Political Boundry Colored Map Maker?
June 16, 2014 1:13 AM   Subscribe

I need a program that makes these kinds of maps for the mac. Don't even know what to search for.
posted by dgaicun to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Zee Maps do this, but it may cost. I found it by looking for 'colored map maker' on google.
posted by Kerasia at 1:21 AM on June 16, 2014

SAGA is a very powerfull, free software for scientific mapmaking and geostatistical methods. It can probably do what you want, and won't cost you any money, but it will need some figuring out.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:42 AM on June 16, 2014

Another (more manual) option is to find relevant vector (probably SVG or EPS) maps and manually colour them in with Illustrator or Inkscape.
posted by Magnakai at 3:23 AM on June 16, 2014

An easier route is to use Google Earth then find an overlay with political boundaries. These are called "kml files" and are all over the web, usually made my volunteers.

It might take a while to find the right overlay, but it's incredibly simple to use.
posted by tonylord at 3:24 AM on June 16, 2014

Omnigraffle can do this with stencils. You can download a 14 day trial.
posted by qwip at 3:39 AM on June 16, 2014

Most of those maps sow sone sort of data by country. That kind of map is a choropleth. The other one just has African countries by region, which is a degenerate case of a choropleth.

Do you want to display some kind of data by country or state or whatever? Or do you just want to fill in a political map with colors?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:05 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

How complex do you want to get? R's ggplot2 is brilliant at showing data on a map. And it's free, of course.
posted by supercres at 4:40 AM on June 16, 2014

There used to be a Google Spreadsheet Gadget that would do this. Apparently the Gadget thing has been replaced by Add-Ons, so I'm not sure if this still exists.
posted by odinsdream at 4:52 AM on June 16, 2014

QGIS is mildly fiddly to install on a Mac, but what you really need are the data, like from here, here, or here.
posted by scruss at 5:00 AM on June 16, 2014

These are called choropleth maps.
posted by desjardins at 6:02 AM on June 16, 2014

Choropleth maps! Thank you.

I need an easy program for a mac that can make choropleth maps. I want one that can do first level administrative divisions for every country, like the last three links above. But can also do just simple country level divisions like the first link.
posted by dgaicun at 6:09 AM on June 16, 2014

QGIS is an option but has a learning curve. Google Earth could do it if you are only coloring in a few administrative areas, otherwise it will become overwhelming. Here is a good source for the boundaries data. They come in KML format if you want to go the Google Earth route.
posted by Morgangr at 7:25 AM on June 16, 2014

You might also try Tilemill which is free. It's a companion to the web service Mapbox, but you don't need to use Mapbox if all you need to do is save a static image.

Tilemill takes some data input (like the GDAM link Morgangr just gave), and uses a CSS-like language to style it however you want.
posted by brentajones at 7:55 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

d3js.org (free) can do this. You'll need to be able to code javascript. It has lots map projections too. Example chrolopleth.
posted by tayknight at 1:26 PM on June 18, 2014

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