Custom maps can be designed or modified using GIS software. From there, they would need to be exported in GeoJSON format for StatPlanet Cloud, or Shapefile format for StatPlanet. It is also possible to create multi-layer maps.
StatPlanet also supports custom vector maps designed using Adobe Animate.
Please see the free shapefile map downloads page to find shapefile maps which can be used in StatPlanet (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, regional and other locations can be added to StatPlanet 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. StatPlanet Cloud does not currently support the display of "map points" in the map, but any cities, regions or other locations will be displayed in the graphs.
There are three ways in which locations or "map points" can be added:
Procedure for adding map points through drag-and-drop:
Yes, there are three approaches to achieving this:
Map areas can be merged and treated as a single region. This can be done using the StatPlanet Data Editor, as follows:
In StatPlanet, the merged map areas will now be grouped together and treated as one. This can be done using any StatPlanet 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).
Vector image export enables high-resolution images, suitable for publication. It also enable the images to be edited after export.
StatPlanet Cloud can export maps graphs in the SVG format (Scalable Vector Graphics). SVG images are editable, and ideal for high quality print publications.
Maps/charts can also be exported as a vector image using StatPlanet and StatTrends, but it requires additional steps. Vector images can be exported, in PDF-format, as follows:
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. You may also need to experiment with moving around the map or using the 'portrait' orientation to get the exact view you want in the exported PDF page.
The map can further be edited using software such as Adobe Illustrator or the free and open source Inkscape software.
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 comes 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. For maps which are not in this list, please see downloading free shapefile maps, which includes a list of recommended websites for finding shapefile maps (please note that StatPlanet 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).
Multiple maps can be displayed on one page by setting the "base url" (location) for each of the maps within the web-page code. Each map requires a separate folder on the website server containing the files for that map (those from the 'web' sub-folder).
StatPlanet uses a combination of the equal interval and quantile classification methods. The equal interval method divides the map legend value range into equal-sized subranges. But first, StatPlanet does a percentile analysis to determine where to set the equal interval values to ensure a more even distribution of values in each color class.
StatPlanet does not use a pure quantile classification, because this would lead to non-equal intervals. With non-equal intervals, different map colors reflect (potentially very) different map ranges, which can be misleading when interpreting the map.
StatPlanet comes with an Excel-based Data Manager which can import data from spreadsheets in various formats including XLS, XLSX, CSV, TXT and HTML. In addition, XML and SDMX are supported - if your data is in this format, please contact us for instructions.
The Excel-based Data Manager converts your data into a web-optimised format, to speed up the loading time. It saves data in either a CSV (comma separated) or TXT (tab separated) format, with support for non-Latin scripts such as Arabic and Cyrillic. It is able to interpret a wide range of data structures, and also has support for recognising unlimited spelling variations of variables or map areas.
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.
Data can be 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.
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:
Installation & system requirements
Once payment has been made you will receive a receipt confirmation. Within 24 hours, a download link to the licensed version of the software will be provided, including further instructions.
Updating to the licensed version can be done as follows:
User hardware / software 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. 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.
For mobile devices, StatPlanet Cloud is recommended. However, StatPlanet and StatTrends can run on most recent Android-based mobile phones and tablets.
You can also use the Adobe Flash Player system requirements as a guideline.
Server hardware / software requirements
There are no specific server requirements to run StatSilk software. StatPlanet Cloud as the name specifies is cloud-based and only maps and data files need to be hosted on your server.
A dedicated server is generally not required for normal usage (< 5000 visitors/users a day).
StatPlanet Cloud runs on both Mac and Windows.
A Mac version is available for download for StatPlanet. 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 for Mac, which has a free desktop version for non-commercial use or for testing purposes.
StatPlanet Cloud runs on all smartphones and tablets including iOS and Android devices.
If you wish to run StatPlanet or StatTrends on an iOS devices, there are several third-party apps which can be used to do so. 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. For Android devices, Flash can be installed manually.
A custom app can be developed for you. Please contact us for further information and to request a quote.
Updating to the latest version while keeping your data and settings can be done by following these steps:
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:
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:
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, the licensed versions of all StatSilk products supports non-Latin international character sets. Please note that right-to-left fonts (e.g. Arabic and Hebrew) are only supported by StatPlanet Cloud.
