Custom maps / GIS:
Yes, that is possible. There are two kinds of 'custom' maps that can be inserted into StatPlanet - Flash Maps and Shapefile Maps. Shapefile maps are readily available maps which normally do not require (much) modification. However, it is possible to make changes to these maps using GIS software. It is also possible to combine several shapefile maps into one.
Flash Maps are designed and therefore any features you require can be included in the design. It requires the Adobe Flash software, however, and creating/designing maps takes more time compared to using an existing shapefile map. Please see also Creating Flash Maps for details.
Yes, StatPlanet Lite and StatPlanet Plus have support for loading GIS / ESRI shapefiles. You would need to use the 'Shapefile_Map' version included with both StatPlanet Lite and StatPlanet Plus. For more details on loading a map into StatPlanet, please see the Quick Start Developer Guide. See also: finding free shapefile maps.
Please see the free shapefile map downloads page to find shapefile maps which can be used in StatPlanet Plus (Shapefile edition). It includes a list of country maps available for download, as well as links to websites where shapefiles can be freely downloaded. Please note that StatSilk currently does not provide any maps other than the USA state and world map (include with StatPlanet), and some country maps which are downloadable via the above link.
See also: merging map areas to create a region
Cities, countries, regional aggregations, etc. can be added to StatPlanet Plus in the form of "map points". Map points will not just appear in the map, but also in the graphs and in the map area Selection panel.
Map points can be put into place either through a drag-and-drop interface, or plotted automatically. If the points are in shapefile map format, please see also: converting points to polygons to create an interactive point map. The procedure for adding points through drag-and-drop is described below:
- Open the StatPlanet Data Editor and in the worksheet "Import" go all the way to the last country or map region at the end of row 2.
- Insert the name(s) of your map point(s) in this row and press the button Save data. Data can be added in this column in the same way as with any other map area. You will need to add some data for this map point in order for it to appear in the map. (Note: once you have pressed Save data, the map point name should also have been added in the worksheet “Data”. If you cannot see the map point in StatPlanet, please check the worksheet “Data” to confirm it has also been added here).
- When you next open StatPlanet, one or more map points (in the form of a circle) will appear in the top left corner of the map, representing each of the new map areas added. Right click anywhere inside StatPlanet and in the popup select ‘Move text labels or map points’. Click on the map point and then click anywhere on the screen to move it to this new location. Similarly, the text label for a map point can be dragged and dropped to a new location.
- To copy the map point coordinates, right click again and select ‘copy map point coordinates’.
- Open the StatPlanet Data Editor and go the sheet ‘Settings’. Scroll down to ‘Special options’ and next to M-DOT-COORD paste the coordinates you just copied. In this section you can also set the size of the circle representing the map point. Click on Save Settings to save.
Map areas can be merged and treated as a single region. This can be done using the StatPlanet Data Editor, as follows:
- In the sheet 'Import', replace the names of any map areas you wish to merge with the name of the merged region (in row 2). For example, to create the Benelux region in the 'World Map' edition, rename the countries Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to Benelux.
- Only one column should have data (otherwise the merged region will appear more than once in the Selection panel). For example, if creating the Benelux region, remove any data in the columns for the three countries, and insert Benelux data in just one of the columns (it can be any of the newly renamed Benelux columns).
In StatPlanet, the merged map areas will now be grouped together and treated as one. This can be done using any StatPlanet Plus edition.
Please note though that if you merge map areas, it is no longer possible to display data for the individual map areas (only for the merged region). If you need to visualize data for both the region and the constituent map areas, you could use the following approach:
- Create a map point for the region, instead of merging the countries (as described above). The map point can be placed in the relevant area of the map, for example, adjacent to the map areas it represents.
- Merge the map areas, and then create map points to represent the individual map areas. For example, in the Benelux example above, you could create a map point for each of the three countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), and place them on top of the corresponding country. These map points would have an associated column in the StatPlanet Data Editor to display the country-level data.
If you need to display data for two overlapping regions (e.g. Benelux and Europe), the same applies as above. You could merge map areas to display the first region, and use a map point to display the second region. For example, in the Benelux example, you could merge the three countries to create the Benelux, and then use a map point to represent Europe. Alternatively, you could use map points for both regions (e.g. for both Europe and the Benelux).
Yes you can export the map as a vector image in the PDF format. This enables you to print the map in high resolution as well as edit the map outside of StatPlanet.
To export as a PDF you can use the free pdf-creator software. Once this is installed, it should appear as a printer. The next step is to open the desktop version of StatPlanet (StatPlanet.exe). Once you are viewing the map you wish to export, select File -> Print, and as the printer select "PDFCreator". Then select 'preferences' and for the orientation choose 'landscape'. After clicking on 'print', the PDF will be generated and can be saved onto your PC. When opening the PDF file, you will notice you can zoom in to your map without loss of quality. Since PDFCreator by default prints to a standard A4 size page, you may need to either change the zoom level of the map or change the paper/output setting in order to ensure if fits on the page. The print paper/output setting is typically found under the 'advanced' options in the 'preferences' screen. The map can further be edited using software such as Adobe Illustrator or the free and open source Inkscape software. PDFCreator exports the entire StatPlanet display, so it would be necessary to 'crop' out the required components, such as the map and the map legend (the map legend can be dragged and dropped to the required position prior to export if necessary). It is possible to hide unnecessary components from the export by selecting the 'view' menu in the bottom-right corner of the StatPlanet interface (the 'eye' icon), and deselecting any components that need to be hidden from view.
