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Indiemapper tools. Why “indiemapper” ?. Historical note. It was developed as a tool useful to map -makers, whether casual or professional , who may not need advanced functions of modern GIS, but do want a multitude of symbology and design options .

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PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Indiemapper tools' - bethany-cote

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historical note
Historical note
  • It was developed as a tool useful to map-makers, whether casual or professional,who may not need advanced functions of modern GIS, but do want a multitude of symbology and design options.
  • First version was presentedin 2008.
what is shp file

Nontopological format for storing the geometric location and attribute information of geographic features:

  • .shp – form
  • .shx – index
  • .dbf – attribute
What is *.shpfile?

Each of the component files of a shapefile is limited to 2 GB each!

free libraries of shp files - maps for any country in the world - world political map

  • - lots of different patterns
  • - Africa map library
Free libraries of *.shpfiles:
why projections

Projections = coordinate system.

  • Projection converts coordinates on the round Earth to coordinates on the flat map.
  • Each projection has distortions.
  • Choice of the “appropriate” projection is determined by objectives.
Why projections?

Re-sizes the global land masses according to which variable is mapped.

  • Isolates one variable and provides a different world view.

Deaths due to HIV infections that progressed to AIDS – 2002

Territories are sized in proportion to the absolute number of people who died from HIV/AIDS in one year.

Map credits/source: WorldMapper, Map No. 374;

proportional symbols

Size of symbol is proportional to size of data value.

  • The larger the symbol, the “more” of something exists at a certain location.
Proportional Symbols

Map credits/source: created by K. Tummino (4/21/08),


Choros (place) plethos (filled)

  • When to use:
  • Data are attached to enumeration units (countries, provinces)
  • Data are standardized to show rates or ratios
  • Never use with raw data/counts!

Map credits/source: WHO (2011),

dot density

Describes density over area

  • 1 dot = some quantity of data value
    • one-to-one dot density maps
    • one-to-many dot density maps
  • You can map raw data/counts!
Dot Density

Map credits/source: Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP), Centers for Disease Control.

combining data sets

Population of African countries and % of their population living with AIDS

Combining data sets

Map credits/source:[email protected]/8273784596/

playing with intervals

Methods to create intervals in Indiemapper:

    • manually
    • equal intervals (ignores data distribution; unequal number of observations in each interval)
    • “optimal” breaks (takes into account data distribution)
    • quartiles (top 25%, 25% above middle, 25% below middle, bottom 25%; equal number of observations are in each interval)
    • standard deviations (mean+1s, mean-1s)
Playing with intervals
additional instruments for efficient use of indiemapper

OpenOffice – editing of *.dbffiles1


  • Open *.dbffile in OpenOffice.
  • Add a new column with an indicator of interest.
  • Save the file in the same format (*.dbf)
  • Inkscape – graphical tool: correction of legends, text notes etc.

Export your map as an *.svg file and open it in Inkscape. Use Inkscape to improve the look of the map.

Additional instruments for efficient use of indiemapper

1 If you use Excel, unless you have Excel 2003 or earlier, it will not save .dbf files – you will have to export to Access first!

missing data in dbf file

If table contains missing cells, *.dbf usuallyassigns “0” value (starting level of the 1st rank).

  • It is common to assign “impossible” values like “-99”.
  • So, we can use some different shading for this data.
Missing data in *.dbffile

1 If you use Excel, unless you have Excel 2003 or earlier, it will not save .dbf files – you will have to export to Access first!