I am a new intern at an NGO that has asked me to project data onto a map of Liberia. I am trying to create a map of Liberia that identifies the 15 counties within Liberia. Once I do so, I want to be able to color-coordinate the counties based on where each county is on a certain scale (e.g. doctor visits per capita, with the most being deep red, the least being pale pink, and all the other counties in between). I would like to display several variables (I think I can do this with layers...?)
I am new to ArcGIS and have been struggling. The only step I have done is download some maps of Liberia that I can't seem to edit or add the layers I want. Any help would be enthusiastically appreciated!!
When you say that you've downloaded maps of Liberia, I have a feeling that you're downloading raster images of a map or otherwise "complete" map and not individual data layers that you can work with.
You may need to look for shapefiles or a geodatabase with Liberia county or other administrative district polygons. If you can find some that already have attribute (census or other statistical data) attached, you're ahead of the game. I was able to find some possible data by searching Google for "liberia county shapefile" without the double quotes.
Then you can choose to change how the polygons are symbolized.
Add the shapefile or feature class to ArcMap. Right-click the layer in ArcMap and open its properties.
Switch to the Symbology tab. In the left box choose to show by categories or quantities.
If your statistical data is table-based, it will need to have a common field (like county name) so you can join it with the county polygon shapefile/feature class.
Hopefully, this will help you get started.
Here's an introduction to help you get started with editing in ArcGIS.
What is editing
A quick tour of editing.
If you forsee editing quite a bit, it may also help to take some classes, as some aspects can get quite complex. Note that some classes will be specific to the version of ArcGIS you have access to.
Chris Donohue, GISP
I was pretty much in his situation, but these resources were really helpful and I recommend the same for any application of ArcGIS.
Try browsing the content in the ArcGIS Resources site for any of your small queries.