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Displaying county boundaries on map

This is a discussion on Displaying county boundaries on map within the MapPoint Desktop Discussion forums, part of the Map Forums category; I am trying to display county boundaries on a map however they only show when the map is zoomed in ...

  1. #1
    nortel07 is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    May 2007
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    Displaying county boundaries on map

    I am trying to display county boundaries on a map however they only show when the map is zoomed in and in that case they show up as faint dashed lines. i would like to see the boundaries of the counties when the map is zoomed out enough to see the whole state. does anyone have any suggestions? thanks.

  2. #2
    ThomCarr is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Washington, DC
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    Re: Displaying county boundaries on map

    Quote Originally Posted by nortel07 View Post
    I am trying to display county boundaries on a map however they only show when the map is zoomed in and in that case they show up as faint dashed lines. i would like to see the boundaries of the counties when the map is zoomed out enough to see the whole state. does anyone have any suggestions? thanks.
    Paul Larson gave me this idea from one of his posts, download Census 2000 County and County Equivalent Areas Cartographic Boundary Files from the U.S. Census Bureau at
    http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cob/co2000.html#shp They are shape files. You can download them by state or the whole nation and then import them to MapPoint. For MapPoint 2002 and 2004 you will need MapPoint Spatial Data Import COM Add-in at
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms980069.aspx . The Boundaries will be "thick" black lines.

    The only thing is the Census Bureau used two text fields for the FIPS codes, STATE (2) and COUNTY (3) [both with leading zeros], which is the correct way to represent the data. (some data, from the Census Bureau and other sources, for these fields does not have leading zeros because they used Excel). MapPoint uses five characters for the FIPS code to uniquely identify the County and County Equivalent Areas at that level/layer.

    After I imported the Boundary Files, in my case I had to concatenate the STATE and COUNTY fields to create a MapPoint FIPS code (County) when I imported updated county level population data from Census Bureau's Population Estimates Data Sets at Population Estimates Data Sets. Using MapPoint FIPS code and the Data import wizard mapped the data to all levels and I could get population estimates at the zip code and census tract level.

    Population Estimates Data Sets do not have leading zeros, so you will have used Access (or another Database) to format the data so MapPoint can use it. Also when using the Data import wizard it automatically assumes that any five character number is a zip code, so you will have to change fields to skip or other data and change the MapPoint FIPS code field to county. In a Access query I reordered and renamed the fields and sorted the data, placing the the MapPoint FIPS code field first and renaming "county" and MapPoint was happy.

    Paul's few little comments (about Boundary Files and FIPS codes) solved an issue I had for two years trying map some national plans. I could not get most of the jurisdiction names to match in Mappoint or the Census files, and only other data I had was the state and county names.

    It was even more maddening when I found that county names in Census files do not match the same format used the Mappoint database, 50 % at times were no match on the first run and had to be manually matched. Not much fun with 3141 records.

    BTW, FIPS codes work great too when creating multicounty territories.

    I know this is bit more then you asked, however there have a few recent questions by "counties" I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    nortel07 is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Displaying county boundaries on map

    Thanks so much for the help! But now that i have imported the map i am unable to see the shaded areas representing different ranges. how can i get the shaded area to be shown on the new map? thanks

  4. #4
    nortel07 is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Displaying county boundaries on map

    Forget it. i figured it out. thanks.

  5. #5
    tmcmullin is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Displaying county boundaries on map

    Can someone provide an update to this solution with MP 2006 in mind, please? I would also like to work with shape files available from the North Texas Coalition of Governments so that I can have territories of political subdivisions. I don't imagine the current solution which refers to older MP versions will work for me so I will await your expert suggestions. Thanks!

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