Geographic map visualization requires coded data from combined categories. For example, to create a map from zipcode data, you need to first summarize the zipcode data into a larger units like counties or states.
This article describes how you can automatically combine smaller geographic categories like zipcodes or postal codes into larger ones like regions or states. See How to Create a Geographic Map for instructions on how to create a geographic map from the coded data.
A dataset which contains geographic variables.
Currently, the regions that are supported are:
Options are also available if the user has data from two adjacent regions (e.g. if doing a multi-country study):
United States and Canada
Europe (inluding UK)
Australia and New Zealand
The output can be one of several different geographic designations, including states, provinces, regions, counties, countries, and these depend on the way each of the regions define their geographic levels.
Use Case 1 - Combining zip codes, post codes, and other unambiguous geographies like state
When the input variable the user has selected is not ambiguous, they just need to run the option from the menu. There are some geographic names, like cities, which are ambiguous (they can refer to more than one place) and for this, see the next option.
In this example, we will combine UK Postcodes into Counties
- Select the variable you want to aggregate (in this case postcode) and click the plus sign to right of the variable
- From the Insert Variable(s) menu, select Ready Made New Variables > Automatically Combine Categories > By Geography > United Kingdom > To Counties.
The results are as follows:
( As an alternative, select Anything > Data > Variables > New > Ready Made New Variables > Automatically Combine Categories > By Geography > United Kingdom > To Counties)
- To view the results, drag the original variable and the new variable onto the same page.
- At this point, you might decide that the counties aren't very useful and iyou would prefer regions instead. To do so, select the new variable you created from the Data Sets tree
- In Object Inspector, select Inputs > Automatically Combine Categories > Output geograpic type menu,
- Change the selection to Region. There are other possible selections as well.
The resuls are as follows:
Use Case 2 - Combining ambiguous place names
Some geographic names can refer to more than one place. For example there are multiple places called “Brooklyn” in the United States. It is impossible for the software to know exactly which “Brooklyn” is which unless the user provides some additional, unambiguous information. For example, if combining place names from the US into counties, the user could supply an additional variable telling us what State each place is in. Then the places could be mapped to counties. The feature will detect if there is ambiguity in the data the user has selected, and it will prompt the user to select an additional variable to disambiguate the places.
For example, assume you want to combine United States cities into counties.
- Select city from the Data Sets tree and click the plus sign to right of the variable
- From the Insert Variable(s) menu, select Ready Made New Variables > Automatically Combine Categories > By Geography > United States> To Counties.
- Click Yes.
- Click State:State and then OK. This information will be used to help it identify the correct location for each city in cases of ambiguity.
The results are as follows:
Use Case 3 - World Region
The World section of the menu is not limited to any specific region or country, but it is limited in the type of data it can use.
The World section can map either:
A pair of latitude/longitude variables
A single variable containing IP adresses
into either the Country that corresponds to that data point, or the State or Province.
- Select both latitude and longitude from the Data Sets tree and click the plus sign to right of the variables
- From the Insert Variable(s) menu, select Ready Made New Variables > Automatically Combine Categories > By Geography > World> To States/Provinces.