StatPlanet Map Maker provides a simple set of tools for creating a detailed map. While the main function was more tedious than we originally hoped, the results were still useful in the right situation.
The program's interface is simple to grasp, and its controls are intuitive. StatPlanet Map Maker's layout reminds us of pop-up maps we've seen on news Web sites. The program also includes an extensive User's Manual, which is helpful for inputting your own data. It gives you full control over your map view, with options such as choosing to view the entire planet or zeroing in on a single country with a single mouse click. The program contains population maps, growth maps, and more. StatPlanet Map Maker's strongest function is the capability to input data into a spreadsheet and upload it to your map. It color-codes every country to reflect your information, depending on what you've selected and the data you enter. This is a helpful feature, but it is a bit tedious to enter data manually. StatPlanet Map Maker also converts data into bar charts and graphs, which is nice, but doesn't feel like a truly essential feature. This entire program offers an interesting tool for mapmaking, but we feel the amount of work involved may limit its appeal.
StatPlanet Map Maker is freeware. It comes as a compressed file. This cartography software may have a few slight flaws, but it still offers an exciting functionality, and we recommend it.
StatPlanet is a free award-winning* application for creating fully customizable interactive maps and graphs, with both online and desktop versions. Data can be imported automatically, so new interactive maps can be created within minutes. Maps are completely customizable. Use the included World or USA maps, design your own maps using the Flash template, or load ESRI shapefiles using StatPlanet Plus. StatPlanet can be used to create simple thematic maps as well as more advanced interactive infographics with different graph & chart options, multiple indicators, and a time slider with the option to animate both the map and the graph over time. Supported map types are quantitative choropleth maps, qualititative (descriptive) maps and proportional symbol maps. All map and interface colors can be customized. The included Excel-based data editor can be used to automatically import data from virtually any data source. No programming knowledge is required.
What's new in this version:
- New improved interface
- Support for categorical (qualitative/descriptive) maps
- Many new customization options
- South Sudan and Kosovo added to World Map edition