Tuesday, February 24, 2015

GIS3015: Choropleth and Proportional Symbol Mapping

I can't believe we are already at week 7.  How the time has flown.  This week we are working with Choropleth and Proportional Symbol maps. This was another fun exercise in developing our cartographic skills.  The objectives for this week were:

- Choose an appropriate color scheme for a choropleth map
- Create appropriate legend for classification scheme and map type
- Implement appropriate classification method for population data
- Utilize proportional or graduated symbols
- Create effective thematic picture symbols
- Work with 3 data frames
- Compile map in accordance with cartographic design principles

Working with three data frames on one "sheet" was a challenge because these maps had a lot of information to communicate. If I had the option, I would deliver this project to my customer as a digital map so that they could zoom in and out as required, instead of trying to get so much information on one sheet of paper. Of course, I could always provide a much larger sheet of paper to my customer.

We looked at Wine Consumption across Europe and then added two more maps that showed Wine Consumption for Females and Males; a total of three maps using European 2013 Census Data. Though the Wine data was from the Wine Institute (www.wineinstitue.org) and is from 2012.

I examined my data and went through each classification scheme and determined that the Quantile method suited my data best. The data was unipolar and sequential and with the Quantile method I ensured each class had data. I also had to Normalize the data for Population so that we could compare the data across Europe more evenly.  I experimented with Graduated Symbols and Proportional Symbols--that was fun.  With the Proportional Symbols, there appeared to be more overlap and I just could not get them to look very good. I even tried using a "Picture Marker" and adjusting the size:
Nice wine bottle right? If only it had looked as nice on my map. So, in the end, after much experimentation, I decided to use the Graduated Symbols.  I think this looks better and at least I picked a color that reminds us of grapes.  Hope you like it!

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