StatPlanet and StatTrends have a wide range of features to cater to the diverse requirements of organizations and users. The software provides an intuitive interface that enables both technical and non-technical users to easily explore and analyze data. For developers, the software provides the necessary tools which facilitate and largely automate the process of importing data and integrating maps.  It also provides a large range of options to completely customize the software to meet user needs. StatPlanet can be used to create anything from simple interactive maps to advanced interactive infographics.

• Features for users
• Features for developers?
• StatPlanet Plus demo
User interface
• User interface components
User guide


Features for users

Choose visualization type

Choose your visualization

Easily switch between different types of visualisations with the click of a button. Data can be viewed as mapsbar chartsline graphs and scatter plots and bubble charts. StatPlanet Plus and StatTrends Plus also enable data to be viewed as a vertical bubble chart (a point chart where the size of the points can be scaled according to a second indicator). Add-on modules are available for visualizing data for multiple indicators over time, through a time series graph or stacked area chart.

Select countries Select map areas or regions

Select map areas (such as countries or districts) by clicking on them in the map or through the Selection Panel. Display key information in a popup when moving the mouse over a map area. Define groups of map areas on the fly, or select one from a pre-defined region list. Maps and graphs update to display data only for the selected group or region.

Animated interactive scatter plot

Animate changes over time

Maps, bar charts, vertical bubble charts and scatter plots can be animated over time. Watch the gradual color transitions of map areas, the changing dimensions of bars, and the scale and position of bubbles over time.

Zoom into map regions

Zoom into map regions

Select and zoom into custom-definable map regions, for example to Europe or Africa in the world map, or to regions and districts within country maps. The maps and graphs will update to display only map areas and corresponding data for the selected region.

Level of detail

Hide or reveal details

Easily change the level of detail with a click of a button, for example to display or hide map and graph labels and data values, or to open or close interface components.

StatPlanet Dark Themed Map


Customize the colors and value ranges of maps and graphs. Sort, filter or remove map areas from the display.

Thematic map Africa


Export maps, graphs or data for use in other applications or for your publications.

See also this brief guide for users developed by the World Bank.


Features for developers

Import data

Automatically import data

Automatically import data using the Excel-based data editor to create new maps and visualizations within minutes.

Design map in Flash Insert or design your own maps

Use the included maps, load ESRI shapefile maps, or custom design your maps.

USA interactive flash map

Create different map types

StatPlanet can used to create quantitative, categorical (qualitative) and proportional symbol maps.

Customize map

Customize the appearance

Completely customize the appearance by selecting the interface components you wish to include, the map details to be displayed, as well as the colors of the interface, maps and graphs. For an example, see the dark color scheme demo

Customized interactive map

Customize the experience

There are hundreds of settings and options to completely customize the experience users will have when using StatPlanet or StatTrends according to your requirements. Add mouse-over indicator and map area popups, html-formatted text and images through the story panel, custom map regions, custom map legends, custom settings for each indicator, and more.


User interface

The StatPlanet user interface is organized into several panels as shown below. The StatTrends user interface is similar, but without the mapping components and indicator selection panel.

Many aspects of the user interface can be customized. For example, you can change the color scheme, show or hide specific interface panels on startup, and change the dimensions of the top three panels.

StatPlanet user interface



User interface components


Bar Chart Icon Timeseries Icon Scatterplot Icon
 Bar charts  Line graphs (time series)  Scatterplots 
 Edit / Resize / Sort graph  Linear to log scale
(StatPlanet only)
 Select / bookmark indicators  Popup description
(StatPlanet only)
 Quantitative  Qualitative  Proportional symbol maps
 Save / Export  Select region  Navigation
Wrench Icon
 Customize appearance  Change settings
 Select map areas or other variables  Create a custom region or variable group
Table Icon
 Tables  Save / Export
(StatPlanet only)
View eye icon
 Show / hide map details and panels
 Resize / maximize / minimize panels
Time slider
 Change year  Animate changes over time  Show trails


Thematic map: (see also the Wikipedia article Thematic map)

choropleth map Choropleth Map
This is the main thematic map type in StatPlanet. The map legend shows which map colors are associated with each data range (for example, higher values may be shaded in increasingly darker colors). The map and map legend colors, ranges and values can be customized. Besides quantitative maps, qualitative or descriptive maps can also be displayed which convey non-numerical information. An example is this map of language distribution around the world.
Symbol Map Icon Proportional Symbol Map

A proportional symbol map scales symbols (usually circles) according to the indicator being mapped. Each symbol can represent a country or other map area. In StatPlanet the symbol map is overlaid on top of the choropleth map (see above). This means that two data sets can be shown on the same map – one for the choropleth map and one for the symbol map.

To show the symbol map, click the symbol icon (shown on the left) in the bottom-left corner of the screen. If you have bookmarked an indicator, the symbol map represents the data for the bookmarked indicator, whereas the choropleth map represents the data for the selected indicator. (If the bookmarked indicator is currently selected, both the symbol map and the choropleth map represent the bookmarked indicator). 


