Exporting the joined GIS layer to shape
You should by now have a saved mxd file which has a copy of the worldmapper_all layer that is joined to your reorganized and tidied up data in the spreadsheet you prepared You have also added columns categorizing the world’s countries into group – what these are depends on the questions you asked.. Last week you practiced making a cartogram with the demo data and mxd file of the cartogram script. If you have got this far you are ready to make cartograms using your data.
Please read through the last blog post and the cartogram tool readme file if you are getting lost!!
Although it is possible to make a cartogram from the worldmapper_all layer which is joined to the spreadsheet, the cartogram tool cannot copy the columns across into the attribute table of the new cartogram layer it creates. In other words checking the box "Copy the Original Polygon Features table to the Output Cartogram Features table" causes an error. See the last blog post if you don’t understand. Try it and you will see a small red circle with a white cross.
We can get around this problem by including the joined spreadsheet’s data into the attribute table of new combined worldmapper shapefile. Follow the steps below to make this file and use this file to make your cartograms because the tool will now be able to copy all the columns across into the attribute table of the cartogram layer.
Exporting data to shape
- Launch Arcmap10 and open your mxd file containing the worldmapper_all layer joined to your reorganized data in the excel spreadsheet.
- Check that the join is still there by looking at the attribute table.
- Right click on the worldmapper_all layer and choose “Data” in the popup menu and then “Export Data” in the next popup menu.
- Fill in the export data form
- Export: all features
- Chose “this layer’s source data”
- Browse to where you want to save the new combined layer (shape file) and give it a name (It is best to put it in the same directory with all you other files).
- Click okay
- Choose yes to add the exported data to your map as a layer.
- You can now use this layer to make you cartograms – first check though that the spreadsheet data was included in the attribute table.
Note: If you have problems with the export it may be because you have not reduced your column headings in your spreadsheet to about 8 characters. Do this and try again!