The Create-a-Map Wizard is displayed when you select Create a New Map on the Quick Start menu. This lets you create a range of basic maps with just a few clicks. It can also be started by selecting File->New on the main menu and then selecting Map.
The initial panel (dialog box), will look something like this:
Select General purpose map. This will create a basic map without any external (i.e. your) data. Select the required area type and the area. Here we have selected U.S.State to create a map of a US State, and then entered Texas to create a map of Texas. You can also create maps of individual countries, cities, or even individual street addresses.
For the Texas map, the result is actually the same as the Initial Map, except the view is zoomed to Texas:
Next we shall use the wizard to plot some of our own data.
Here we use the sample TXLA.xls data from the MileCharter examples. This Excel workbook consists of two worksheets that list major cities in Texas and Louisiana. We will import the Texas data, which looks like this:
On the first panel of the Create-a-Map wizard, select Map of my own data and press Browse to select the input workbook. You will then be presented with a list of the worksheets present:
Select Texas Cities and press OK. The Create a Map wizard will now look like this:
Press Next and Maptitude will automatically attempt to determine which data fields (worksheet columns) contain which geo-locating information:
Here, Maptitude has correctly identified the City, State, Longitude, and Latitude columns as containing data suitable for geo-locating. Press Next.
Although Longitude,Latitude is generally more accurate, we will plot our data as points located using City, State. So select Locate records in your file by City/State on the next panel:
Press Next to view the next panel and select the ID field. Maptitude databases are like relational databases (RDBMSs) and require a unique identifier. This is often known as a ‘UID’ but Maptitude calls it an ID. This must be a unique integer field. You can use an existing field if your data contains a suitable column. If not, or if you are unsure, select No and have Maptitude create a new ID field:
The wizard will then ask you to select the name and location for the new geography file. This geography file will store the imported data.
Next you can select how the data will be plotted by selecting the type of theme to use. The theme is based on a data field (here we have chosen PushpinIndex). As this is point data, only themes relevant to point data are enabled.
Finally we have the option to apply an analysis stage to the data. For example, Maptitude can draw buffers around the data, or produce a density (‘heatmap’) plot. We do not want any further analysis, so select None and press Next:
Here is the resulting map:
Note that we have disabled the county and road layers for clarity. Also, Maptitude may choose colors which are not very legible. Hence the theme was modified to make the data points easier to see by making the stars blue.