Thematic maps
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THEMATIC MAPS. Mercator projection. Why did my plane from Paris go so far out of the way to get to Chicago?. Mollweide Projection. Maybe it didn’t go too far out of the way…. Azimuthal projection (north pole). That explains it! Remember that every projection is a distortion.

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THEMATIC MAPS

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Thematic maps

THEMATIC MAPS


Mercator projection

Mercator projection

Why did my plane from Paris go so far out of the way to get to Chicago?


Mollweide projection

Mollweide Projection

Maybe it didn’t go too far out of the way…


Azimuthal projection north pole

Azimuthal projection (north pole)

That explains it!

Remember that every projection is a distortion.

How is this projection distorted?


Review

Review

  • Every map employs some kind of projection to transform spherical surface to flat surface

  • Choice of projection reflects priorities of cartographer in regard to preserving one of the following (or compromising between all)

    • Area

    • Distance

    • Direction

    • Shape


Review1

Review

  • All maps involve decision-making process

  • There is no “natural” way to draw a map

  • Maps are not reflections but rather selections of reality

  • Maps can be analyzed just like literature to determine what the cartographer believed and thought about the world (J.B. Harley, John Pickles, etc.)


Medieval t o map

Medieval “T&O” map

What common words in the English language reflect this tradition of mapping?


General idea

General idea

  • Thematic maps represent one or two variables (population, ethnicity, income, language, religion, etc.) in map form

  • The “language” of thematic maps is quite varied, and involves the use of color, shape, pattern, light and dark, etc.

  • Thematic maps serve two main purposes:

    • Analysis of data

    • Presentation of data


Isoline map of population

Isoline map of population


Map with pie chart callouts

Map with pie chart callouts


Choropleth map

Choropleth map


Cartogram and choropleth

Cartogram and choropleth

A cartogram is a boundary map in which the areas are distorted systematically: every partition’s area shows its value for a particular variable


Choropleth maps

Choropleth maps


Choropleth maps1

Choropleth maps

  • Tremendously common and useful

  • Use some existing system of boundaries (countries, states, counties, voting districts, etc.)

  • Group data into 2 or more levels or classes using slicing values

  • Show spatial variation of one or two variables at a time by using color, shades of grey and/or patterns


Percent of population white not hispanic

Percent of Population White (not Hispanic)


Percent of population white not hispanic1

Percent of Population White (not Hispanic)


How can such different looking maps show the same variable

How can such different looking maps show the same variable?

  • Cartographic reasons

    • Different slicing values

    • Different levels of spatial aggregation

  • Geographical reasons

    • Uneven distribution of minorities at the state scale as well as at the national scale

    • Concentration of minorities in cities, particularly in northern states


Different ways of slicing data

Different ways of “slicing” data

  • The Data {42, 50, 55, 57, 61, 77, 79, 97}

  • Equal interval

    • Three classes based on range 40 to 100

    • {42, 50, 55, 57} {61, 77, 79} {97}

  • Quantile

    • Quartiles (lowest 1/4 of observations, next 1/4, …)

    • {42, 50} {55, 57} {61, 77} {79, 97}


Different ways of slicing data1

Different ways of “slicing” data

  • Natural breaks

    • {428505552574616772791897}

    • {42} {50, 55, 57, 61} {77, 79} {97}

  • Standard deviations

    • Mean = 64.75, Std. Dev. = 15.977

    • {42} {50, 55, 57, 61} {77, 79} {97}


Natural breaks

Natural Breaks


Equal interval

Equal Interval


Quintiles quantiles based on division into 5 classes

Quintiles (quantiles based on division into 5 classes)


Which map would be preferred by each of the following users

Which map would be preferred by each of the following users?

  • The ACLU

  • The KKK

  • A geographer studying the relationship between ethnicity and poverty

  • A spokesman for the Georgia branch of a charitable assistance association targeting minorities


Thematic maps

  • Not very useful this way

  • Generally it helps to re-order the data


Thematic maps

quartiles: what is 52 ÷ 4 ?

What if you wanted to use quintiles?


How informative would natural breaks be in this case

How informative would “natural breaks” be in this case?


Problems with choropleth maps

Problems with choropleth maps

  • Make it easy to slant data to suit the cartographer’s purpose (by adjusting the slicing values)

  • Create the illusion of rapid breaks whereas data varies continuously and gradually in the real world

  • Allow small areas (like major cities) to overwhelm the data of large regions (like states)


Process maps

Process Maps

How can you map a process?


Map with pie chart callouts1

Map with pie chart callouts


Expansion of the eu

Expansion of the EU


Religious diffusion

Religious diffusion


Thematic maps

Charles Joseph Minard’s map of the disastrous Napoleonic campaign in Russia (1812)


Thematic maps

Mei-Po Kwan


Thematic maps

Mei-Po Kwan


Thematic maps

Paul Adams


Questions

Questions

  • Why use an isoline map instead of a choropleth map?

  • Why use a choropleth map instead of an isoline map?

  • What kind of map is unbiased?

  • What kind of map reflects the interests, intent, and biases of the mapmaker?

  • What are some problems with choropleth maps?

  • What are some processes that people have managed to map?


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