StatPlanet runs in Flash-Player which means that all on-screen drawing is vector-based. Hence, not only maps but also graphs, charts and other interface elements can be exported in vector format through the method described above.
Since StatPlanet can be used to read shapefile maps, this method can be used to convert shapefile maps into various vector formats. For example, Inkscape can be used to convert the exported vector PDF into the SVG vector format, and Adobe Illustrator can convert the vector PDF into the AI or SWF vector formats. Once a shapefile map has been converted into vector format it can be imported into and edited using Adobe Flash Professional, to create customized maps for StatPlanet.
StatPlanet and StatPlanet Plus come with embedded versions of a world map (country boundaries) and a USA map (state boundaries). You can also download many country maps which have been set up to run through StatPlanet. However, besides these world and country maps, StatSilk does not provide any other maps. If you are looking for a particular map, please see this page for downloading free shapefile maps, which includes a list of recommended websites for finding shapefile maps (please note that StatPlanet Plus is required if you wish to use these to create interactive maps). A Google search for a particular map which includes the keywords 'shapefile map' or 'shp' (the filename extension) may also help you find what you are looking for.
In StatPlanet it is possible to zoom into an area of the map on startup, for example 'Africa', and hide the rest of the map. First, you would need to set the startup map region through the StatPlanet Data Editor, as described in the User Guide (see Custom ‘zoom-to’ map regions in Chapter 6). The next step is to change the color for the following two variables in the StatPlanet Data Editor, sheet 'settings':
- MAP-NTRL - set to white, using color code: 0xFFFFFF
(map color of countries not in the current region)
- MAP-BRDR - set to white, using color code: 0xFFFFFF
(map border color)
This makes both the surrounding map areas, as well as the borders, white. Assuming the background color is white, they will appear to be invisible. If you are using a different map background color, the colors for the variables above need to be changed accordingly.
StatPlanet uses Hex color codes. One of the many online colorpickers can be used to find a suitable color. Please note that it needs to be in the form "0x" followed by the Hex code (so #FFFFFF for example would become 0xFFFFFF).
The data comes from many different sources, which are listed here.
Yes, you can create and publish interactive maps using your own data by downloading StatPlanet.
StatPlanet Plus will soon provide support for XML - see for example StatPlanet World Bank. For large amounts of data, CSV is often the better choice because the file sizes are much smaller. For a given data set, XML files are often between 5 and 15 times larger than the equivalent amount of data stored as a CSV file. For small data files (e.g. 20 kb) this is not a big issue, but for larger files (e.g. 1000 kb), the difference in download time could be minutes rather than seconds. StatPlanet has support for ZIP compression, which can significantly reduce the size of both XML and CSV files - often making the difference between them negligible. However, this is only an option if XML is delivered as a file and not 'live' from a database.
Data stored in the XML format is much larger because each data element needs to be described or 'tagged'. This requires many characters - often more characters than the data element itself. For example, each data element may be described as follows (in this example, assigning the value of 21.5 to a specific indicator, country and year):
In a CSV file, the country, indicator and year only need to be indicated once for a set of data elements. The data elements themselves are seperated with a comma.
Yes you can change the name of the data file. An example is included in the folder 'web' - file 'StatPlanet_options.html'. The name of the settings file can also be changed. The example code in 'StatPlanet.html' is as follows:
flashvars.data = "data.csv"; flashvars.settings = "settings.csv";
The name of the data file can also be dynamically generated, e.g. via PHP. In addition you can specify a sub-directory where the file can be found, e.g. "mysubdirectory/mydatafile.csv". StatPlanet and StatTrends also accept a data file in the form of a ZIP file, to reduce the file size, for example "mydatafile.zip".
Any format readable by Excel can be imported, such as XLS, XLSX, CSV, TXT and HTML. The import macro will automatically recognize the structure of your data file and switch columns to rows or vice versa if necessary.
StatPlanet can be used to automatically import country-based data from a wide variety of data sources. The data editor can recognizes commonly used spellings of country names. You can also easily add new spellings to the list of recognized country names in the data editor.
StatTrends can be used to automatically import any kind of data. Once you have added your data headers / variables in the data editor, it can automatically import data by looking for these headers / variables in the data file.
