Mapping country data
February 5, 2015 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I have some data from which I need to create a map where countries (along the country borders) are colored in different shades based on their rank. Having some trouble with doing the most basic part of this, in that every software I try just puts a marker in the middle of the country rather than shading the whole thing. Help??

I have access to ArcGIS Online and Google Fusion, and would not mind paying for MapBox if that's the easiest way to do this. My data is in an excel table. I am not an expert map software user by any means, but am handy at picking things up and solving problems. I feel like this should be the easiest thing in the world, but for some reason just is not happening.
posted by aaanastasia to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You are looking to make a cloropleth map. With that "term of art," you should be able to google yourself a solution with both arc and google fusion tables.
posted by rockindata at 7:28 AM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

Check out R. It has several packages that can make short work of this sort of task, after a little learning curve. There are many tutorials online. This stackoverflow answer might be on point.

(Also, you can get your data out of Excel by saving as a .csv. Then, just about whatever tool you settle on should have some kind of import ability.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:29 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I believe you can do this with Google Earth Pro, as well. I mention it because it is now free.

In the past when I did similar things, I used MapServer backed by a Postgis database, but that was before all the new relatively user friendly stuff came out. The basic idea is that you import a shapefile of the countries into one table, the data from your Excel sheet into another, and then formulate a query to join the country geometry to your excel data, and then use one of the columns from your data to decide how to render the shape.
posted by wierdo at 7:44 AM on February 5, 2015

In regular ArcGIS, the way to do this is to join the table to a shapefile of world countries. I don't know about ArcGIS Online, though.

With Google Fusion, you can do this by creating an 'intensity map' for which there is a tutorial right here.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:18 AM on February 5, 2015

(If you can't figure this out and it's not a school project where the goal is figuring out how to do this, memail me and I'll do it)
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:22 AM on February 5, 2015

If I were you, I'd download qgis (free) and do a Google search for qgis symbolize. There's a tutorial on stylizing vector data high up in the search results that should be what you need.
posted by umwhat at 11:06 AM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I asked a similar question a while back, and someone recommended Tableau Public, which I found to be the easiest option.
posted by a.steele at 11:54 AM on February 5, 2015

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