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Importing data into MapInfo, prior to creating a thematic map
Earlier sections of this course manual have shown you how to open raster and vector map boundary files within MapInfo map windows. This section describes how to create a thematic map. As discussed, MapInfo initially arrives as an empty package – all boundary files and data sets have to be imported into the GIS package and linked to each other. A thematic map may portray data that has been aggregated to a set geographical level, for example ward, PCT or Local Authority. For example, a thematic map using Index of Multiple deprivation quintile rankings is shown to the right. To build this map, IMD 2000 data has been imported into MapInfo from excel, and linked to geographical wards contained within a MapInfo boundary file. Building such a map is thus a two stage process – the following section demonstrates how to first import aggregated data files into MapInfo, and then to build a thematic map picture.
Importing tables of information into MapInfo from Excel
Excel tables of aggregated or point data - for example, showing ward level SMR’s or the point location of GP Practices - can be imported straight into MapInfo These excel spreadsheets need to include a field or column of data which contains a geographical code (eg a ward), which matches/links to the code used within a boundary map file. Point data files need to contain two columns of 6 figure x and y grid reference co-ordinate data. MapInfo recognises 6 digit x and y co-ordinate parts as referring to a 1 metre point location using the British National Grid. Note : Having created your excel spreadsheet, with all required columns of data, and rows of information filled in, save it as an excel version 4 worksheet (not 3D workbook). Earlier versions of MapInfo have problems understanding 3D worksheets. The following section describes how both data types are imported into MapInfo.
Choose the named range other option now presented. Other columns present description data. and click OK. the ward code which links excel data to a boundary file map is in the leftmost column. go to the subdirectory containing your data. or data for thematic mapping.Importing aggregated spreadsheet data into MapInfo Within MapInfo. Your aggregated data file will now open as a new data window in MapInfo. Alternatively. and choose the excel (or other spreadsheet etc choice) file type option. tick the box saying 'use row above selected range'… Note : it is always best to have only one header row in your imported excel spreadsheet (otherwise you will have to adapt the import range accordingly. This assumes that the top row of your spreadsheet contains your table column header information. Finally. click on the individual file you want to import. choose the main menu option File open table. It should look something like the following (ie very similar to the excel spreadsheet it came from): In this example. and manually change the A1 reference to A2. point data can be imported into MapInfo page 38 .
can be added to any open map window. British national grid. Your table now opens as a new browser window.which informs MapInfo that a 1 metre co-ordinate grid reference has been chosen . As long as your x and y co-ordinate columns each contain six digits . within MapInfo. British co-ordinate system. Finally. go to the subdirectory containing your data. and choose the excel (or other spreadsheet etc choice) option click on the file you want to import. using the layer control menu. your data file already has x and y co-ordinates provided.Importing individual point data into MapInfo Again. and click OK. Choose the other range option now presented. your point data file requires to be additionally linked to a co-ordinate system. or. Adapting data tables within MapInfo page 39 . namely the British National Grid. choose the main menu option File open table.your point maps should open automatically in MapInfo. tick the box saying 'use row above selected range'… Note : it is always best to have only one header row in your imported excel spreadsheet (otherwise you will have to adapt the import range accordingly). Using this example. Select the projection. Your table should now automatically appear in a new map window. This assumes that the top row of your spreadsheet contains your table column header information. Linking postcodes to co-ordinates in Access is detailed later. Whilst the MapInfo browser data table looks similar to that of an aggregate data file. Use the main menu option table create points to link the x and y column coordinates of your imported file to MapInfo. and manually change the A1 cell to A2.
can be adapted as required. an integer. To do this use the main menu option table maintenance table structure. Exporting files from MapInfo to Excel or Access page 40 . and so on. To add new columns to a table. or created within MapInfo. From the listing offered. your spreadsheet ‘like’ table appears on the screen.The tables that you have imported into. how long it should be. modified or extended table structure you might wish to change ward codes or PCG/PCT names linking to each ward. give it a name. once administrative boundaries have changed. which offers you several choices regarding how to change the table layout. and to reorder them. within a finalised. Enables you to add or delete/remove "fields" (or columns) of information. choose the map layer you want to add data to. Viewing the contents of a table By clicking on the new browser button on the main MapInfo menu. The contents of this map table may either be : • • • • viewed on the PC screen as a spreadsheet like table analysed within MapInfo presented on a map as a thematic or point theme analysed and downloaded to a spreadsheet for use in a separate software package. The modify table structure menu. This brings up a further menu on the screen. For example. From the field information section. which details all the column and row information linked to the map layers you are working with. you need to modify the table structure. you can tell MapInfo whether a column is a text field.
