[Editor’s note: Kudos to Kat Downs for wiring up this interactive, zoomable map of the United States showing unemployment rate by county. There’s a slider to see data back in time. I did the base map using my map generalization skills honed on Natural Earth. Using data that is appropriately generalized for the display scale cuts down on file size and reduces lag before data display.]
Posts Tagged ‘county’
[Editor's note: If you don't have an expensive GIS license but still want to make pretty maps, Flowing Data has a tutorial to get you started. They even use ColorBrewer when setting up the data classes!]
Republished from Flowing Data.
Posted by Nathan / Nov 12, 2009.
There are about a million ways to make a choropleth map. You know, the maps that color regions by some metric. The problem is that a lot of solutions require expensive software or have a high learning curve…or both. What if you just want a simple map without all the GIS stuff? In this post, I’ll show you how to make a county-specific choropleth map using only free tools.
Here’s what we’re after. It’s the most recent unemployment map from last week.
Step 0. System requirements
Just as a heads up, you’ll need Python installed on your computer. Python comes pre-installed on the Mac. I’m not sure about Windows. If you’re on Linux, well, I’m sure you’re a big enough nerd to already be fluent in Python.
We’re going to make good use of the Python library Beautiful Soup, so you’ll need that too. It’s a super easy, super useful HTML/XML parser that you should come to know and love.