Written by Thomas Pham
Indie Mapper (http://indiemapper.io/app/) is a free web-based thematic mapping tool developed by the guys at Axis Maps – Andy Woodruff (Bostonography) and Zach Johnson. It was developed some 8 years ago and from what I have seen, some things have not been maintained such as pop up help link images. However, the functionality is still there and it is still interesting to play around with it.
So what can it do? Everything is web based so all you need is a web browser. Built into the application is some preset data layers you can choose from including: boundaries, countries, states, populated places (which all come from Natural Earth). There is also some additional thematic layers that can be added ranging from agriculture to water consumption. You can also add in your own data, which is limited to: KML, shapefiles, and GPX. You can save your project to a .imp file which can be reused simply by re-uploading that file to the site. Lastly, you can add in a north arrow and create annotations.
It allows you to project your data automatically although it is limited to 14 different projects. One nice feature is that you can filter projects by distortion type. For example, you can show only projections that preserve size, shape, direction, or is a compromise. Additionally, it also gives a brief overview of that specific projection and the distortion that is associated.
Once you complete your map you can export it. You have the option to export as an SVG, JPEG, or PNG and specify the size.
Here is an example of a bivariate choropleth map I created that visualizes patterns in percent obesity and percent diabetes. For the bivariate choropleth style, you can select number of classes, classification method, choose from pre-defined color schemes.
Overall, you can tell that the website is a little bit dated but there are certainly some interesting features. I really like that you can create bivariate choropleths and cartograms easily. It does become sluggish when you bring in large datasets.