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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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Indiemapper tools

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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.

  • First version was presentedin 2008.

GIS (Geographical Information Systems)tool-kit

Libraries, shape files, own maps

…To download*.kml, *.shp та *.gpxfiles

*.shp makes life easier…

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!

  • - maps for any country in the world - world political map

  • - lots of different patterns

  • - Africa map library

Free libraries of *.shpfiles:

Graphical tools in Indiemapper

Projections (perspective views of the Earth)

  • 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?

Different ways of visualization

  • 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;

  • 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),

  • 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.

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

Combining data sets

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

  • 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

Export in SVG, JPEG, PNG

  • 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!

  • 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!

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