InstantAtlas Desktop 6.5.0 is released

What is new in InstantAtlas Desktop 6.5.0

We have created a short video overview covering all the latest features including:

The Double Base Layer Template
Pyramid Charts
Dot Plot
Statistics Component
WYSIWYG Designer

We have also provided a complete transcript of the video – please see below.

TRANSCRIPT FROM THE VIDEO OVERVIEW – by Andrea Lischewski – InstantAtlas Support

Welcome to an overview of the key new features of InstantAtlas Desktop version 6.5.0.

First of all, we have a new template, which is free for all who have a software license which covers the Double Map Time Series template. It is called Double Base Layer Template and – as the name suggests – it allows you to create a report where your map contains two base geographies which you can see at the same time. Like in the example I have here, it is very useful to display graduated points over shaded polygons. The shaded polygons show a categoric indicator with the risk level of a particular disease. At the same time you can see in the proportional point symbols the number of cases of this disease for each country where it occurred. Both base layers come with a table, a legend, a bar chart, a pie chart and time series chart. The bar chart and time series chart for the polygon layer are for this example not included. You can link the indicators for both layers by deleting the second Data button and Data Explorer as I did it here in this report. If I now change the data to another disease you can see that the data for the point layer also updates.

There are also several new charts available in the Single Map report. One of which is the Pyramid Chart. You can see it in this example report. It will commonly be used as a way to display population data split up into different age groups and genders. The data needs to be organised in two themes, the first one for Male and the second one for Female. The indicators represent the different age groups and you can have several time periods for each indicator. This Excel workbook is the one I used to create the data.xml file for this report. I included a time animation into the report, so when I click ‘Play’, I can see the development of the population over time for the selected area.

This report summarises the remaining new components. Here on the left I included the Statistics Component which calculates on the fly several statistical values such as the sum, mean, median, min and mix values and so on for the currently selected indicator. If I apply a filter, the values update to only include the areas which are included in the filter. You do not need to supply these values beforehand; the report calculates them automatically for you.

At the bottom of the report you can see the Dot Plot. This new chart shows the distribution of the indicator values around the mean. The grey shaded box shows the range of plus minus half the standard deviation, the whiskers end at the 1 standard deviation mark on each side. At the very left and right you see the dots of the minimum and maximum values. This chart has two modes. The current mode is the distribution mode. It can be changed to the interquartile mode where the grey box will represent the interquartile range, the vertical line in the box will be the median and the whiskers end at the 95th percentile on either side.

If you add Google Maps as background layer to your report, you can now add a Google Search Box which allows the end user to search the map for e.g. postcodes, street names or other places of interest. The search results will always be limited to the area of your base geography.  So in this example, if I typed in Paris, I wouldn’t get any results since there is no Paris in Edinburgh. If I search, however, for Queen I get a whole list of places with the text ‘Queen’ in their name. I can now select the location I was looking for from the list. The map will centre to this location and a red marker will appear. This marker might be hidden behind the base geography so if I toggle that layer off I can see it.

Another new feature of version 6.5.0 is that it is now possible to define different table column labels for each indicator. If I change my data to indicator 2 you will see that the column headers change.  This is set up in the ‘Metadata’ worksheet of your Excel workbook or, – if you use Access – in the respective table.  The MetadataElement is called “alias_” and then either indicator if you wish to change the label of the indicator column or you can use “alias_” and then the name of the associate column that you wish to change the label for. In column D you can then enter your new labels.

In row 5 and 6 you can see two additional new MetadataElements similar to the ones use to change the labels. These start with the word “column_” and allow the administrator to add further column to the data table for a specific indicator. “column_indicator” adds the indicator column and “column_ associate name” adds an associate. In this example it is my associate ‘state’. In column D I entered an alias for both columns. To see the effect I change my data to Indicator 3. The Data Table contains the two additional columns only for this indicator.

All associate columns are from now on numeric by default since most people have numeric data as associates. If your associates are categoric you will need to set the type to be categoric in the ‘Metadata’ worksheet as I have done it here for my ‘state’ associate. New in 6.5.0 is that you can now use the star symbol as a wild card character. This works like a joker symbol so what I entered here in row 2 means that the associate column ‘state’ in all indicators of Theme 1 shall be set to type categoric. This saves me from needing to define this setting for each indicator separately.

I included Towns as a contextual point layer into this report. By default contextual point layers are displayed as little circles. If you don’t like that and you would prefer to see another symbol instead, you can now upload an image file into the Publisher which will be used instead of the circles. When I toggle the town layer on, the towns are displayed as red stars. When installing InstantAtlas it will save a collection of icons in different shapes and colours into your installation folder. You can either use one of these or create your own icons, preferably in PNG-format since this image format support transparency of the background.

Also new in this release is the what-you-see-is-what-you-get Designer – short WYSIWYG Designer. To show you, what that means, I will open the config.xml file of this report in the Designer. Instead of the Wireframe View the Designer opens by default in the Design View. You can see the look and feel of the report while you change positions, size and setting of components which makes designing of your report much more user-friendly.

Last but not least I would like to introduce to you the functionality of including GeoRSS feeds as contextual layers into a dynamic report. This is done in the Publisher where you can add a link to one or more GeoRSS Feeds. The locations of the GeoRSS items will be displayed as contextual points in your map. You can enable labels for this contextual layer to see the title of the GeoRSS items and if you enable tooltips, the content of the content, summary or description attribute will show when you mouse-over the points. You can even make them ‘sticky’ by clicking with your mouse when the tooltip appears. Now it would be possible for me to follow a hyperlink in the description if there was one.

I hope this little video makes you excited to try out all these new features for yourself. If you have any questions about the new 6.5.0 release, please don’t hesitate to contact the Geowise support team on

One thought on “InstantAtlas Desktop 6.5.0 is released

  1. Really pleased with the ability to define column headings per indicator. This was something we picked up on in user testing and hadn’t been expecting an improvement to fix it.

    The pyramid chart seems a little underwhelming. Is it usable on IA server? It doesn’t seem like it. Having heard it was in development we had been hoping for a profile widget which would probably be of more use. Good to see it’s been looked at though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s