For example. such as shown on the right. Within the main menu options click on map create thematic map page 41 . as previously shown. the average score across a geographical area is 100. etc. Firstly. Now commence the map-data linkage process. 101-125. In this case. O. 76-100. The thematic map procedure will link the two files together and build a map on screen within MapInfo. Using the main menu structure.DBF file extension. Examples of each are shown within the appendices. There are several stages to go through in creating a thematic range map. pie charts and bar charts. A typical example of a range map is to look at variations in age standardised mortality ratios across say a Health Authority. The range map is used to highlight (or visualise) geographical variations in ratios around this average. file save copy as. first open the vector map file (a boundary map) and data file (data relating to map) you want to work with. or in Access. Typically used health GIS thematic maps include range maps. Using such ratios. your table can be saved as a database . as shown in the final course session. This will open immediately within an excel spreadsheet. Your PC MapInfo screen should show the chosen vector boundary layer within a new map window. where a set of data is selected using buffers within MapInfo – for example highlighting patients living within 2 miles of a GP practice – this new table of information may be exported into excel or a database.Tables adapted or created within MapInfo can readily be used within other software packages. individual area maps. ranges could be pre set to highlight wards whose scores were under 75. within a new MapInfo session. above 125. The following diagrams show how to create a range map – you can try the other options in your working examples sessions. Creating a thematic map within MapInfo A number of types of thematic map can be produced within MapInfo. For example. for example taken from the NHSE NW Small Area database tables. file open table has been used to open a ward boundary file and an excel data table containing IMD2000 data values.
The following screen will appear. and to chose a visually appealing colour scheme. It is best to stick to one standard grouping. Click on next. This screen presents you with the options of selecting a range map. or any of the other types listed. page 42 . From the table option. shade and style options. A variety of colour options are now presented. range has been chosen. If you have a number of map files open. select the map boundary file you want to link data to. You can experiment with a wide variety of thematic colour. In this case. to go to the second step of the process. all will be presented within the pull down arrow box.
The relevant field or column of data has been selected from each table. MapInfo may state that it cannot automatically calculate a table join. Choose the identical column or field of data from each of your two tables where ward codes are identical. In this example. As shown in the right side example. This option automatically now brings up the following screen. page 43 . you need to undertake a thematic join. using the field option menu bar. which allows you to link the columns to be joined between the map and data tables. from the table this data is contained within (again. The thematic menu box now allows you to select the column you want to analyse and display thematically. This command opens an additional menu box. The ward code within the IMD2000 table links to ward codes on the chosen map. Select the correct columns and click on OK. To do this procedure. you need to select the column of data you want to map.Next. several tables may be open at once). If so. a table column summarising IMD2000 scores has been selected. Click on the join button next to ‘get value from table’. scroll down to the join option. click OK.
as required. They present option menu boxes as shown below. equal range groupings to be set. MapInfo now takes you back to the final stage main menu bar. This enables. as follows. Final data ranges. Finally. Click on OK for each separate sub menu option. page 44 .The final step of the thematic join enables you to customise how data is presented on your final map. The range box has chosen the custom data option. Try experimenting with different options. click OK to complete your thematic map options. for example. style and legend button menus offer further map refinements. colour and shade styles and legends can all be adapted. Legends can be changed as required. Colours can be varied by clicking on the colour option sub boxes. Each of the range.
that in order to save your completed map. and laid out on a layout map page for printing as shown earlier in this course guide. This map can be saved as a workspace. From the main menu.Your completed thematic map will now appear on screen. P. resized. Labels and legends page 45 . click on file save workspace. Remember. you need to do the following.
The font style and position of a label can be altered using the options presented within the style box. Now click on the label button. This adds a ward name to each area ward shown on your output map. or the layer control short cut mini icon button. first highlight the layer of information you want to present information for (in this example adding ward names). For your map label to appear. Within the layer control menu box. Choose which column of information you want each label to be identified with from the label options box. then tick the label box. or the data values for each ward. it does not give you any information about. For example. whilst the above map shows coloured ward areas describing a particular theme. the ward names or codes. you can label your window maps with textual. For example. and/or numeric information.Labelling your map Once your new thematic map layers have been built on screen within MapInfo. for example. the ward name column has been selected. Click on either the map layer control menu option. Text labels will automatically appear on both the screen map and the final printed map. page 46 . to adapt your main map view. in this example.
you are able to view the legend for the map by clicking on the show/hide legend icon button. layer. click on the 'pointer box' for a given. Within layer control. point your arrow over the area or point you want to find out about. highlighted. Its associated data will appear in a screen box. Now press OK and your map boundaries will be labelled.note.do not forget to click the label button on your layer control menu. Information button The information button can be used to view data that is linked to a map layer. Now click on the main menu information button. click on it. You can also create an embedded legend within your map window (you may need to first load the legend tool . Legends Having created a theme range for your thematic map. and then click on a map feature. You can also use the label button to point to an area on your map on your screen. and bring up an individual area map label. Use the main menu bar Tools page 47 . MapInfo includes a number of useful tools which are not open as a default).
legend manager create embedded legend command page 48 .
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