How To Map Us Territories R Plotly

How To Articles

Mapping US territories with Plotly can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Plotly is a powerful tool for creating interactive visualizations, and being able to map data geographically opens up a world of possibilities. In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of mapping US territories using Plotly, sharing some insights and personal tips along the way.

Getting Started with Plotly

If you haven’t used Plotly before, I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s a versatile library that allows you to create beautiful and interactive visualizations with just a few lines of code. To begin, you’ll need to install Plotly using pip:

pip install plotly

Once Plotly is installed, you can start by importing the necessary modules and setting up your environment. I prefer to use Jupyter Notebook for my data visualization projects, as it provides an interactive and intuitive interface for exploring data and creating visualizations.

Obtaining US Territories Data

Before you can start mapping US territories, you’ll need the geographical data for the territories. One of the best sources for this type of data is the Natural Earth dataset, which provides a wide range of geographical data in various formats. You can download the Natural Earth shapefile for US territories and use it to create your Plotly map.

Creating the Map

Once you have the shapefile for US territories, you can use Plotly’s choropleth map feature to create an interactive map. The choropleth map allows you to color regions based on a data variable, making it perfect for visualizing data across US territories.

Here’s a basic example of how to create a US territories map using Plotly:

import plotly.graph_objects as go
import geopandas as gpd

# Load the shapefile data
us_territories = gpd.read_file('path_to_shapefile.shp')

# Create a choropleth map
fig = go.Figure(go.Choroplethmapbox(

# Show the map

Adding Personal Touches

One of the great things about Plotly is the ability to customize and personalize your visualizations. You can add annotations, custom color scales, and interactive features to make your map truly unique. I often find that adding a descriptive title and a color bar legend can greatly enhance the user experience.


Mapping US territories with Plotly is a fantastic way to explore and visualize geographical data. Whether you’re analyzing demographic trends, economic indicators, or any other type of data that varies by location, Plotly’s interactive mapping capabilities can bring your data to life. With some creativity and a touch of personalization, you can create visually stunning and informative maps that engage and captivate your audience.