StatPlanet and StatTrends support any kind of date or time format. However, the import macro currently only recognizes years (e.g. in the format "2010", "2011" etc.). To import data which uses a different date or time-based format such as months, data needs to be imported one date-unit at a time, or through the following workaround (which is more efficient):
1. In your data file, replace your date or time-units with years temporarily, just to import them in the correct order (for example, January - December could be replaced with 2001 - 2012)
2. Once the data has been imported, change the years back to their original date or time-units.
Data can also be copied manually without using the import macro. Please see the "data file structure" section of the Quick Start guide for more details on how to structure your data manually.
As of StatPlanet Plus v 3.21, data is imported from all Excel sheets in the selected file. Each sheet is imported as a separate category, and the sheet name becomes the category name. Therefore, the best way to organize your data file would be to split the sheets according to the categories you would like to create within StatPlanet/StatTrends. Each sheet (category) can have multiple indicators and time periods. Please download the example spreadsheet for an example (with country-level data).
In order to disable importing all sheets, go to the sheet 'Import names' and set 'Import all sheets' to FALSE. When set to FALSE, it only imports the currently selected sheet when the file is opened.
If your data set contains other date formats such as quarters or months, please see the date format instructions.
For more information about the data structure, see also the Quick Start Developer Guide.
If you have a map with more than 256 regions or districts, you need more than 256 columns of data. This is possible with Excel 2007 or later when the column limit was increased to over 16000 columns.
An Excel 2007 version of the StatPlanet Data Editor comes included with StatPlanet Plus.
You can also edit the data.csv file directly in Excel 2007.
Below are instructions for converting an existing StatPlanet Data Editor to the Excel 2007 format (an Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook or .xlsm file):
- Create a new document and go to File -> Save as, and type in the name StatPlanet_data_editor. For 'Save as type' select 'Macro-Enabled Workbook (.xlsm)', and click on Save. (Note: you need to save it in the same directory as the old Data Editor.
Copy and paste the sheets from the original Data Editor to your new one:
- Go the original Data Editor.
- Right-click on the sheet name (in the bottom left of the Excel workbook), and select 'Move or Copy'.
- For 'To book:' select the new Data Editor workbook (note: it should be open in Excel).
- Check the box 'Create a copy' and click on OK.
- Repeat this for all the sheets.
You will also need to copy the Visual Basic code:
- If you have no 'Developer' tab (the right-most tab), click on the round Windows button in the top-left corner, and select 'Excel Options'. Then check the box 'Show Developer tab in the Ribbon' (it is in the 'Popular' section), and click on OK.
- Click on the Developer tab, and then click on the left-most button 'Visual Basic'.
- Insert a new Module and UserForm in the new Data Editor (Right click on 'VBAProject StatPlanet_data_editor' shown on the left, and select Insert).
- Copy and paste the contents from the old Module and UserForm (called ProgressBar) into the new one.
Finally, you need to change one line of code in the Visual Basic code in Module1:
newFilename = Application.Substitute(newFilename, "xls", "csv")
needs to be changed to:
newFilename = Application.Substitute(newFilename, "xlsm", "csv")
(this is because the filename changed from ".xls" to ".xlsm").
StatPlanet and StatTrends do not support the 'percentage' format in Excel. Therefore, to display percentages, you would need to save numbers in the regular number format rather than the Excel percentage format. An easy way to convert a number formatted as percentage to a regular number in the StatPlanet Data Editor is as follows:
- Select the numbers you wish to convert.
- Right-click and select 'Format Cells'.
- Select the 'General' format or alternatively the 'Number' format and click OK (the display of numbers will change from e.g. 1% to 0.01).
- In an empty cell, insert the number '100'. Then copy this cell.
- Select the numbers you wish to convert and click on 'Paste Special'. Then select 'Multiply'. This will multiply all the numbers by 100.
- Remove the cell with the number '100'.
- For the indicator(s) which display percentages, go to the 'UNIT' column and insert the symbol: %
Installation / system requirements:
StatSilk software requires no installation. Moreover, no additional software is needed to run the offline version, but the online version requires the Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above). Flash Player is already installed on about 99 percent of Internet-enabled computers. To add your own data, Microsoft Excel is required for automatic importing of data, but any spreadsheet software can be used to add data manually.
A modern PC is not required to run StatPlanet or StatTrends, and it also runs on many Android-based mobiles and smartphones. For a Windows PC, the minimum requirement is an Intel® Pentium® II 450MHz processor with 128 MB of RAM. The web-based version of StatPlanet requires the Adobe Flash Player (version 9) to run, which supports Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms. The offline version of StatPlanet is currently only available for Windows.
StatPlanet and StatTrends also run on most recent Android-based mobile phones and tablets. See also the section below for more information on running it on an iPad or iPhone.
You can also use the Adobe Flash Player system requirements as a guideline.
A Mac version is available for download for StatPlanet Plus. Data can be imported using Excel for Mac. However, not all versions of Excel for Mac have support for macros which are required to automatically import data. Macros are supported in Excel 2004 for Mac and again since Excel 2011. If macros are not supported, data can still be inserted manually as described in the Developer's Guide. Please note that the data.csv file needs to be saved as a "Windows Comma Separated (.csv)". Feel free to download and try out StatPlanet Plus for Mac, which has a free desktop version for non-commercial use or for testing purposes.
