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TitleUsing Data Buffet: Zoom a map
AuthorPhillip Thorne

When creating maps in Data Buffet, you can zoom-select to focus on portions of specific interest.


Data Buffet provides a Map module with templates for the major statistical subdivisions of the U.S. and for select other countries: All the counties in the U.S., all the provinces and territories in Canada, etc. When you pick a concept to plot, areas that have data are shaded; areas with no data are left unfilled.

You can't selectively omit areas; there's no equivalent to the "geo lists" used in the Basket module. Instead, you can zoom into specific portions of the map. For example, if a dataset is reported only for Canada's 10 provinces, the three territories will be blank -- and the territorial outlines occupy the unwanted upper two-thirds of the graphic.

Zooming is an optional function that you must specially activate:

  1. Open the "Options" panel.
  2. Switch to the "Output" group.
  3. Select the "Interactive" checkbox.
  4. Press "OK" to close the Options panel. 
  5. A cluster of move/zoom/reset controls appear in the upper-left corner of the map.

Once activated, you can marquee-select areas:

  1. Click-drag-release with your mouse to draw a rectangular selection frame.  The frame isn't visible until you release. It's yellow and translucent.
  2. Click inside the frame to zoom the map.
  3. To zoom further, draw another selection frame.
  4. To slide the selection, use the arrows in the control cluster.
  5. To see the whole map, click the "Reset" button, located in both the control cluster and the Options » Output group.

Your zoom-selection will save with all the other map attributes.


When using the slide-arrows, the map has to redraw each time. You may find it faster to reset the map to zero-zoom and drag-zoom anew.

If using area labels, you may need to resize them to suit the new zoom scale. Go to: Options » Appearance » Labels » Edit Font Style.


The Data Buffet Map module generates choropleth maps, in which the value of a statistical variable for a region is indicated by color. In our case, it's the value of a time series for a specific period. (If the period has no value, the area will be unshaded.)

In Map's simplest use, you pick a concept code (e.g. ET, employment) and a template (e.g., states), and the concept is duplicated across all the regions (ET.ME, ET.VT, ET.NH, ..., ET.AK).  You can also plot synthetic series, by entering formulas that process a single concept or combine multiple concepts.