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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.

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and choose the excel (or other spreadsheet etc choice) file type option. go to the subdirectory containing your data. 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. Other columns present description data. choose the main menu option File open table. the ward code which links excel data to a boundary file map is in the leftmost column. and manually change the A1 reference to A2.Importing aggregated spreadsheet data into MapInfo Within MapInfo. Choose the named range other option now presented. It should look something like the following (ie very similar to the excel spreadsheet it came from): In this example. point data can be imported into MapInfo page 38 . 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. and click OK. Your aggregated data file will now open as a new data window in MapInfo. Alternatively. or data for thematic mapping.

within MapInfo. This assumes that the top row of your spreadsheet contains your table column header information. your data file already has x and y co-ordinates provided. 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).which informs MapInfo that a 1 metre co-ordinate grid reference has been chosen . Using this example. Select the projection. Adapting data tables within MapInfo page 39 . go to the subdirectory containing your data. can be added to any open map window.Importing individual point data into MapInfo Again. and click OK. Choose the other range option now presented. British national grid. Linking postcodes to co-ordinates in Access is detailed later. and choose the excel (or other spreadsheet etc choice) option click on the file you want to import. your point data file requires to be additionally linked to a co-ordinate system. Your table should now automatically appear in a new map window. using the layer control menu. Whilst the MapInfo browser data table looks similar to that of an aggregate data file. namely the British National Grid.your point maps should open automatically in MapInfo. or. 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. British co-ordinate system. Finally. As long as your x and y co-ordinate columns each contain six digits . choose the main menu option File open table. Your table now opens as a new browser window.

or created within MapInfo. can be adapted as required. how long it should be. Viewing the contents of a table By clicking on the new browser button on the main MapInfo menu. From the field information section. 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. This brings up a further menu on the screen. Enables you to add or delete/remove "fields" (or columns) of information. your spreadsheet ‘like’ table appears on the screen. For example. Exporting files from MapInfo to Excel or Access page 40 . which offers you several choices regarding how to change the table layout. choose the map layer you want to add data to. you need to modify the table structure. To add new columns to a table. From the listing offered.The tables that you have imported into. which details all the column and row information linked to the map layers you are working with. give it a name. The modify table structure menu. and so on. once administrative boundaries have changed. and to reorder them. within a finalised. modified or extended table structure you might wish to change ward codes or PCG/PCT names linking to each ward. an integer. To do this use the main menu option table maintenance table structure. you can tell MapInfo whether a column is a text field.

above 125. Firstly. within a new MapInfo session. first open the vector map file (a boundary map) and data file (data relating to map) you want to work with. 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. your table can be saved as a database . ranges could be pre set to highlight wards whose scores were under 75. Creating a thematic map within MapInfo A number of types of thematic map can be produced within MapInfo. such as shown on the right. 101-125. 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. for example taken from the NHSE NW Small Area database tables. as previously shown.DBF file extension. O. etc. Using the main menu structure. as shown in the final course session. This will open immediately within an excel spreadsheet. For example. Typically used health GIS thematic maps include range maps. The following diagrams show how to create a range map – you can try the other options in your working examples sessions. or in Access. file save copy as. the average score across a geographical area is 100. The thematic map procedure will link the two files together and build a map on screen within MapInfo. file open table has been used to open a ward boundary file and an excel data table containing IMD2000 data values. A typical example of a range map is to look at variations in age standardised mortality ratios across say a Health Authority. individual area maps.Tables adapted or created within MapInfo can readily be used within other software packages. Your PC MapInfo screen should show the chosen vector boundary layer within a new map window. Now commence the map-data linkage process. In this case. The range map is used to highlight (or visualise) geographical variations in ratios around this average. Using such ratios. For example. 76-100. Within the main menu options click on map create thematic map page 41 .

all will be presented within the pull down arrow box. or any of the other types listed. A variety of colour options are now presented. shade and style options. In this case. From the table option. and to chose a visually appealing colour scheme.The following screen will appear. to go to the second step of the process. You can experiment with a wide variety of thematic colour. It is best to stick to one standard grouping. Click on next. If you have a number of map files open. range has been chosen. select the map boundary file you want to link data to. page 42 . This screen presents you with the options of selecting a range map.

Choose the identical column or field of data from each of your two tables where ward codes are identical. The relevant field or column of data has been selected from each table. This option automatically now brings up the following screen.Next. which allows you to link the columns to be joined between the map and data tables. To do this procedure. 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. several tables may be open at once). you need to select the column of data you want to map. Click on the join button next to ‘get value from table’. The ward code within the IMD2000 table links to ward codes on the chosen map. you need to undertake a thematic join. Select the correct columns and click on OK. click OK. As shown in the right side example. In this example. If so. using the field option menu bar. MapInfo may state that it cannot automatically calculate a table join. page 43 . scroll down to the join option. a table column summarising IMD2000 scores has been selected.

The range box has chosen the custom data option. They present option menu boxes as shown below. style and legend button menus offer further map refinements. This enables. Final data ranges. Click on OK for each separate sub menu option. Each of the range. colour and shade styles and legends can all be adapted. page 44 . as follows. click OK to complete your thematic map options. equal range groupings to be set. Try experimenting with different options.The final step of the thematic join enables you to customise how data is presented on your final map. Finally. MapInfo now takes you back to the final stage main menu bar. Legends can be changed as required. as required. Colours can be varied by clicking on the colour option sub boxes. for example.

Remember. click on file save workspace. Labels and legends page 45 .Your completed thematic map will now appear on screen. P. resized. This map can be saved as a workspace. From the main menu. that in order to save your completed map. you need to do the following. and laid out on a layout map page for printing as shown earlier in this course guide.

the ward names or codes. the ward name column has been selected. in this example. then tick the label box. it does not give you any information about. For your map label to appear. Now click on the label button. and/or numeric information.Labelling your map Once your new thematic map layers have been built on screen within MapInfo. Choose which column of information you want each label to be identified with from the label options box. to adapt your main map view. Click on either the map layer control menu option. whilst the above map shows coloured ward areas describing a particular theme. or the layer control short cut mini icon button. The font style and position of a label can be altered using the options presented within the style box. or the data values for each ward. This adds a ward name to each area ward shown on your output map. For example. for example. Text labels will automatically appear on both the screen map and the final printed map. page 46 . Within the layer control menu box. you can label your window maps with textual. For example. first highlight the layer of information you want to present information for (in this example adding ward names).

Legends Having created a theme range for your thematic map. and then click on a map feature.note. Now press will be labelled. Now click on the main menu information button. highlighted. and bring up an individual area map label. Its associated data will appear in a screen box. Use the main menu bar embedded legend within your map window (you may tool . You can also use the label button to point to an area on your map on your screen. Information button The information button can be used to view data that is linked to a map layer.do not forget to click the OK and your map boundaries label button on your layer control menu. MapInfo includes a number of useful tools page 47 . you are able to view the legend for the map by clicking on the show/hide legend icon button. You can also create an need to first load the legend which are not open as a default). point your arrow over the area or point you want to find out about. layer. click on it. click on the 'pointer box' for a given. Within layer control.

Tools legend manager create embedded legend command page 48 .