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Project 5 Thematic Maps Aaron Henning & Carl Sherlock Thematic Maps Basics Transfer geographic data into geographic information Highlight one attribute’s geographic distribution Single purpose or “theme” in mind Review: Reference maps portray many attributes and features

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project 5 thematic maps

Project 5Thematic Maps

Aaron Henning & Carl Sherlock

thematic maps basics
Thematic Maps Basics
  • Transfer geographic data into geographic information
  • Highlight one attribute’s geographic distribution
  • Single purpose or “theme” in mind
  • Review: Reference maps portray many attributes and features
thematic maps
Thematic Maps
  • Use abstract, graphic symbols that represent the quantities and qualities that make locations meaningful
  • The use of colors and symbols to project attribute data
  • Attribute data examples: density, counts, rates, etc.
  • Cynthia Brewer’s presentation
thematic mapping
Thematic Mapping
  • Counts
    • Showing a symbol for each individual or group of individuals
    • Fails when many individuals or groups are present and/or when location is unknown
thematic mapping7
Thematic Mapping
  • Porportional Symbol Maps
    • Also called graduated symbol maps
    • They represent classes of counts not individual counts
    • Useful for counts that lack location
thematic mapping8
Thematic Mapping
  • Chloropleth – “place” & “value”
    • Involves coloring geographic areas to represent categories of rates or densities
    • Most common type of thematic map
thematic mapping9
Thematic Mapping

Pie Chart

  • Rates and densities
    • Simply one count divided by another count
    • In densities, the divisor is the magnitude of a geographic area
    • Can be in various formats

Bar Graph

starting the project
Starting the Project
  • Go to
  • Left side menu, hover cursor over “DATA SETS”
  • Click on “Decennial Census”
Making sure you are selecting “Census 2000 Summary File 1”, choose “Thematic Maps” on right hand menu
  • Select “county” under geographic type
  • Select your state, then select your county, and hit “Next”
  • This will display all of the data themes that can be displayed on a map  pick one and click “Show Result”
Directly above map where it says “Display map by:”, select “Census Tract” from drop-down menu
  • Adjust zoom and pan to make data as visible as possible
At top of left side menu under “Change…”, select “data classes”
  • From here you can change classing method, color scheme, and number of classes
classing methods review
Classing Methods Review
  • Quantile (percentile)
    • Equal number of featuresin each class
  • Equal Interval
    • Equal range of valuesin each class
  • Natural Breaks
    • Divides features and/or range of values according to pre-existing groupings or divisions
You have now successfully found and downloaded all data for your first map
  • For this project, you need a total of 3 maps
      • At least one needs to be of ACS Data
      • From FactFinder homepage, hover over “Data Sets” and click on “American Community Survey” and follow same process
Think about this, it will help you with the write-up
  • Take a moment to analyze your map – why is the data how it is?
  • Why does the tract that corresponds to campus and downtown have the lowest percent of persons under 18?

Map 1: Percent Persons Under 18 Years of Age

finding map scale
Finding Map Scale
  • In bottom left corner of your map image, it will tell you distance across (Dg)
  • The actual width of the image is ~6” (Dm)
  • Remember the formula?

S = Dm / Dg

  • Thematic Mapping
  • Attribute data transformed into useful geographic information
  • Designed with a central purpose or theme
  • Different types of data are represented in different ways
  • Baxter, Ryan. Census Mapping and Thematic Maps. GEOG 121 Lecture. 11/20/06
  • Brewer, Cynthia. Cartographic Inspirations for Designing Better Data Visualizations. GEOG 121 Guest Presentation. 10/11/06
  • Census Bureau FactFinder. Accessed 11/20/06.
  • ESRI Virtual Campus: Module 6. Accessed 11/19/06.
  • The Pennsylvanian Marketing and Planning Center. Accessed 11/20/06.
  • Aaron Henning – [email protected]
  • Carl Sherlock – [email protected]
  • Course Example