# Types of Maps

If you want to reproduce spatial data and facts and represent them in terms of design, some principles and guidelines must be followed, which are differentiated in various presentation methods.

Individual methods are often combined with one another so that different facts can be better represented. Which display method is used is influenced by many aspects, such as the intended use or the scale, and further the relationship of its basic elements and the type of basic display form.

# Area

# Choropleth Maps

Choropleth maps show areas symbolized by a color progression depicting a continous variable. It should be used to compare enumeriation areas. A graduated color scale is used for these maps and is explained in the legend to distinct the ranges. Background information is reduced to a minimum. Its simplicity in making a choropleth map is challenged by the selection of data class intervals as it can influence the outcome immensly (see article on data classification).


Choropleth maps are not limited for areas but can also be applied to line or point features! Area choropleth maps are the most distributed form.

# Cartograms

Cartograms visualize data of an area by distorting geographic areas based on a thematic value related to that area. Here the visual variable size is used for the distortion visualisation. Area cartograms are also known by value-by-area maps.

# References

  • Axis Maps. Bivariate Cartograms (opens new window) (accessed 09. Jan 2020).
  • Axis Maps. Non-Contiguous Cartograms (opens new window) (accessed 09. Jan 2020).
  • Dent, B. D., Torguson, J. S. & Hodler, T. W., 2009. Cartography - Thematic Map Design. 6th Edition ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Kraak, M.-J. & Ormeling, F., 2003. Cartography - Visualization of Geospatial Data. 2nd Edition ed. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Peterson, G.N., 2012. Cartographer's Toolkit. PetersonGIS.
  • Tyner, J. A., 2010. Principles of Map Design. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Tyner, J. A., 1992. Introduction to Thematic Cartography. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Last Updated: 8/6/2020, 1:53:16 PM