A third-party app is currently required to run StatSilk software on iOS devices. However, several apps for iPads and iPhones are under development (please see below for details).
There are several third-party apps which can be used to run StatSilk software. Please note that we do not endorse any particular app, so please purchase/install the app at your own risk. StatSilk has been tested - and successfully run - using both the free Puffin Web Browser and the non-free Photon Flash Player for iPad and iPhone.
A StatPlanet app is expected to be released by the end of 2014. It will be free for users, but requires an annual license fee for organizations which would like to enable their existing web-based StatPlanet or StatTrends application to become available through the app. The app itself initially consists of nothing but a blank screen requesting a log-in code. The code can be freely chosen (subject to availability), and may for example be the name of the organization or project. Once a user enters the code, the app will download the required files and it will display the StatPlanet or StatTrends with the corresponding data, settings and map. An advantage of the app is that it stores the files on the device, so that it can also be used offline - for example while travelling. The app can also detect when the data or settings have been updated, so it only downloads the files if they are newer than the version on the device.
If you would like to have a customized app developed - with your own branding and specific preferences/requirements, please contact us. See for example INDEPTHStats, a custom app developed for Android devices.
A StatWorld app will also become available as a free download through the AppStore soon.
Yes, Microsoft has integrated Adobe's Flash Player natively into Internet Explorer 10 (StatPlanet/StatTrends are Flash-based). Previously, for the 'metro-style' version of Internet Explorer, websites running Flash-based applications needed to be approved and whitelisted by Microsoft. However, this is now no longer the case - please see the Microsoft news release for more details. Therefore, StatSilk software will run on any website in both the traditional desktop and metro editions of Internet Explorer 10, except if the website is 'blacklisted' by Microsoft.
Updating to the latest version while keeping your data and settings can be done by following these steps:
- Make a copy of your original StatPlanet Data Editor (i.e. edit->copy, edit->paste in the same folder to get the filename 'StatPlanet Data Editor copy').
- Download the latest version of the software and extract the files onto your computer.
- Go to the folder matching the version you are updating (i.e. if you are updating StatPlanet USA, open the USA folder). Open the StatPlanet Data Editor, and select the sheet 'Tools' in the bottom-right corner.
- Ensure that macros are enabled and click the button 'Copy data & settings into this file'.
- Select the file 'StatPlanet Data Editor copy' (from which you wish to copy over the data and/or settings) and follow the on-screen instructions.
You can manage as many instances of StatPlanet / StatTrends as you like, with different maps / data sets. The software requires no installation so you can simply make a copy of the entire StatPlanet or StatTrends folder, and place it in a location where you have permission to save files (for example, in your "documents" folder). You can also freely rename the different StatPlanet / StatTrends folders, as long as the filenames are unchanged, and the sub-folder names ('web' and 'export') also need to remain unchanged. Multiple instances of the StatPlanet and StatTrends applications can also be run at the same time. It is not possible, however, to open multiple instances of the StatPlanet Data Editor at the same time, as Excel does not allow two files to be open with the same filename.
StatPlanet and StatTrends are particularly suitable for use during presentations. Although you could of course give the entire presentation using only StatPlanet / StatTrends, you way wish to integrate it as part of a PowerPoint. The software cannot be embedded in PowerPoint, but there are two approaches to creating a seamless transition:
Create an object (e.g. textbox, button, shape) and then create a link to StatPlanet/StatTrends from that object, as follows:
- Important note: If the presentation will be run from another computer, first make sure that StatPlanet or StatTrends is in the same folder as your presentation (e.g. in a sub-folder 'StatPlanet). This will ensure that PowerPoint creates a "relative" hyperlink to the application, which enables it to find the application no matter which computer/location the files are in.
- Go to the 'INSERT' tab and select the icon 'Hyperlink'.
- Navigate the folder containing StatPlanet/StatTrends, and select the file "StatPlanet.exe" or "StatTrends.exe".
- For more information, see also Start a program during your presentation.
Open up StatPlanet or StatTrends just before launching your presentation, go back to your presentation, and when the time comes to switch to StatPlanet / StatTrends press ALT+TAB on your keyboard. This will cause it to seemlessly switch to StatPlanet / StatTrends.
In the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet 'settings', there is a variable to set the offline version to open up fullscreen: FULLSCR (set to TRUE).
StatPlanet is available in the following languages:
- Bahasa Indonesia (courtesy of the Government of Indonesia)
- Danish (courtesy of Peter Erbs-Maibing, Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Denmark)
- Portuguese Brazilian (courtesy of the Instituto Centro de Vida)
- Russian (courtesy of Andrey Loschilov)
- Turkish (courtesy of Emre Koyuncu and Kutad Alpturkan) - as of v 3.1
- Vietnamese - as of v 3.3
These translations are included in the StatPlanet Data Editor. Please see the User Guide for information on switching language and modifying or adding a translation.