To use non-Latin character sets in StatPlanet or StatTrends, 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. The web version does not include the international character set by default. This is only available in the purchased/licensed version on request.
The font sizes can be changed in the StatPlanet Data Editor sheet 'settings', variables MAP-TXT-S and MAP-TXT-S2 (for map text size), FONT-S (for general interface text size) and FONT-P-S (for popup text size).
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.
It used to be possible to use Google Sites to host StatSilk software for free. Unfortunately, as of 2017, this is no longer possible.
Publishing using Wix is not recommended, as Wix does not allow most types of external files (such as map files, or any type of data files besides .xls and .xlsx). This makes it difficult to host StatPlanet.
Update: For DropBox accounts created after October 4, 2012, the public folder option is no longer available in free accounts.
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.
StatPlanet Cloud only requires data and map files to be hosted (which are typically less than 1 MB 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.
Yes, with a StatPlanet Cloud Gold or Platinum subscription, you have the option of hosting your files and dashboards on StatSilk servers. StatPlanet Cloud can then be easily embedded in your website using an iframe. An iframe is essentially a web-page from an external website embedded within a web-page in your own website (so in this case, a web-page from the StatSilk server displaying your dashboard, embedded within a web-page on your website). Creating an iframe just requires a short line of code such as the following:
<p><iframe src="http://cloud.statsilk.com/l/mydashboard" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" width="1000" height="850"></iframe></p>
If your website uses a Content Management System, such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or a website building platform such as Wix, there are often specific modules or add-ons available for integrating iframes.
For more details, please contact us.
For StatPlanet Cloud, see the Quick Start Guide for online publishing instructions.
StatPlanet and StatTrends can be published online through the following steps:
Please see below for additional instructions for embedding StatPlanet / StatTrends within a CMS.
If you wish to embed StatPlanet or StatTrends within a web-page in your CMS, 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.
If you are not using Drupal or WordPress, the following are general instructions which should work with most CMS's as long as they provide an option of editing the HTML code of a web-page:
<base href="/files/statplanet/" />
See also: using the "base" tag for more details. The CMS you are using may also have specific instructions in the documentation for using the 'base' HTML tag.
If you run into any difficulties, you can post your support question on the Forum.
*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.
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.
- Unknown shapetype error:
- 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)".
If StatPlanet / StatTrends runs in the desktop version, but not offline in the web browser, you may need to change your security settings for Flash Player (Windows only):
1. Open the Control Panel (in the Start Menu, type 'control panel' in the search box)
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, it could one or more of the following issues:
1. The map directory has not been copied to your web-server. Please also verify that the map filenames are all lowercase (i.e. "map.dbf" and "map.shp").
2. Access permissions for the directory 'map' and/or the files 'map.dbf' and 'map.shp' are currently restricted. 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. Alternatively, you could place the map files ('map.dbf' and 'map.shp') in the same folder as the other files, i.e. the files in the folder 'web'. For this to work, you would need to replace the StatPlanet.swf and SHPreader.swf files with these ones.
3. The server configuration settings allow only certain types of extensions to be loaded. If there are security measures permitting only files with specific types of extensions, the .shp and .dbf extensions would need to be added to this list. The .shp and .dbf extensions may need to be added to the server’s known mime types as an application/octet-stream.
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
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.
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.
(Web versions of StatPlanet and StatTrends only).
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, or is deactivated for the folder where the application is located.
A .htaccess file might be blocking the PHP script from running through the line 'php_flag engine off'. This rule needs to be disabled for the export sub-folder for the PHP scripts to run.
If the web server does not support PHP, there is an ASP alternative. 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 also require some reconfiguration in the server settings to be done by the web manager to enable support for PHP or ASP.
StatPlanet Cloud does not require PHP or ASP to export maps and charts.
Purchasing, usage & distribution
The web and desktop versions of StatPlanet and StatTrends are identical, except for the following:
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 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.
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 completely open source and the code cannot be purchased. However, the following components are open source and can be modified:
- 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.
- 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.
A Splash Screen module is available for StatPlanet and StatTrends, to customize the opening screen.
For other types of modifications, please contact us.