Let's take a brief look at the process of working with GIS data manually. Before we can begin, there are two things you need to do:
Let's use the US Census Bureau's website to download a set of vector maps for the various US states. The main site for obtaining GIS data from the US Census Bureau can be found at:
To make things simpler though, let's bypass the website and directly download the file we need from the following link:
The resulting file,
tl_2009_us_state.zip, should be a ZIP-format archive. After uncompressing ...