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9. Working with maps

The Map View screen can be accessed by clicking on the Map View tab at the top of the screen. The Map View function allows you to view the data in your table as a thematic map.

The Map View function also allows you to interact with the map. You can zoom in and out, select and de-select areas and switch between aerial and street views of the area.

Note: To produce a map the geographic areas in your table must be in either the row or column on their own. For example, to map the distribution of male plumbers across Sydney, you must have the geographic areas that make up Sydney in the rows, and Sex and Occupation in the columns or vice versa.

The Map View tab opens the Customise Map pane by default. You can use the tools in this pane to customise the thematic map; it will update after each customisation is made.

To close the Customise Map pane, click on the Hide button Picture showing a white cross on top of a blue square icon with a word 'Hide' next to it..

Picture showing the Map view with a map of Australia highlighed in 5 different colours.

The Map View screen allows you to:
  • Navigate around your thematic map.
  • Select a different data item to thematically map.
  • Change the data classifier.
  • Create a custom range.
  • Change the number of ranges.
  • Change the colours on the thematic map.
  • Change the transparency/opacity of the thematic map.
  • Download your map.

9.1 Navigate around your thematic map

By using the tools at the top of the map you can move around the map.

The Single button allows you to select or de-select single areas on your thematic map.

Picture showing a button with word 'Single' on it.

The Freehand button allows you to select or de-select an area using a freehand (drawing) line on the thematic map.

Picture showing a button with word 'Freehand' on it.

The Rectangle button allows you to select an area using a rectangle shape. Draw a rectangle over the areas you wish to include or exclude on you thematic map.

Picture showing a button with word 'Rectangle' on it.

The Apply Changes button is inactive by default. It becomes active when changes are made to the thematic map. When your changes are complete you must click on the Apply Changes button for them to take effect on the map and in your table.

Picture showing a button with word 'Apply Changes' on it.

The Zoom Control slider allows you to zoom in and out of the thematic map.

Picture showing a vertical sliding scale with a finger pointing hand shape next to the control.

There are two options for viewing the thematic map. In the Street Map view this looks like a road map, and in the Aerial Map view it looks like a satellite image.

Picture showing a combo box with the option "Street Map" selected. Other available option include Aerial Map.

Information bar
When customising your thematic map, the Information Bar will update to show what changes have been applied after each action is complete. It appears above the buttons on the thematic map. A green dot is the default and means that the screen has loaded successfully.
Picture showing a green dot next to a white tick on top of a green solid circle, with message stating "Removed 1 Region from the map. Displaying 8 total"

9.2 Select a different data item to thematically map

Only one set of data can be mapped at a time. If your geographic areas are in the rows of your table then you can choose to map from each separate column of your table. For example, if you have the table Age by Sex for States, the data being shown might only be males aged 15-25 years for each state.

To change the data layer to be mapped:
  1. Click on the drop down list under Field at the top left of the Customise Map pane. The drop down list will display a list of all the possible data choices from the current table.
  2. Select the data you want to map.
    Picture showing combo box of State/Territory by Type , listing different types of internet connection.

9.3 Change the data classifier

This tool allows you to change the way the data ranges used in your thematic map are constructed.

Selecting suitable ranges depends on the distribution of data values within the data being mapped. Four range options are available:
  • Natural Break (default).
  • Equal Distribution.
  • Quantile.
  • Custom Ranges (user-defined).

Detailed information on each of these options is found below.

Natural Break
The Dalenious Hodges Algorithm is used to determine the Natural Break points. Natural Break can be an appropriate choice where data are not evenly distributed. The algorithm groups data into classes that are themselves as separate as possible, but where the data values within each class are fairly close together. That is, it maximises the differences between the classes and minimises the differences within the classes. This classification can be used to discover spatial patterns within the data, but it can lead to some classes being populated by low numbers of observations.

Equal Distribution
Equal Distribution puts the same number of records into each class. For example a data set containing 100 records will be assigned so that approximately 20 records fall into each class of a five class classification. When using Equal Distribution it is important to watch out for any extreme data values (outliers) that might affect the thematic map. These outliers will be incorporated into a class without regard to the distribution of the remaining values in the class. This method can give the most evenly coloured map but should only be considered for data sets with a nearly even distribution.