Yes, StatPlanet Plus supports non-Latin international character sets. Please note that right-to-left fonts (e.g. Arabic and Hebrew) are not yet supported. Some fonts are not supported by default (see also below for details) and are only available when purchasing a license for the software.
To use them, please follow these steps:
1. Remove the files "data.csv" and "settings.csv" in the main directory and also in the directory 'web'.
2. In the StatPlanet Data Editor, go to the sheet "Settings". Under Startup options - Data format, select: TXT (tab-separated values). Then click on “Save settings”.
3. The international character sets can now be used in the desktop version of StatPlanet Plus. The web version does not include the international character set by default. This is only available in the purchased/licensed version on request.
The following character sets are available. Please note that not all of these are embedded in the desktop version.
- Armenian: requires a license purchase to embed the Armenian font;
- Chinese (All character sets): requires a license purchase to embed the Chinese font (the desktop version only has limited support for Traditional Chinese characters);
- Croatian: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended B characters.
- Cyrillic: (for Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Tajik, amongst others);
- Czech: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended A characters.
- Devanagari (for Hindi, Marathi and Nepali, amongst others): requires a license purchase to embed the font;
- Japanese: requires a license purchase to embed the Japanese font (the desktop version only has limited support for Japanese characters);
- Korean (All character sets) - for the desktop version, Shapefile map edition, please download and use the Korean StatPlanet.exe file to display Korean characters;
- Polish: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended A characters.
- Romanian: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended B characters.
- Slovenian: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended B characters.
- Thai: requires a license purchase to embed the Thai font.
- Turkish: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended A characters.
- Vietnamese: requires a license purchase to embed the Latin Extended Additional characters.
- Other languages: any other language which uses one of the following character sets: Cyrillic, Latin Extended A, Latin Extended B or Latin Extended Additional.
The font sizes can be changed in the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet 'settings', variables MAP-TXT-S and MAP-TXT-
It is not possible to change the font, which is Arial, because it is embedded in StatPlanet / StatTrends. However, when purchasing the licensed version it is possible to request the font to be changed. Please note though that this would be a permanent change in the licensed version.
It is also possible to change the font of popup text on the map, since it accepts text in html format. Therefore, the font can be set using HTML formatting.
Yes you can use Google Sites to host StatPlanet or StatTrends for free. The steps are as follows:
- Create a site.
- Select the 'gear' icon in the top-right corner (Open More Actions menu).
- Select 'manage site'.
- Click on 'Attachments' in the menu on the left.
- Select 'Upload' and then upload all the files in the StatPlanet or StatTrends 'web' directory.
- Run StatPlanet through the StatPlanet.swf in the location it was uploaded, for example: https://sites.google.com/site/statplanettest/StatPlanet.swf (where sites.google.com/site/statplanettest/ is the location of your Google site).
- Note for the ESRI shapefile map version: this requires an extra step. To include the map files, a webpage called 'map' needs to be created. The map files in the map folder (map.dbf and map.shp) need to be uploaded as attachments, as described above.
Wix does not allow Flash contents that loads external files, and therefore StatPlanet / StatTrends (which are Flash-based) cannot be embedded. This is based on the situation in March 2012, which may change in the future. Another web hosting service is therefore required. For more information please see embedding SWF files in Wix.
See also Google Sites for a free alternative.
The web-versions of StatPlanet and StatPlanet Plus is very lightweight. Assuming that Flash Player is already installed on the client computer, the file size is only around 400 kb. However, the software depends on external data and map files to run. Data files are typically less than 100 kb, in particular when ZIPPED. The map files in the World and USA map editions are embedded, and very small in size (around 40 kb and 130 kb, respectively). External map files may be considerably larger, but the file size can usually be reduced to under 200 kb or even under 100 kb if simplified. The total bandwidth is usually under 700 kb for the software, map and data files combined. If data files are very large, they can be split into multiple data files which are loaded on demand - i.e. only when the user specifically makes a requests to view that data set.
The bandwidth requirements of StatTrends and StatTrends Plus are the same as for StatPlanet and StatPlanet Plus, minus the map files. The total bandwidth for StatTrends including data files is typically around 450 to 600 kb.
Update: For DropBox accounts created after October 4, 2012, the public folder option is no longer available in free accounts. See also Google Sites for a free alternative.
Yes, through the public folder feature. If you do not have a public folder, please see 'Creating a public folder' on this page. Then use the 'copy public link' feature to get the web-link to the file 'StatPlanet.html'. You can find this option either by right-clicking on the file in the public folder within the DropBox website, or on your PC, right-clicking and choosing Dropbox -> Copy public link.
To publish StatPlanet / StatTrends online, you first need to upload all the files in the sub-folder 'web' to a designated area on your website. For example, in a location where you normally put external files and images, such as mywebsite.com/files. Create a sub-folder (e.g. 'statplanet') and place the files here.
