Thematic Maps


Maps come in multiple genres. In this section of the course we will develop a taxonomy of map types and, especially, learn about different kinds of thematic maps and how to make them well. Part of the background skill set here is how to think about how to visualize distributions.


6A Graduated Color Maps

Knowledge: frequency distributions, histograms, and cutpoints
Natural breaks, standard deviation, equal interval, defined interval, quantile, geometric interval
Mean, mode, median, standard deviation

6B Manual classification

6C Density


6D Graduated symbols and Charts

Graduated symbols vs. Proportional symbols
Types of charts: pie, bar/column, 3D stacked


Specialty Maps. Types of thematic maps. Multivariate maps. The range of thematic maps. Emphasis on visual communication, feature selection, symbolization. Saying what you want to say, not saying what you don't want to say. Why statistics starts to matter. Visual presentation of quantity. Possible example: how to show the "dividedness" of American politics.

Maps as form of data visualization.