I'm assigned to get StatPlanet Plus working with some 3rd-party data to display a thematic map, on a Mac.

I have the custom regions and attribute data in a map.shp/dbf. And I've configured the settings.csv and data.csv according to the manual instructions in the User Guide. (There is some doubt about whether the Excel macros will work properly, especially on a Mac, so I've elected to do the configuration manually in order to eliminate unknowns.)

That guide has good instructions on what to do, but it's hard to find any complete, simple examples of the data.csv, settings.csv, map.shp and map.dbf files (other than the complex world example in StatPlanet_Shapefile_(ESRI)). Most of the maps at http://www.statsilk.com/maps/download-free-shapefile-maps do not include shapefiles. I eventually found that the map for Bhutan did. I used that one as a template for my own data, making only minimal changes to get it to work with my shapefile -- but alas, it still doesn't work.

What works for me:

  • The StatPlanet_Shapefile_(ESRI) map out of the box, with its many indicators in several categories, shows the countries of the world, colored according to the selected indicator.
  • The StatPlanet_Shapefile_(ESRI) map, with the shp/dbf/settings/data for Bhutan that I downloaded.
  • The StatPlanet_Mac app for shapefiles, with my own map.shp and map.dbf dropped in, but without modifying data.csv/settings.csv: This displays the regions from my shp, but of course doesn't color them according to our data (I wouldn't expect it to).

What doesn't work:

  • The StatPlanet_Mac app for shapefiles, with my own map.shp and map.dbf, and with my modified data.csv/settings.csv: This displays the StatPlanet splash screen, and nothing further. No error messages are given (even when I run the app from the command line). I imagine there's something wrong with the data.csv and the settings.csv, but as far as I can tell, I've done everything according to the instructions.

Here are the parts of those files that I've modified from the ones that came in the box:


  • Set the ID column name next to DBF-ID to GNS_ADM1
  • Put in the names and IDs of provinces of Suriname at the bottom under NAMES, e.g. "Nickerie NS14".


  • Deleted all rows below the first indicator (row 4)
  • Put in my own numbers in row 4, columns L through U
  • Put in ID's in row 1, columns L through U (these are values from the GNS_ADM1 column, e.g. NS19)

If you want to look at my file contents in detail, here they are:

And in case anyone asks, yes, I copied the map.dbf and map.shp into both the map/ and web/map/ folders.

So my question boils down to...

  • Can anybody see anything wrong with how I've set up my settings.csv or data.csv?
  • Does anyone know how to get StatPlanet Plus to output error messages?

So far I've only been using the desktop version of StatPlanet rather than the web version, since it wasn't clear how to use the web version with your own region vector data (and the web also introduces another layer of complexity unnecessary for this assignment).

  • 1
    is your shape file complete? - i.e. do you have the shx file too? (see forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=9&f=85&t=61866)
    – Mark
    Sep 9 '14 at 15:51
  • @Mark: I've tried it with and without the .shx. The documentation says that only the .shp and .dbf are needed.
    – LarsH
    Sep 9 '14 at 20:29
  • 1. Can anybody see anything wrong with how I've set up my settings.csv or data.csv? - The files settings.csv or data.csv are generated by Excel file StatPlanet_data_editor.xlsm, so it won't be better to edit those files or create it without using Excel macros file. - The file StatPlanet_data_editor.xlsm is straight forward. Understanding the structure of this file, data already contained in it and example demo, it would be easy to feed custom map and data, have to just remove the contained data and feed yours. - The shape file provided without its auxiliary file shx is not usable,
    – nish
    Sep 15 '14 at 9:12
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – user30184
    Sep 15 '14 at 9:33
  • @nishadhka Your answer has been converted to a comment because it was not answering the question asked. I recommend that you research/ask it as a separate question. For help on how our protocols work I recommend the Tour and for more detail this Help page.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 15 '14 at 9:59

To the question, Can anybody see anything wrong with how I've set up my settings.csv or data.csv?

  • The files settings.csv or data.csv are easy to be generated by Excel macros file StatPlanet_data_editor.xlsm of StatPlanet plus. I am remembering manually edited files are always returning error for my case.
  • I found another problem in shape file provided along with the question, it is not recognized by any other GIS applications such as QGis. Actually the user guide didn't mentioned about shx file, but it is provided along with Demonstration shape file and it is being used by the application. Copying provided Shape file in map folder and running update_map.bat is generating error as shown in the picture. enter image description here Running of update_map.bat is required to update custom shape files being copied in the map folder, even though user guide is mentioning this only required for different named shape file, I faced this routine is a must. Before running update_map.bat, StatPlanet would visualize your shape files as shown in this image enter image description here but it won't populate with data or graphics due to inherent problems in map.shp file. I suggest to edit the custom shape file very similar to the shape file provided in the demonstration in terms of attributes, layers and make sure it is readable by other GIS platform.

For the question, Does anyone know how to get StatPlanet Plus to output error messages?

  • StatPlanet Plus would started to generate error messages after running update_map.bat program available in the folder /StatPlanet_Plus/Shapefile_map_(ESRI)/map/update_map.bat. Subsequent running of StatPlanet.exe will through error if it is.
  • Thanks for making an effort. However I'm confused by a couple of things. (1) The error shown in your first picture is a Flash error. Yet you describe it as appearing when you run update_map.bat. (2) I think you're saying that update_map.bat must be run; it's not enough to just copy the map.shp and map.dbf file to the right folder. Yet looking at the commands in update_map.bat shows that it does nothing other than renaming the old map.shp/dbf out of the way, and copying others to map.shp/dbf. (Moreover, I'm on a Mac so running a .bat file isn't an option.)
    – LarsH
    Sep 15 '14 at 14:22
  • Regarding output of error messages, I can't run update_map.bat or StatPlanet.exe on a Mac. I've done the equivalent of update_map.bat (copying the right files) and run the StatPlanet Mac app, and I get no error messages.
    – LarsH
    Sep 15 '14 at 14:25
  • The flash error gives only after running update_map.bat. If not running update_map.bat, just overwrite map.shp, map.dbf and run StatPlanet.exe it just run without showing any error and visualize the map. I think the bat is kind of refresher that says app about new map and new data. For example, the data shown during custom map.shp is of old global demo data, there map only is changed instead of global demo outline map.
    – nish
    Sep 15 '14 at 14:42
  • For a testing in Mac, delete the map.shp and map.dbf file and run StatPlanet. It would throgh error and then past your custom map, now it must give error or any message
    – nish
    Sep 15 '14 at 14:49
  • I tried this suggestion, and it still doesn't throw any errors or other messages. It doesn't seem to be connected to a console at all. I guess I could continue pursuing the avenue of doing the whole process on a Windows machine. But since I'm doing this for a client who uses a Mac, it's a bit pointless.
    – LarsH
    Sep 15 '14 at 14:54

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