Select country or other map area using the map

  • Mouse over country or map area: Moving the mouse over a country or other map area brings up a popup containing information about that particular country or map area for the selected indicator (as well as the bookmarked indicator, if there is one).
  • Click on country or map area: You can select a country or other map area by clicking on it in the map. This will highlight it in the graph. See also the Selection Panel for additional selection options.
  Map legend
  • Change map colors: Clicking on any of the colors in the legend will bring up a color selection panel. In this panel you can change both the colors (either Sequential or Diverging color schemes), as well as the number of color classes (between 3 and 9). The color schemes are from the Color Brewer website, which is an excellent resource for more information on selecting map colors.
  • Change map legend ranges: To adjust the data range of the map legend, click on any of the values. Use the popup to increment or decrement the value, or enter a new value.
Floppy Disk Icon Save / export map

You can find the save map button in the bottom-left corner of the screen. To change the image type, size or quality, use the Options Panel. This feature is only available in the web version.

Map navigation controls

The map navigation controls are normally hidden from view. Move the mouse towards the bottom-right of the screen to make them appear.

  • Zoom: You can zoom in and out of the map using the 'zoom in' and 'zoom out' buttons, or by dragging the zoom slider up or down. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also use this to zoom in and out.
  • Moving the map: click and drag the map with the mouse to move it to a new position.
  • Restore map position: the button shown on the left restores the map to the original coordinates for the selected region.


Graph Panel:

In StatPlanet, click the 'graph' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to open or close the Graph Panel. 

  Bar chart
Bar Chart Icon The bar chart and column chart buttons are located in the top left corner of the Graph Panel.

Use the "sort" button to sort the graph from lowest to highest, highest to lowest, highest to lowest starting in the middle, or alphabetically.

  Time series (line graphs)
Timeseries Icon

The time series button is located in the top left corner of the Graph Panel. Use the Selection Panel to add countries, map areas or other variables (depending on your data set) to the time series graph. Click on it again if you wish to to remove it. Countries or other map areas can also be selected directly from the map (See also Selection Panel)

Use the "sort" button to sort the time series labels.

  Scatter Plot (bubble chart)

Scatterplot Icon


The scatter plot button is located in the top left corner of the Graph Panel. Clicking on the button will automatically use the selected indicator as the x-axis variable. You need to select a second indicator as the y-axis variable.

Indicators can be selected either from the Indicators Panel, or in the Graph Panel (see below).

Use the drop-down menu in the top of the Graph Panel to change the scale of the 'bubbles' according to a selected indicator.

Use the 'options' icon in the Graph Panel to show or hide the trendline. Move the mouse over the trendline to see the slope and trendline equation. (See also the Wikipedia article Linear regression)

Note: the x-axis and y-axis indicators are also shown in seperate panels to the left of the Graph Panel. The y-axis indicator is shown in Indicators panel, and the x-axis indicator in the Bookmarked panel right below.

An add-on module is available for StatPlanet Plus to display Pearson correlation coefficients in the scatter plot. 


Select x-axis / y-axis indicator
Click on the x-axis or y-axis label, then select an indicator from the drop-down menu.

  Adjust graph size
resize cursor

To change the graph size, move the mouse to the sides or corners of the Graph Panel until you see the cursor change to look like the one shown on the left. Click and hold down the left mouse button, then drag the panel to the size you want. Release the mouse button once you have the right size.

  Adjust graph scale
The graph scale can be adjusted by clicking on the top or bottom graph values. The value can then be edited in the popup window.


Indicators Panel:

  Select category
dropdown The category selection drop-down is hidden by default[1]. Use the drop-down menu in the top of the Indicators Panel to select a new category. When switching categories, StatPlanet / StatTrends will remember which year was selected and check if data exists for this year in the new category. If there is no data for this year, it will select the year closest to the previously selected year for which data is available in the new category.

[1] The category dropdown can be added through the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet ‘settings’, variable ‘V-IND-O’. 

  Indicator bars (optional)



Indicator bars are hidden by default[1]. The bars are scaled in proportion to the maximum value of that particular indicator for all countries in the selected region. For example, if the value for country X is 20 and the maximum value for all countries is 100, the bar will be scaled at 20%.

[1]The indicator bars can be added through the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet ‘settings’, variable ‘V-IND-B’.

  Bookmark indicator (optional)
Star Icon The bookmark indicator option is hidden by default[1]. Click the 'star' button in the Indicators Panel to bookmark the selected indicator. The bookmarked indicator will stay even when you switch to another category. This allows you to (i) create scatter plot graphs, (ii) compare the bookmarked indicator with indicators from other categories, and (iii) compare two indicators through the choropleth map (representing the selected indicator) and the proportional symbol map (representing the bookmarked indicator).

[1] The bookmark indicator icon can be added through the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet ‘settings’, variable ‘V-IND-O’.

