Interactive mapping user guidelines: Single map template

For help and information with the InstantAtlas Flash-based mapping software, refer to the Quick Help tips or the more detailed Guidelines for using the InstantAtlas dynamic report. In addition, refer to the Website video tutorials.

Quick Help

The following table provides some quick tips for using the InstantAtlas software for the Single Map Template. The full help file follows.

KeywordHow to...
Overall view Each element (map, table and chart) of the view is related. As you move your mouse over one element, the related parts of other elements are highlighted - click on an area to highlight it; click again to remove it, or right click anywhere and click on 'Clear Selection'.
Topic/ Indicator Click on the 'Select data' button to select a topic and then select an indicator to display.
Notes on data Click on the 'Select data' button to select a topic. Click on the 'page' icon to the left of the indicator to view data notes and sources in a new tab.
View Area Move the mouse cursor over the map or bar graph to see the names of areas and values for the indicator.
View all areas in legend range Click on a coloured legend box to highlight all the area names in the table along with corresponding areas on the map and bars on the chart in the selected legend range; click again to remove it, or right click the mouse and choose 'Clear Selection'.
Overlay and service locations Where available, another boundary can be added to the map view by checking the box to the left of the specific map overlay in the legend box. If service locations are included in the legend then these can be marked on the map (or removed) by checking the box to the left of the service location specified.
Type of legend Click on the ‘pencil’ icon button in the legend box to switch between quantile (events equally distributed between five groups), continuous (areas shaded on a continuous scale from lowest to highest value), equal interval classification (ranges are equal), natural breaks (based on standard deviations from data average), or to increase or decrease the number of ranges (e.g., to 3 ranges - high, medium, low etc.). The colour palette can also be changed using this function, and the order of the legend reversed.
Geography Use this button to select between different geographies (where available – e.g., in the PHN atlas): the name of the chosen geography is shown in the legend box. If data for the selected indicator is not available at the chosen geographical level, the map will appear grey. Where this occurs, an explanatory note appears in the box below the data table.
Filter to an area Click on the 'Filter to an area' button to filter to a specific area (e.g., State/ Territory).
Zoom - Area Zoom to a geographic area by clicking the magnifying glass against the area name in the data table box.
Reset - Map selections Remove area selections by right clicking and selecting 'Clear Selection'. Reset the map to full size by clicking on the magnifying glass below the +/- slider bar at the top left-hand-side of the map window (this is the ‘Zoom Full’ button).
Reset - Map filter/ size Remove filter selections by right clicking and selecting 'Clear Filter', and then 'Zoom Full' to reset the map using the magnifying glass below the +/- slider bar at the top left-hand-side of the map window. Alternatively, under 'Filter to an area', select 'Remove Filter', and then 'Zoom Full'.
Table For each area, the table lists the indicator value and the number (of people/ events etc.) for the indicator selected. Click on the Per cent/ Rate/ Age-standardised rate or Number heading at the top of the column to sort the data in ascending/ descending order.
Bar chart and comparison table The bar chart below the map shows all of the areas in the map and data table for the selected geography. The table to the right contains the data for the same indicator for each capital city and rest of state/ territory area: clicking on one of these areas shows it on the bar chart as a horizontal line. This allows a visual comparison between the capital city or rest of state / territory area and each of the component areas.
Add text or shape Right click and select ‘add text’ or ‘add shape’ to annotate or add shapes to the screen. These shapes can be moved to any position on the screen, however, are not included when exporting images.
Export Right click and select 'Export' to export to a .jpeg file for pasting and cropping into your document. Moving the cursor to the top right-hand corner of any box – Map, Data table, etc. – reveals an upward-pointing arrow; click on it to make that element fill the screen and produce a better quality image. Repeat the process and click on the downward-pointing arrow
Link to data The 'Link to data' button will open a window where you can choose to download or save the data in spreadsheet (.xls) format.

Guidelines for using the InstantAtlas dynamic report

Administrators can customise the appearance and functionality of an InstantAtlas report. The layout/colours/functionality described in the sections below may therefore be different in the report you are viewing. © 2010 GeoWise Ltd

Title

The title of the report appears at the very top. It typically lists the name of the theme, indicator and time period being displayed. It will also display any filter that you have applied to the data.

Buttons

  • Select data button: Click this button to display the available theme(s), indicator(s) and time period(s) in the Data Explorer.
  • Filter to an area button: Click this button to display the available filters in the Filter Explorer. If there are no filters in the report this button will not be available.
  • Data notes button: Click on this button to see how to access notes about each indicator - its policy relevance, data source, etc.
  • Geography button: Click this button to display the available geographies for the base geography. If there is only one base geography in the report this button will not be available.
  • Help button: Click this button to access a help document.

