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Research and Statistical Support - University of North Texas

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Link to the last RSS article here: Overview of ACS-Supported Software for Fall 2008  - Ed.

Creating Maps With GIS Data in SAS 9.1.3, Part 1

By Patrick McLeod, Research and Statistical Support Services Consultant

I’ve recently begun writing about using GIS data to create maps in the statistical packages that Academic Computing Services supports. I’ve already covered choropleth maps in Stata and with this column, we’ll be moving on to creating maps in the SAS System with GIS data. SAS  is no newcomer to the GIS integration market; under our Academic Computing Option license with SAS, UNT’s academic SAS license covers three products that can be used in combination with ESRI’s ArcGIS products or on their own to produce publication quality maps. In Part 1 of this look at SAS, we’re going to cover the SAS Bridge For ESRI and SAS Enterprise Guide.

SAS Bridge For ESRI is exactly what the name sounds implies: A linkage between the SAS system and ArcGIS. ESRI, an acronym for Environmental Services Research Institute, is the company that created, sells and supports the ArcGIS family of software. ESRI is more than just a software company, though; I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that ESRI is to the GIS community what Microsoft is to the computing community. ESRI’s core suite of software products, the ArcGIS family, are considered the industry standard in GIS software.

SAS Bridge For ESRI allows a SAS user with ArcGIS Desktop installed on his or her computer or access to ArcGIS Server to integrate tabular data from SAS into the ArcGIS environment for mapping and allows a SAS user to pull raster data from ArcGIS into SAS for analysis. You can find more information about SAS Bridge For ESRI at the SAS Support page for this product[1].

SAS Enterprise Guide provides much more than GIS mapping capabilities for the SAS user; Enterprise Guide is an entire GUI front end to the SAS System. In previous versions of SAS there was a basic GUI available for the statistical analysis portions of the SAS System called SAS Analyst. Enterprise Guide is a separate product from Base SAS that provides extensive menu capabilities as well as syntax integration.

To create maps in SAS Enterprise Guide, select the following menu options:

On a closing note, Academic Computing Services expects that we will be supporting SAS 9.2 in Spring 2009. To learn more about new features and changes to existing features in SAS/GRAPH under SAS 9.2, please visit SAS’ support site .[2] Coming next month in this column in Part 2 of our look at SAS, we will discuss SAS/GRAPH’s capabilities for creating maps and walk through the steps of creating a map using SAS/GRAPH. As always, thank you for reading and happy computing!



Originally published, September 2008 -- Please note that information published in Benchmarks Online is likely to degrade over time, especially links to various Websites. To make sure you have the most current information on a specific topic, it may be best to search the UNT Website - . You can also search Benchmarks Online - as well as consult the UNT Helpdesk - Questions and comments should be directed to

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