Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tobler's FlowMapper


Geographical movement is of crucial importance. This is because much change in the world is due to movement; the movement of people, ideas, money, or material. One way of depicting and analyzing geographical movement is by way of geographical maps. In 2003 CSISS supported an effort to produce an interactive flow mapping program. The result is an updated Windows-based version of a program originally designed and programmed by Waldo Tobler in 1987. Tobler's original application was updated by David Jones using Microsoft Visual Basic.Net and SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics) for map rendering. It requires as input locational coordinates and a table of interaction between places, place names,  and a file of boundary coordinates. The program allows for the production of a total movement map shown by volume-scaled bands, net movement given by scaled arrows, or simultaneous two-way moves. This FlowMapper document also includes a set of papers by Waldo Tobler:

FlowMapper Tutorials—p. 9

Movement Mapping—p. 104

On Viewing Flow Maps—p. 111

Optimal Parsing of Large Arrays—p. 124

Experiments in Migration Mapping by Computer—p. 128.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View