Equal Range divides records into class ranges of equal spread. For example, in a field of data values ranging from 1 to 100 the records would be assigned (in the 5 class case) into the ranges 1–20, 20–40, 40–60, 60–80 and 80–100. These ranges mean 1 to less than 20, 20 to less than 40 etc., so the classes do not overlap.

With this method classes with few or no data records can be created, depending on the distribution of your data. For example, the records 1, 4, 6, 10, 10, 89, 90, 92, 95, 100 (that is, highly skewed to either end of the overall data range) will cause the middle three classes to have no records. In this case only two colours will appear on the map. Data should therefore contain nearly evenly distributed values to produce even colour representation on the map.

Custom Ranges
Use this feature to enter your own data ranges.
The Custom Range option allows the user to manually specify class ranges. As with the other classing options the ranges are specified as, for example, 1–20, 20–40 etc. but mean 1 to less than 20, 20 to less than 40 etc. so the classes do not actually overlap. Custom ranges should always be developed with reference to the distribution of the data being mapped. The Custom Range option can be particularly useful when developing a series of maps that are designed to be compared.

9.4 Create a custom range

When creating a custom range ensure all values are accounted for in the ranges, otherwise some areas may be excluded from your thematic map.

To create a custom range:
  1. Select Custom Range from the Data Classifier drop down box.
    Picture showing Data Classifer combo box, with Custom Rnages being highlighted.

  2. If you want to use less than five ranges, select the number of ranges from the Number of Ranges drop down list.
    Picture showing Number of Ranges of combo box, with option 1 being highlighted
  3. Enter the custom data ranges in the text boxes provided. Keep in mind that map ranges are treated as ‘from x to less than y’.

    Picture showing Data Classifer combo box with Custom Ranges being selected. Below is the legend for each colour, with edit boxes to specify the range for each colour. At the bottom is a button with words "Update Ranges" on it.

9.5 Change the number of ranges

This function allows you to change the number of ranges you wish to display in your map. The options are 1 to 5. The default display is 5.

If fewer ranges than the number chosen are required by the chosen distribution method, the lower value range colours will not be used.
  1. Select the number of ranges from the drop down list:
    Picture showing Number of Ranges of combo box, with option 1 being highlighted

9.6 Change the colours on the thematic map

The thematic map feature has seven colour palette options. These are the colours the thematic layers of your map will appear in.

To change the colours:
  1. Click on the drop down list and select a colour palette. The default palette is red.
    Picture showing Palette combo box, with option Yellow-Grey highlighed.

9.7 Change the opacity of the thematic map

This feature allows you to make the coloured thematic layer on the map semi-opaque so that underlying map features can be seen. The default setting shows both the themed colours and some of the underlying map details. A setting of 100% will fill the area with colour, making the details underneath the coloured areas invisible.

Note: Making the thematic layer semi-transparent can make it more difficult to distinguish the colour ranges as underlying map features show through.

To change the opacity:
  1. Click on the Thematic Opacity slider and select a value between 0% and 100% (100% being the most opaque).

    Picture showing Thematic Opacity horizontal sliding scale between 0 to 100 percent.

9.8 Download your map

You can download an image of your map as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file or KMZ File. The downloaded PDF image will be high resolution and include more detail. KMZ file allows you to upload the mapped area data into your other mapping software (e.g. Google Earth).

To download a map:
  1. On the Map View tab select the desired file type from the drop down list at the top right of the screen

    Picture showing download combo box, with PDF option being highlighted

  2. Click the Go button Picture showing a button with word 'Go' on it .
  3. Select the location in which to save the file and enter a file name.

Note: Maps cannot be imported into TableBuilder. To access the same map in future sessions you need to save the table used to create the map. You can then re-open the saved table, click the Map View tab to re-create a new map.

To open your map in PDF format, you will need the Adobe Reader software. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your computer, you can download the latest version for your operating system from the Adobe website http://www.adobe.com.

For information on the use of a generalised version of ABS geographic boundaries, see Chapter 1.4.



Data & geography

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User manual

  1. Introduction
  2. Getting started
  3. Opening a table or database
  4. Working with tables
  5. Large table preview mode
  6. My custom data
  7. My tables
  8. Working with graphs
  9. Working with maps
  10. Overview of navigation & actions toolbar
  11. Further assistance & information
  12. Method of count
  13. Confidentiality of Census data

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