Often I have had various GeoCommons users ask me, “How do I turn my excel spreadsheet data into proportional shapes like the map below?”

proport map

Before now I would have told these users that they would have to use complicated and expensive mapping software. This would allow users to combine spreadsheet data with the desired shapes that they want to view on their map.

I am now happy to announce that with GeoCommons you no longer have to rely on the ways of the past. Now FortiusOne has created the new feature of GeoJoin which allows you to move beyond points and easily visualize regions. Below is a walk-through of the process or click this link to view a video that will visually assist you.

First, I have a spreadsheet of data in excel. The data is of various States in the USA with a corresponding value associated with each State.


Now I want to take this data and visualize it proportionally as the actual shapes of the States on my map. So, after saving the excel spreadsheet as a csv file I then upload it into Finder!


After I upload the file I proceed to the next steps:

Pending layers list. Click Next.


In Step 2 of the upload process click “Join with a boundary dataset”. This is the step I choose to perform the GeoJoin process.


The next part of step 2 allows me to search the Finder! database to find the appropriate boundary dataset to join to the data in my excel spreadsheet. In this case I want to find a boundary dataset of States in the USA. I can either search for the right boundary dataset by searching in the search bar or I can use the categories on the left hand side of the page to navigate to the appropriate dataset.


After the appropriate boundary dataset is chosen, my next step is to choose what attributes in the datasets I want to join together. In this case I’m matching ‘state’ from my data with ‘State name’ in the selected layer. I pay close attention to the message on the right hand side of the box to see how successful my GeoJoin match is.


I proceed through the rest of the upload steps of review, describe, and then map. When making a map in Maker! I choose to map by visual theme and can now view my map proportionally as it appears below.


GeoJoin is a great new feature of GeoCommons. To see a listing of what boundary datasets are available in Finder search ‘referenceboundary’ in the search bar on the Finder! homepage. There is a wide range from international borders to neighborhood boundaries of cities in the USA. Check it out and start GeoJoining today.


4 Responses to Better Know a GeoCommons Feature – GeoJoin

  1. nicheVC says:

    What about an automated feature (TripIt-like) that allows a user to email a csv file or data set in the text of email that might analyze and produce a visual effect in a proprietary account or openly within GeoCommons?

  2. Kate Chapman says:


    If technically inclined you could actually do that with the GeoCommons API. http://github.com/geocommons/api/

    Thanks for the idea!

  3. pslarkin says:

    This is awesome.

  4. […] Republished from Fortius One. February 9th, 2010 by Kevin Burke […]