlanet and displayed inside the map.
You can edit this file using any kind of spreadsheet software. Then there’s the StatPlanet Data
Editor, and this one needs to be opened in Microsoft Excel. This is the one we’ll be
using. I’m going to click on that, you can see it opening inside Excel here. The first
thing you need to do is to enable the macros contained in the Data Editor. So you should
probably see either a popup window if you are using an older version of Excel, or a
message, as you can see here in a newer version of Excel, and this indicates that the macros
have been disabled. So what you need to do is enable them. I am going to click this OPTIONS
button over here and Enable this content and press OK. Now the macros have been enabled.
This means that now I can use the four buttons which you can see here at the top of the Data
Editor. The first button is CLEAR DATA. If I click on this button, it will empty all
the example data which comes with the Data Editor. So I’m going to click on that, and
you can see now the data has been removed. The second button allows you to import data
from another file. So I am going to click on that, and now I can look for a file on
my computer and import it. You can select basically any kind of data file. It can import
any kind of data structure as long as there is country data inside it. And it has been
tested with lots of different data files from many different organizations. For this example
I will import some data from the World Health Organization. You can see here the six different
files which have been downloaded from the website. In most cases you don’t have to
modify the file at all, you can just import it straight away using the Data Editor. So
I’m going to import some data on Health Expenditure. This might take a few seconds.
[pause] And here you can see the result. You can see
the data has been structured. It has been organized according to year. Here is the year
in the first column in descending order. It found four different indicators in the file,
and these four indicators are repeated for each of the years. If you scroll to the right
you can see the country data associated with these indicators. So this is a slightly more
complicated example, in your case you might only have data for one indicator or for one
year, or you may have data which is not associated with any year, and that is ok as well. Now
to save the data I need to press the third button over here, SAVE DATA, and this will
save it as a Comma Separated Values File, it will save it as data.csv. That is the file
over here which was mentioned earlier. So this file has now been updated, and now I
can run the application. So I am going to click on StatPlanet. Now the data we have
just imported is displayed in this interactive map. In the top-left corner you can see the
four different indicators which were imported, and I can just click on one of the indicators
and the map will automatically update. You can see the map legend in the bottom-left
corner. The darker colors reflect higher values, the lighter colors reflect lower values. These
values can be changed. You can also click on one of the colors, and here you can see
the various color schemes which come with the StatPlanet software and you can very easily
change the color scheme. These color schemes can also be set in the data file. In the bottom
you can see a time slider. Since I imported data for several different years, it will
show a time slider which allows you to go to a different year, and also play all the
years as an animation. In the top you see the graph window and it has quite a few options
for customization. I will just look at a few of them now. You can see the different options
for changing the graph type here. For example, this is a bar chart, this is a time series
graph, here I can select a country on the world map and it will appear. Or I can also
select a country in the country list in the top-right corner over here. I can also zoom
into a particular map region. In the top-left corner you can see a region selection option.
You can define these regions yourself. These are the ones that come standard in the Data
Editor. One of them is Africa, so I can just click on that and zoom into Africa and you
can see now that the data is also displayed on the map. So once again I can click on one
of the countries to display in the time series graph. If I want to enlarge this graph, there’s
a full screen button over here. If I click on that you can now see the graph in a full
screen view. One other graph type is a scatter plot you can see the button over there, and
it allows me to compare two different indicators as you can see here. So that is the main functionality
of the software. If you want to publish the map online you need to go to the WEB folder
over here. This contains the files you need to copy onto your website. One of the files
is data. This is actually an exact copy of the data file in the main folder. So when
you press the SAVE button in the Data Editor, it saves a copy of Data here, and another
copy of Data inside the WEB folder. This makes it very easy for you to copy these files onto
your website. You can immediately test it if you click on Statplanet you can see what
the map looks like in a Web Browser, which is the same as in the application form. Here
it is. Lastly, there’s the Statplanet_small file. This is basically an example of what
the interactive map looks like embedded inside an existing web page. So that’s about it
for how to create an interactive map in 5 minutes.