Components

All components of the report have a small toolbar that becomes visible when you hover over the top right corner of the component. There are three buttons available that allow the user to drag the component to another place within the report, to maximise the component to full screen and then restore it again to its original size and location or to close the component so that it disappears from the report. The components can also be resized using the little arrows that appear when you hover over the border or corner of the component. To restore the layout to its default upon load of the report, right-click anywhere in the screen and choose 'Reset Layout' from the context menu.

Select data

The Select data explorer lists the available themes, indicators and time periods. Click theme and indicator names to expand or collapse them. Click a time period or an indicator without a time period to load new data. The administrator may have configured the Data Explorer to not show any time periods but load only the most recent data when you select an indicator.

Click '+' button in the bottom right corner of the Data Explorer to expand the available theme(s), indicator(s) and time period(s).
Click '-' button in the bottom right corner of the Data Explorer to collapse the available theme(s), indicator(s) and time period(s).

Filter to an area

The Filter to an area explorer lists any available filters and their values. Click filter names to expand or collapse them. Clicking a filter value will filter the report so that only geographic features with the selected filter value are prominent. The administrator may have configured the report so that the map zooms to the filtered area. If this is the case you should use the 'Zoom Full' button in the map toolbar to return to the original map extent.

Geography Explorer

The Geography Explorer lists any available base geography. If you choose a different geography, all components of the report will update to display the data of the selected geography.

Data Table

  • Select features: Click the name of a geographic feature to select the feature. A selected geographic feature will be shaded orange. Alternatively, hold 'Ctrl' to select multiple features or 'Shift' to select a range of features. Holding the 'Ctrl' key and clicking on a selected feature allows you to deselect it.
  • Adjust column width: Hold your mouse pointer over the divider between column headers and lateral arrows will appear. Click and drag the divider to adjust column width.
  • Change column order: Click a column header and drag it to change the location of this column within the Data Table, e.g., if you want the notes icons to appear right of the data columns you can simply drag the whole column with the notes icons to the right border of the data table.
  • Sort Columns: Click a column header to sort the table ascending/descending. Note that the Name column and the Indicator column of categoric indicators will sort alphabetically while the Indicator column of numeric indicators will sort numerically. Associate values (typically shown in columns to the right of indicator values) always sort as if they were text unless the administrator has defined otherwise.
  • Magnifying Glass Icons: Click the magnifying glass icons to make the map zoom to individual geographic features.
  • Notes Icons: Click these icons to link to external resources.
  • Legend Colours: Small circles shaded in the colour of the class which the data value of this area is within in the legend. This helps to get a better visual impression of the data.
  • Scroll: A vertical scroll bar will be available if data cannot be viewed within the table dimensions.

Map Interface

  • Shading: Geographic features are shaded based on values in the data table according to the map legend.
  • Zooming: Use the slider bar on the left of the map to zoom in and out. Click the zoom full icon (bottom magnifying glass) to zoom back to full extent. Alternatively, hold 'Shift' and click and drag a box on the map. The map will zoom to the area within the box drawn. You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out of the map.
  • Menu: Click on the little triangle in the map toolbar to open a menu with further options for the report. These are also available via the context menu (right click mouse button) and are explained in detail in the section Context Menu.
  • Area Selection: 'Ctrl' and click and drag a box on the map. The map features within the box drawn will become selected.
  • Select a Geographic Feature: Click on a geographic feature to select that feature. A selected geographic feature will be shaded orange. Hold down 'Ctrl' key to select multiple map features.
  • Tooltip: Hold your mouse pointer over a map feature to display a tooltip with the geographic feature name and value.

Bar Chart

  • Bars: For numeric indicator values there is a bar representing each geographic feature listed in the data table. The height of the bars is proportional to the values in the data table. Bars are displayed in the same order as the features are sorted in the data table and shading is linked to the legend.
  • Select a Geographic Feature: Click a bar to select the corresponding geographic feature. A selected bar will be shaded orange. Alternatively, hold 'Ctrl' to select multiple bars or 'Shift' to select a range of bars. You can also drag a box to select multiple bars on the chart. Holding the 'Ctrl' key and clicking on a selected bar allows you to deselect it.
  • Error Bars: The bar chart may display error bars representing the lower and upper confidence limits associated with indicator values. These give an indication of whether the differences between indicator values are statistically significant. Comparison Values: The bar chart can display values for comparison geographies as well as features in the base geography. Values for comparison geographies are shown using a horizontal line across the chart.
  • Tooltip: Hold your mouse pointer over a bar to display a tooltip with the geographic feature name and value. It might also show the lower and upper confidence limit values of error bars.

