My friend and colleague, Chris Roth, has made lots of maps available in Visio, his latest being Germany ( http://www.visguy.com/2008/03/01/map-of-germany/ ). Well, we Brits hate being outdone by a German-American, so I have decided to make my UK Map shapes for Visio publicly available at http://cid-3350d61bc93733a9.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Blogs/UK%20Geography%20Structure.vsd .
I created the UK map several years ago by converting from PDF to SVG to Visio, and each of the counties and boroughs have a single rectangular Master, Admin Area. I used code to replace the rectangle geometry with the actual shape geometry. This means that, although they are all different, they actually have the same Master, thus making it easier to propagate any changes, such as Shape Data rows.
The download is a multi-page document of over 3mb, so be warned, and it also includes a chart of the breakdown of the UK Administrative Areas.
The Admin Area (and County) shapes are linked to the Excel spreadsheet (http://cid-3350d61bc93733a9.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Blogs/UK%20Counties%20and%20Unitary%20Authorities.xlsx), UK Counties and Unitary Authorities.xlsx, which contains columns of data about each area, and provides an hyperlink Notice the formula to concatenate two strings):
=HYPERLINK("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" & SUBSTITUTE(C2," ","_"))
I found out that the Visio 2007 Professional LinkData to Shapes function automatically thinks that values with "xxx:" at the start are hyperlinks, so I had to uncheck the Hyperlink setting for the Information column. (Interestingly, "Code:xxxx" opens op Lutz Roeder’s Reflector app on my PC!)
After making this change, I was able to Automatically Link the data to the shapes where Name = Name, and end up with a hyperlink that points to the Wikipedia for the region.
NB. I was going to use the Visio 2007 Professional Color By Value to automatically fill the regions, but I discovered that there is currently a 100 discrete value limit…so, I have used the Space Plan Color By Value legends – that does not have the limit! Maybe next version…