You can then link to StatPlanet / StatTrends from any webpage, e.g. http://www.mywebsite.com/files/statplanet/StatPlanet.html
If you wish to embed StatPlanet within another location on your website, you would need to indicate the location of the StatPlanet files using the 'base' tag. The 'base' tag needs to be specified in the HTML code between the <head> and </head> tags as follows:
<base href="/files/statplanet/" />
The location "/files/statplanet" would need to be replaced with the actual directory / location on the server where the StatPlanet / StatTrends files are located. See also: using the "base" tag for more details.
The next step would be to embed the 'StatPlanet.swf' file (for StatPlanet) or 'StatTrends.swf' file for (StatTrends). The method of doing so depends on the website software, platform or CMS you are using. If you run into any difficulties, you can post your support question on the Forum. For publishing StatPlanet in a CMS, please see the section below.
To publish StatPlanet / StatTrends in a CMS-based blog or website, you first need to upload all the files in the sub-folder 'web' to a designated area on the website where you normally put external files and images. For example, in the directory mywebsite.com/files. Create a sub-folder (e.g. 'statplanet') and place the files here.
You can then link to the StatPlanet / StatTrends file from any webpage, e.g. http://www.mywebsite.com/files/statplanet/StatPlanet.html
If you wish to embed StatPlanet / StatTrends inside your website, the solution depends on the CMS you are using. The steps for embedding it in two of the most popular CMS's - Drupal and WordPress - are provided below. See also: Embedding Flash files into SharePoint.
Most CMS's provide an option of editing the HTML of your web-page. You can then specify the location of the StatPlanet / StatTrends files between the <head> and </head> tags as follows:
<base href="/files/statplanet/" />
The location "/files/statplanet" would need to be replaced with the actual directory / location on the server where the StatPlanet files are located. See also: using the "base" tag for more details.
The next step would be to embed the 'StatPlanet.swf' file (for StatPlanet) or 'StatTrends.swf' file for (StatTrends). The method of doing so depends on the CMS.
- Download and install the Drupal module Flash Node
- The option to add a Flash Node should now appear in your website menu. So add a Flash Node
- Where it asks you to 'Choose File', select the StatPlanet.swf file (which is the loader)
- In the Basic flash node options, insert the Width and Height (e.g. width 765 / height 567).
In the Advanced flash node options, under Base, insert the location where you placed the StatPlanet files as described above. For example: /files/statplanet
(no need to put the full path)
- In Body, you can add text / images / contents as with any other Drupal page.
Click on Submit.
- Download and install the modules and CKEditor and CKEditor SWF (support for "CKEditor SWF module" would need to be enabled in the CKeditor Plugins settings).
- Add a basic page or other kind of content, and in the CKEditor click on the red 'Flash' icon.
- Below 'URL', insert the location where you placed the files as described above, followed by 'StatPlanet.swf'. For example: /files/statplanet/StatPlanet.swf
- Insert the Width and Height according to preference (e.g. width 765 / height 567).
- Select the Properties tab, and below 'Base' insert the location where you placed the files. For example: /files/statplanet. If you do not see the 'Base' option, make sure that the 'Text format' (shown below the body/contents area) is set to 'Full HTML'.
- Click on OK and save the page.
*Please note: The required Flash plug-in is not supported if you are using the free Wordpress.com platform, i.e. if you set up your website on the Wordpress.com website. To follow the steps below, you would need to host the Wordpress platform on your own web server.
- Install the WordPress plugin Kimili Flash Embed. Important Update: As of the WordPress 4.0.1 update from Nov 20, 2014, Kimili Flash Embed plugin version 2.5.1 (or higher) is required, which is compatible with the new version of WordPress.
Place the Statplanet data and flash files into a directory underneath wp-content/uploads, e.g.
In the header.php file, place a base tag within the <head></head> tags, with the full path pointing to the directory where your files are stored. This needs to be made conditional so that it is only inserted on pages with StatPlanet embedded. In the following example, you would need to replace page ID "1" (indicated through "is_page(ID)") with the WordPress page ID number of your page:
<?phpif (is_page(1))echo '<base href="http://www.example.com/wp-content/uploads/statplanet/">';?>And for a second map, you can specify another file location as follows (replacing page ID "2" with the WordPress page ID number of your page):<?phpif (is_page(2))echo '<base href="http://www.example.com/wp-content/uploads/statplanetcounty/">';?>Alternatively, the page title could be used, for example:if ($page_title == 'my page title')See also this Forum post for more details.
Go into the post or page where you want to embed statplanet, click on the HTML tab and you will see a button Kimili Flash embed. Insert the filename of the flash file e.g. StatPlanet.swf and then publish.
Update for Excel 2010 - It appears that Skype (or possibly other applications) can cause an error in Excel 2010 which prevents the 'paste' functionality from working properly. This will cause an error when pressing the 'Save button'. For more information please see the Microsoft Support forum.
If you get an error message when you press 'Save' in the StatPlanet Data Editor, please check the following:
- Have you unzipped / extracted the files? You will get this error message if you have opened the Data Editor without extracting the StatPlanet directories and files onto your computer.