Legend

  • Legend: The legend is displayed in the map layers list. It can be controlled by clicking on the 'pencil' icon next to the base geography name in this list. This will open the Legend Settings dialogue box.
  • Legend Settings: The items available in the Legend Settings dialog may vary depending on the data in the report and the way the report has been configured.
  • Border colour: The colour of the border around each geographical feature on the map.
  • Transparency: By sliding the bar the transparency of the shaded features in the map can be altered.
  • Palette: You can change the colour palette used to shade geographic features in the map by clicking on a new palette.
  • Reverse Palette: By checking this box you can reverse the colour palette used to shade geographic features in the map.
  • No. Classes: You can increase or decrease the number of classes by clicking the Increase or Decrease buttons (labeled with black arrows). The administrator may have fixed the maximum number of classes. Classifiers: Select a classifier from the drop-down. This will decide how the ranges are calculated.
  • Equal Interval: The intervals between class breaks are equal. Class breaks are calculated on-the-fly and will update if you change the number of classes. Geographic features in the same class are given the same shade. The administrator may have configured the report so that the class breaks are the same across all indicators in the report. The advantage of the equal-interval classification is that many map users will find it simple to understand. However, a disadvantage is that only the minimum and maximum data values are used when determining class breaks for the intervals (rather than the way the data is spread).
  • Quantile: Each class in the legend contains an approximately equal number of geographic features. Class breaks are calculated on-the-fly and will update if you change the number of classes. Geographic features in the same class are given the same shade. Two advantages of the quantile classification are that it is appropriate for ordinal data (as data are rank-ordered) and that it can help make map comparisons (assuming that the same number of classifications is used for all maps). A disadvantage of the quantile classification is that it does not consider how the data are distributed. If the data distribution is highly skewed, data observations will be forced into the same class (either the lowest or highest) where this may not be appropriate. As a result, the quantile classification may give a false impression that there is a relatively normal data distribution.
  • Natural Breaks: This classification method is also known as Optimal Breaks and Jenks’ Method. Class breaks are calculated on-the-fly and will update if you change the number of classes. Data are assigned to classes based upon their position along the data distribution relative to all other data values. An iterative algorithm is used to assign values to classes such that the variances within all classes are minimized whereas the variances among classes are maximized. The advantage of this classification is that the data distribution is explicitly considered for determining class breaks. However, the disadvantage is that map users may not understand the classification method used and that class breaks may not be immediately intuitive.
  • Continuous: Each geographic feature is shaded a different shade using a continuous scale. This legend type is useful for identifying extremely high or low values. Where an indicator has only a small number of unique data values (say 5 or less) this may be the most appropriate legend type to apply.
  • Standard Deviation: Class breaks reflect the number of standard deviations from the data average (or mean). Geographic features are classified according to how many standard deviations above or below the average their indicator value falls. Geographic features in the same class are given the same shade. You cannot change the number of classes for this legend type.
  • Min Point Size: If the data in your dynamic report is being displayed as proportional symbols (points), then you can set the size of the smallest point(s) here.
  • Max Point Size: If the data in your dynamic report is being displayed as proportional symbols (points), then you can set the size of the largest point(s) here.
  • Highlighting and Selecting: Hold your mouse pointer over a class in the legend to highlight the geographic features that fall into that class. Click a class to select the geographic features that fall within that class.

Map Layers

Click the check boxes to toggle the base geography on / off. Contextual geographies and background images may have been included by the administrator and can also be toggled on or off using the check boxes in the map layers box. Background images are "scale dependent" - they may turn on or off as you zoom into or out of the map. Note that images may not be visible at full map extent and you may need to zoom to a smaller area for them to appear. Depending on how the report has been configured, it may take some time for background images to appear.

Comparison Geographies Table

This table lists any comparison geographies that have been included in the report. The administrator may have configured the report so that comparison values are displayed in charts when you hold your mouse pointer over a comparison geography name.

Context Menu (right click mouse button)

  • Clear Selection: This option allows you to deselect all geographic features that are currently selected.
  • Clear Comparison Selection: This option allows you to deselect all comparison geographies.
  • Filter Selection: This option allows you to create a filter from the geographic features that are currently selected.
  • Clear Filter: This option allows you to clear a filter that has been applied.
  • Reset Layout: This option allows you to return to the original layout of the InstantAtlas dynamic report.
  • Add Text: This option opens a text editor window that allows you to add custom text to the report. Different styles for the text can be defined before it is added. Once in the report, the text can be dragged to a different position. The 'Remove All' button of the text editor window deletes all custom text. Single text elements can get removed by selecting and pressing the 'Delete' key on your keyboard.
  • Add Shape: This option opens a shape editor window that allows you to add custom shapes to the report. Different styles for the shape can be defined before it is added. Once in the report, the shape can be dragged to a different position. The 'Remove All' button of the shape editor window deletes all custom shapes. Single shapes can get removed by selecting and pressing the 'Delete' key on your keyboard.

Screen Captures

You can capture an InstantAtlas report as a screen capture. Make sure the graphics are as large as possible and then hold down Ctrl-Alt-Prnt Scrn on your keyboard. Open another application, such as Word or Power Point, and paste (hold down Ctrl-V on your keyboard) the screen grab. You can then edit the graphics (crop, resize, sharpen, etc) as required.