What did Power Map do with my data for Puerto Rico?

Be careful not to repeat my mistake of naïvely assuming Power Map handles “counties” in Puerto Rico and other US territories the same way as it handles counties and county equivalents in the US states.

Puerto Rico is neither an independent country, nor a State within the US. Officially, it’s a unincorporated territory of the US, known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. For the purposes of the US Census, it has 78 “counties.” Technically, these are county-equivalents since they are Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities.

Because it has “counties” I naïvely assumed that my dataset for Puerto Rico, at the county level, would map just like the 50 states plus Washington, DC. After all, DC does so and it’s nether a state or a county. Geocode your dataset in Power Map, and here’s what you get. Nothing.

Puerto Rico, Not Geocoded Properly 

The solution in Power Map is to use the actual ISO country code for Puerto Rico, either “PRI” or “PR.”

Puerto Rico, Correctly Geocoded

If your dataset happens to be exclusive to Puerto Rico, then it doesn’t matter in the Geography dialog if you designate the county name as either a County or State/Province type. Either way Power Map will geocode the counties in Puerto Rico.

Geography Dialog

On the other hand, if your dataset includes both the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (but not other US counties), then you’ll need to designate the county names as a State/Province.

If your dataset includes both US and Puerto Rico records, then you should stick with the County type geocode, as this will allow you to map both Puerto Rico and US counties together. If you are wondering how to map Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and US Counties on one map — well, I never could figure out this combination.

In conclusion, always include the Country designator in your dataset because territories are countries from an ISO perspective.

Author: 
Daniel Brasuk
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