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Using TIGER Products to Create Thematic Maps in MapViewer 7

There are many great resources for free data on the web. One such resource is the United States Census Bureau. Their website offers a plethora of statistical data about the people of the United States. In addition to statistical data, the Geography section of their website contains many shapefiles from the Census Bureau’s TIGER database. TIGER stands for Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing. Landmarks, water features, roads, congressional districts and more are included in the shapefile collection! The shapefiles come with IDs ready to be used with data files from the U.S. Census American FactFinder. Additionally, some shapefiles come with the associated data, and there are also geodatabases containing TIGER products. I used shapefiles and data from the U.S. Census Bureau in MapViewer 7 to create a prism map showing the population of areas governed by American Indians and a gradient map showing the population of Americans who identify as American Indians in the contiguous United States.

Let’s walk through using the US Census Bureau website to download shapefiles and data.

  1. Open a web browser, and navigate to https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger.html.
  2. Click the TIGER/Line with Selected Demographic and Economic Data link. This takes you to a collection of shapefiles that come with associated data. If you wanted to access the web interface or FTP site for additional shapefiles that do not come with demographic data, you would click the TIGER/Line Shapefiles - New 2014 Shapefiles link. Then, click the desired tab and click Download.
  3.  TIGER.png Link for shapefiles with data

  4. Click Tribal Tracts, and a ZIP file is downloaded. This file contains boundaries and data that will be used for creating the prism map.

To download additional data to be used in the gradient map, I went to the American FactFinder section of the US Census website.

  1. Open a web browser, and navigate to http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml. Alternatively, you can navigate to the website from the US Census Bureau’s page (https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tiger.html).
    1. Click the TIGER/Line Shapefiles - New 2014 Shapefiles link. 
    2. Click the American FactFinder link.
  2. Click Guided Search.
  3. Click Get Me Started.
  4. Make a selection. I selected I’m looking for information about people.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Select topics you’re interested in. For data about race and ethnic identification,
    1. Click the + next to Basic Count/Estimate.
    2. Click Population Total.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Specify geographies for the data. This is how you want the data organized. I want data that is broken up by state.
    1. From the dropdown list, select State.
    2. Select All States within United States and Puerto Rico.
    3. Click Add to your selections.
  9. Click Next.
  10. For data about a general ethnic group or race, click Select from basic groups.
  11. Click American Indian.
  12. Click Next.
  13. From the Search Results table, click the first link: ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES.
  14. Click Download.
  15. Select Data and annotations in a single file.
  16. Check Include descriptive data element names.
  17. Under Presentation-ready formats, select Microsoft Excel (.xls).
  18. Click OK.
  19. When the file is done building, click Download.

 

Now that we've gathered our boundaries and data, let's start creating thematic maps! However, we first need to modify the data file so it the data is organized in a manner that MapViewer can use. I used Surfer 12 to reorganize the data.

  1. In Surfer 12, click the File | Open command.
  2. Select ACS_13_1YR_DP05.xls.
  3. Click Open.
  4. Click row 1, hold down the SHIFT key, and click row 6.
  5. Click the Edit | Delete command.
  6. Select the whole table.
  7. Click the Data | Transpose command.
  8. Click row 2, hold down the SHIFT key, and click row 3.
  9. Click the Edit | Delete command.
  10. Click row 3, hold down the SHIFT key, and click row 7.
  11. Click the Edit | Delete command.
  12. Click row 4, hold the SHIFT key, and click row 6.
  13. Click the Edit | Delete command.
  14. Continue deleting the three rows between state names until the state names are listed consecutively like below.
  15.  

    worksheet.png

     Sample data file after edits

  16. Select column AS.
  17. Click the Data | Text to Number command.
  18. Click the Format | Format Cells command.
  19. Select General.
  20. Be sure the Thousands separator box is not checked.
  21. Click OK.
  22. Click the File | Save As command.
  23. Enter a File name.
  24. From the Save as type dropdown list, select XLS Excel Spreadsheet (*.xls).
  25. Click Save.
  26. Click OK.

 

The data is organized, so let’s create the gradient map!

  1. Click the Map | Thematic Maps | Gradient Map command.
  2. From the MapViewer Samples folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Golden Software\MapViewer 7\Samples), select US48LL.gsb.
  3. Click Open.
  4. In the Import Options dialog, next to Create PID, select Secondary from the dropdown menu, so that the IDs will match those in the data file that was downloaded from the US Census Bureau's web site.
  5. Next to Create SID, select Primary from the dropdown menu.
  6. Click OK.
  7. In the Open Data File dialog, select the data file saved in Surfer above.
  8. Click Open.
  9. In the Gradient Map dialog, set Variable to column AS.
  10. Click on the Gradient Options tab.
  11. Set your desired color scheme.
    1. Click on the current Color range, and click Custom.
    2. Click the node on the far left.
    3. Click White.
    4. Press the CTRL key and click on the spectrum to add another node.
    5. For the Scaled node value, enter 97484.
    6. Click Cyan.
    7. Press the CTRL key and click on the spectrum to add another node.
    8. For the Scaled node value, enter 193696.
    9. Click Blue.
    10. Click on the last node on the right.
    11. Click Deep Blue.
    12. Set Undefined/border color to White.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Click the Edit | Select All command.
  14. In the Property Inspector, in the Line Properties section, set the Color to 30% Black.

 gradient.pngGradient map

The gradient map is now complete! Now, let’s create the prism map.

  1. Click the File | New command.
  2. Select Map.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click the Map | Base Map command.
  5. From the MapViewer Samples folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Golden Software\MapViewer 7\Samples), select US48LL.gsb.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click the Map | Base Map command.
  9. In the Import Boundary File dialog, select TribalTract_2010Census_DP1.shp.
  10. Click Open.
  11. In the Import Options dialog, click OK.
  12. Click the Map | Thematic Maps | Prism Map command.
  13. In the Open Data File dialog, select TribalTract_2010Census_DP1.dbf.
  14. Click Open.
  15. In the Prism Map dialog, set Variable to Column G: DP0010001.
  16. Click on the Prism Options tab.
  17. Under Prism height, set Min to 0.10 in.
  18. Set Max to 0.60 in.
  19. Set Eye dist to 96%.
  20. Set Rotation to 1.
  21. Set Tilt to 45.
  22. Click on the Light and Material tab.
  23. Set the Color method to Use color classes.
  24. Click on the Color Classes button.
  25. In the Color Classes dialog, set the Number of classes to 5.
  26. Set the Classification method to Equal Number.
  27. Set your colors for the classes.
    1. Double-click the current color for the first class.
    2. Select Pink.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Repeat to select a color for each class. These are the colors I chose:
      1. Class 2: Light Purple.
      2. Class 3: Purple.
      3. Class 4: Magenta.
      4. Class 5: Deep Blue.
    5. In the Color Classes dialog, click OK.
  28. In the Prism Map dialog, click OK.
  29. In the Plot window, click on the prism that is outside of the contiguous United States (where Alaska is located).
  30. Press the DELETE key.
  31. Click the Edit | Select All command.
  32. In the Property Inspector, in the Line Properties section, set the Color to 30% Black.

prism.pngPrism map

We have now created thematic maps using shapefiles and data from the US Census Bureau website! Please see this Knowledge Base article for more information about where to find free boundary files and data.

 

 

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Saturday, 18 November 2017

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