- Make sure that the file 'data.csv' is not open when you press the 'Save' button.
- Make sure you have not renamed any of the Excel sheets in the StatPlanet Data Editor, nor any of the original filenames and directories.
- Make sure the files are copied (extracted) to a place where you have permission to save data. If you copied the software into the 'Program Files' directory you may get a VB runtime error 1004. Copying it to your 'Documents' folder, or the desktop (for example) would resolve this issue.
The shapefile map may not load for various reasons:
- Map ID error: The DBF file (map.dbf) uses an ID containing special characters which are not supported. It needs to have an ID which is alphabetical (a-z or A-Z), numerical or alphanumeric. The solution is to create one yourself by editing the DBF file. As of Excel 2007, DBF support is no longer included, but Open Office Calc can be used as a free DBF file editor.
- Time-out error: The shapefile is too large leading to a time-out error. This might be an issue if your shapefile is over 10 mb and/or contains a large number of regions. See how to reduce the size of a map for significantly reducing the map size. As of StatPlanet Plus v 3.0, larger shapefile maps are supported.
- Unknown shapetype error:
- Use the free Quantum GIS software to open the shapefile (Layer -> Add Vector Layer -> Browse). Simplify the map if required (to reduce the file size). Then save the shapefile through (Layer -> Save As). If it still does not work, you may need to save it as WGS 84 (Coordinate reference system).
- Other: If none of the above apply, there may be a problem with the shapefile itself. Most commonly, the number of map areas in the DBF file do not match the map areas in the shapefile (SHP) itself. StatPlanet is sensitive to such issues, so even though it may open successfully in a GIS application, it cannot be read by StatPlanet. Specialized GIS software may be needed to resolve such errors.
This issue can be resolved by replacing the file 'SHPreader.swf' with 'SHPreader2.swf' included with the shapefile version of StatPlanet. You may first wish to make a copy of the file 'SHPreader.swf', then remove the original 'SHPreader.swf' and rename the file 'SHPreader2.swf' to 'SHPreader.swf'. For the web-version, you would need to copy the 'SHPreader.swf' file also into the 'web' directory.
If one or more circles appear in your map representing map regions, it indicates that these map regions were not found in the shapefile. This is likely to be related to the ID column which was selected when running 'setup shapefile map' in the StatPlanet Data Editor. In this case, you would need to run 'setup shapefile map' again. This time select a different ID column. You may need to experiment with different ID columns until you find that all map regions are displayed and there are no more map circles. If this does not resolve the issue, there may be a fundamental problem with the shapefile map and/or the 'dbf' file which defines the map regions in the map.
The following is a checklist of potential issues when data import fails. Please see also the example data file structured for import, or the Forum for technical support if you are unable to resolve it.
1. Spelling of names: If the spelling of a map area (or variable name) in the file you are importing is not recognized, the corresponding data will not be imported. The names in the data file need to match those in the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet "Import names". Please see “Names not recognized” in the User Guide for resolving this problem.
2. Numbers in names: If the names in your data file contain numbers in the same cell (e.g. "1 Alabama", "2 Alaska", "3 Arizona"), they need to be automatically removed as follows: (i) In the StatPlanet Data Editor, go to the sheet 'Import names', (ii) Select the checkbox 'Remove numbers / footnotes from names', (iii) Go to the sheet 'Import' and retry the import.
3. Names appear more than once: If the same map area or variable name appears more than once in your data file, the import macro will only import the data associated with the first one. To resolve this issue, please see "Names appear more than once" in the User Guide for resolving this problem. The Excel-based data restructuring tool may help you automatically structure the data for import, if you can organize the data as in the example set.
4. No year found in the data file / importing other kinds of date/time-based formats
The most likely issue is that there is a problem in reading the data structure. Errors in the data structure can generally be avoided by using the Import macro in the StatPlanet Data Editor. To check whether the data structure is correct, please see: data file structure. If you are editing the data.csv file directly on a Mac, please note that the data.csv file needs to be saved as a "Windows Comma Separated (.csv)".
Shapefile version: map related issue
If you are using the 'shapefile version' of StatPlanet, the most common cause is that StatPlanet is unable to access the files map/map.dbf and map/map.shp. To verify if this is the case, try opening the following page in your web-browser:
www.mywebsite.com/statplanet-location/map/map.dbf (replacing the first part of the link with the location of StatPlanet on your website).
If you get a 'page not found' error, the problem is either:
(i) the map directory has not been copied to your web-server, or
(ii) access permission for the directory 'map' and/or the files 'map.dbf' and 'map.shp' is currently restricted.
If it is an access permission error, this can be resolved by navigating to the map folder through FTP and right-clicking on the folder/files and enabling access. "Public permissions" - "Read" - needs to be enabled for the files map.dbf and map.shp.
StatPlanet files cannot be found, freezing on the loading screen
If it freezes on the loading screen, it could be that the StatPlanet files cannot be located (which could be the case when for example hosting StatPlanet within a CMS or SharePoint environment). The location of the StatPlanet files on the server can be specified in two ways. The first is to use the "base" tag in html (see also using the base tag), e.g.
