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  • Inset Maps in Spotfire

    The page discusses how to insert maps in Spotfire.

    When you build a map of the United States with data in Alaska and in Hawaii you get a map that is geographically right but you can barely see the data in Hawaii and other small states, and Alaska appears very big compared to the rest.

    Regardless of where they are on the map, Alaska and Hawaii are both states, equally important as any other state. Removing them is not an option.


    This issue appears not only in the United States but in other territories as well. Take France for example. Unless you specifically care about the geographical representation of the data, this map is hard to read and interact with.


    One way to fix this in Spotfire is to create multiple maps, each representing a part of the data shown. For example, creating one map for the contiguous United States, another for Alaska, and another for Hawaii.

    This solution works but it can be difficult and time-consuming to configure and manage.

    Another way is to use an alternative representation of the geography where non-contiguous territories are re-scaled and re-positioned as insets. For instance, a standard practice for the United States is to scale and position the states of Alaska and Hawaii in the lower left corner of the contiguous (or conterminous) 48 states. The geography is not respected but the map is much easier to read.


    From Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_50_states_K%C3%B6ppen.svg

    Insert Maps for Spotfire

    At the bottom of this page, you can download inset maps for Spotfire. Available for the USA States, French Regions, and French Departments, these SBDF files can be used directly in your Spotfire analysis.

    If you need to use them on a regular basis or if you want to share them through your organization, you can also add them as new Geocoding Tables by saving them to your Spotfire Library.

    Don't forget to remove the Map Layer when you use these map representations. They are geographically wrong and do not match the map background.

    Here is how they look:


    USA States Inset Map


    French Regions Inset Map


    French Departments Inset Map




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