Compiling ChoroWare

ChoroWare is a suite of tools used to develop optimal data classifications for choropleth maps. I am surprised that I did not discover it until recently, because this is one of my favorite topics in cartography.

ChoroWare might prove to be particularly useful for ambitious users of free GIS applications like Quantum GIS or ArcExplorer. These programs do not offer very sophisticated classification schemes, but they do allow classes to be defined manually. In this way, I plan to try mapping classifications generated with ChoroWare.

Executable versions of ChoroWare are not available for Mac OS X (or any other platform), so you must build it from the source code. ChoroWare has two main dependencies: GTK+ and GSL. GTK+ itself has numerous prerequisites, which I have described in a separate article (again, it may be wise to use a package manager). Building GSL is relatively straightforward:

gsl-1.11: GNU Scientific Library

  1. ./configure
  2. make
  3. make install

With all the prerequisites in place, building ChoroWare is as simple as:

  1. make

I found that make install did not work, so I performed the equivalent action of copying the piping-hot new executables from their various subfolders to /usr/local/bin.

The included example files run without fault. ChoroWare on Mac OS X:

ChoroWare on Mac OS X screenshot

More details about the theory and implementation of ChoroWare can be found in the documentation (PDF) and associated papers (PDF).

Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2008. Tags: .