<base href="/files/statplanet/" />
The text '/uploads/statplanet' would need to be replaced with the directory on your web server where the StatPlanet files are actually located.
Web-server issue in loading the data.csv file
If none of the above work, the web server may be unable to load the data.csv file. If this is the case, the solution would be to:
(i) Zip the data.csv file, creating a zip file called data.zip which contains the file data.csv
(ii) Upload the file data.zip to the web server into the same directory as the data.csv file
StatPlanet will automatically read data from the data.zip file, which may resolve the issue.
This might happen if there is a column shift, which occurs when a column for a particular map area is removed in one sheet but not in another.
There are three sheets which need to be synced with each other: Import, Import names, and Data. The map area names in the row at the top of these sheets need to be in the same order (see the example below). To see if they are not synced or matched, you could copy the row at the top of the of these sheets - containing the map area names - into a new spreadsheet. The map area names row from the three sheets (Import, Import names and Data) need to be placed one directly below the other. Then you can check if the names match across the columns. If there are column shifts, you would need to re-arrange, add or remove columns in the three sheets so that they are in the same order. If may then be necessary to re-import the data, if the data was imported into the wrong columns.
An example of a column shift is shown below. In this example, the sheets "Import names" and "Data" are synced (correctly ordered), but the sheet "Import" is not. Please note that the sheet "Data" normally shows the code for the map areas (as in this example) rather than the full name. In this case AFG is the code for Afghanistan, ALB for Albania and DZA for Algeria.
|column M||column N||column O|
|Sheet "Import names"||Afghanistan||Albania||Algeria|
In the case of map points and labels, if the above does not fix the issue, it means the map point and/or label is incorrectly placed. You would therefore need to move the map point and/or label to the correct location as described in the user guide.
StatPlanet Plus and StatTrends Plus allow for data, graphs and maps (StatPlanet Plus only) to be exported. This functionality is only available in the online version, once it has been published on the web.
If you get an error message when clicking export, or you see a text starting with '<?php' - this means that PHP is not supported by the web server.
If the web server supports the alternative script language 'ASP', you would need to update the StatPlanet Data Editor: go to the sheet 'settings', find the variable 'EXPLANG' and change 'php' to 'asp'.
It may require some reconfiguration in the server settings to be done by the web manager to enable support for PHP or ASP, at least for the directory where StatPlanet/StatTrends is located.
Usage and distribution of StatPlanet & StatTrends:
To purchase StatPlanet or StatTrends, please use the purchase form to specify your requirements. We will then get back to you with a quote. See also the cost and feature comparison, and the add-on modules available at additional cost.
The web and desktop versions of StatPlanet Plus and StatTrends Plus are identical, except for the following:
- The web version has additional support for exporting maps (StatPlanet only) and graphs as JPG or PNG images. Data can also be exported as an Excel-compatible CSV file. The desktop version has no export option.
- The web version is restricted to a particular web domain, e.g. www.mywebsite.com.
- The web version loads a company logo / image from an external file, whereas in the desktop version the image is embedded and permanent.
- The web version is intended for use by visitors to the website; the desktop version is intended for internal / company use. If the desktop version is required for other purposes, please contact us.
In terms of the license, the desktop version is free for non-commercial use, and requires a license for commercial use. The web version requires a license for both non-commercial and commercial use.
With the web license, all 'development side' aspects can still be done on the desktop, such as modifying/importing maps, importing data and customizing the software. The distinction between the two is only in terms of the end-user. If users access the software on the web, then the web license is needed. If users need to be able to work with the software on their desktop, then the desktop license is (also) required.
Yes you can. We work with various resellers and are also happy to work with the reseller of your choice. When purchasing through a reseller, it would be helpful to specify the requirements as indicated in the purchase form.
Yes, StatPlanet and StatTrends can be freely downloaded, copied and distributed to others via any medium (such as a CD or USB Flash drive) without requiring permission.
However, please include a reference to statsilk.com if it is used in a website, CD-ROM or publication.
See also the license terms.
The software is not open source and the code cannot be purchased. However, the following components are open source and can be modified:
- The Flash template in the 'custom Flash map' version of StatPlanet can be edited. It can be used to create your own map designs, as well as add any other features, design elements and text you may wish to include in your maps.
- The 'shapefile' code is open source and can therefore be modified and extended. This code is used to draw the shapefile maps.
- The StatPlanet Data Editor is open source. It is used to automate the process of importing data, save the data file and save the settings file in a format which can be read by StatPlanet. It can therefore be modified to better suit the format and structure of your data when importing.
In addition, the StatPlanet or StatTrends logo in the bottom-right corner of the main application screen can be replaced with a custom logo from an external image file when a license is purchased.
If you require other modifications, please contact us for a paid customization or make a request in the Forum. Many suggestions for improvement have been incorporated into the next version of the software, but unfortunately it is not possible to incorporate all requests.