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Courtesy NASA Earth Observatory. © 2009 thematicmapping.org. Colors by Cynthia Brewer.

Internet Usage

The CIA World Factbook is a useful data source for global country comparison. In this example, we combine two tables—population and number of internet users—to show per capita internet usage. The color encoding produces a choropleth map: countries with higher internet penetration are in red, while those with less are in orange.

This example uses a fixed-resolution GeoJSON layer for the world country outlines, providing a simple example of custom vector data. Here the vectors are from thematicmapping.org. (Tiled multi-resolution outlines, such as the state and county tiles used in other examples, are preferrable, but more work to produce.) The background map is the Blue Marble image layer, courtesy the NASA Earth Observatory.

This example uses a helper library to load tab-separated values, which is the file format used by the CIA World Factbook. The country names are used as unique identifiers to match GeoJSON features.

The n$ method comes from a helper library called NNS, which makes it easier to create custom SVG elements. NNS is optional and not required to use Polymaps. Other libraries, including jQuery, provide similar functionality.

Source Code

var po = org.polymaps;

/* Country name -> population (July 2010 Est.). */
var population = tsv("population.tsv")
    .key(function(l) { return l[1]; })
    .value(function(l) { return l[2].replace(/,/g, ""); })

/* Country name -> internet users (2008). */
var internet = tsv("internet.tsv")
    .key(function(l) { return l[1]; })
    .value(function(l) { return l[2].replace(/,/g, ""); })

var map = po.map()
    .center({lat: 40, lon: 0})
    .zoomRange([1, 4])


    .on("load", load));


map.container().setAttribute("class", "YlOrRd");

/** Set feature class and add tooltip on tile load. */
function load(e) {
  for (var i = 0; i < e.features.length; i++) {
    var feature = e.features[i],
        n = feature.data.properties.name,
        v = internet[n] / population[n];
        .attr("class", isNaN(v) ? null : "q" + ~~(v * 9) + "-" + 9)
        .text(n + (isNaN(v) ? "" : ":  " + percent(v)));

/** Formats a given number as a percentage, e.g., 10% or 0.02%. */
function percent(v) {
  return (v * 100).toPrecision(Math.min(2, 2 - Math.log(v) / Math.LN2)) + "%";
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