  Indicator definitions
If a definition exists for an indicator, the definition will appear in a popup when moving the mouse over the indicator. The definition only shows for the indicator which is selected or bookmarked.


Selection Panel:

Countries, map areas (or in StatTrends – any other defined variables) can be selected in various ways. An efficient way of finding and selecting a country or map area is through the Selection Panel, as explained below. However, a country or map area can also be selected by clicking on it in the map, in the Table Panel, or in the Graph Panel. In each case it will be highlighted in all of these StatPlanet components.

Click on a country/map area/variable in the list to select it. Clicking on a selected item will deselect it. You can press the first one or two letter of an item in the list to quickly jump to that item. For example, if it contains a list of countries, press 'b' to quickly jump to countries starting with the letter 'b'.

Icon select

If the Selection Panel is hidden, click the 'select' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to make it appear. 

dropdown Select region
Use the drop-down menu in the top of the Indicators Panel to select and zoom into a different region, such as 'Africa' or 'Europe'. It is also possible to select countries to define a custom region.
Select button
Press the Select button to reduce the list to your selection. Any items which are not selected will be removed from view. 


Deselect All button
Press the Deselect All button to clear your selection.

The Refresh button appears once you have created a custom region or group of items. It can be used to return to the original list.
Remove button
To remove items from the list, select those you wish to remove and press the Remove button.


Data-table Panel:

Table Icon Data-table Panel
Click the 'data-table' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to get a data table of the selected indicator. If an indicator has been bookmarked, the data for both the bookmarked and selected indicator will be displayed. The table also shows the mean, standard deviation and range.
Floppy Disk Icon Save / Export table (web version only)
You can save the table as a .CSV file which can be opened by most spreadsheets (such as Excel). You can find the save table button in the top-right corner of the Data-table Panel.

Copy Icon

Offline version: Copy table
The offline version of StatPlanet does not allow you to save the data as a file. Instead, you can copy the entire table into Excel using the 'copy' button, and then 'paste' it in Excel. If you do not have Excel, you can also do the following: (i) paste the data into a basic text editor such as Notepad, (ii) save the document as 'data.html', (iii) open the file using your Web Browser.


Time slider:

Time slider

Use the slider or click on the arrow buttons to change the year. Click on the play button to show changes over time as an animation, starting from the beginning. The animation speed can be set in the Options Panel (under the General tab). The 'play' button changes to a 'stop' button once the animation is running. You can press this button to stop the animation at any time.


Options Panel:

Wrench Icon Click the 'options' button in the bottom-left corner of the screen to open the Options Panel.


  • Map colors: map background, map borders, map text color, map text outline color, etc.);
  • Map text size;
  • Map symbol size (proportional symbol map symbols);
  • Map legend - estimate best value distribution: adjust the values so that there is a more equal distribution of countries for each color class. This will usually result in a map with a better distribution of colors. If this is switched off, the value range for each color class will be set at equal intervals based on the highest and lowest value in the data range.
  • Map legend - show maximum & minimum values
  • Map legend colors.


  • Graph colors: background, bar & scatter points, scatter point borders;
  • Graph text size;
  • Transparency level of graph area (bars / bubbles);
  • Size of bubbles (scatter plot graph).

General options:

  • Animation duration;
  • Decimal places shown;
  • Adjust map/graph scale:
    StatPlanet automatically adjusts the map and graph scale to suit the data set. However, in some cases you may wish to keep it fixed, for example if you have manually set the scale. You can set (or prevent) the automatic updating of the map/graph scale on (i) changing indicator, (ii) changing region, (iii) changing year. The default setting is for StatPlanet to adjust the scale when changing indicator or region, but not year. 
    Note: you can press the 'refresh button' in the map legend (shown below) to auto-update the map legend for the current indicator, year and region: 
  • Choose to view statistics as percentiles.

Save/export map: (web version only)

  • Image type: PNG or JPEG;
  • Image size (% of original);
  • Image quality (%): for JPEG images only.


View menu:

Move the mouse over the 'View' button to see various options for showing or hiding StatPlanet map and graph elements and panels.
View eye icon
  • Show or hide country or map area names on the map or graph (country names can be shown in full, in abbreviated form or as ISO3 codes);
  • Show or hide country or map area statistics on the map;
  • Show or hide the map popup and its components - bar chart, indicator and statistic;
  • Show or hide various panels.


Resize panels:

Minus IconPlus Icon Shrink / enlarge panels
Use the buttons shown on the left to shrink or enlarge the StatPlanet panels. This may be useful for space management when you have several panels open at the same time, or to focus in on certain areas.
Minimize IconMaximize Icon Minimize / maximize panels
Use these buttons to minimize or maximize the panels.
resize cursor Adjust Graph panel size
Drag and drop the Graph panel borders to adjust the size. Read more.
Click on this button in the bottom-left of the screen to either switch to fullscreen mode, or go back to normal window mode.