Friday, March 27, 2015

Dot Density Mapping:Population in Southern Florida

Time is moving too fast. Spring Break was great, but where did it go? This week, we are working on Dot Mapping. We use conceptual data (or raw-count data) for dot mapping. The first dot map was created by French Cartographer Montizon, depicting the population of France in 1830. Our task this week was to create a dot map depicting the population of Southern Florida.  Specific objectives are:

- Join spatial and tabular data
- Utilize dot density symbology
- Select suitable dot size and unit value
- Utilize mask function to manipulate dot placement
- Compile map in accordance with typographic guidelines, cartographic design principles, and the Gestalt Principles
- Provide an overview of the dot density mapping method
- Describe advantages and disadvantages of the dot density mapping method.

All the above was completed using only ArcMap (no CorelDraw-- hurrah)!  The tools to Join and Relate a table or excel sheet (Right-click on the layer and select Join and Relates>Join) and to create a dot map (open the Layer Properties, go to Symbology tab, select Quantities, and the Dot Density) are readily available in ArcMap. Once I had the basics of a dot map, I had to ensure that the dot size, value and placement were appropriate for the data. ArcMap, via the ESRI software, places dots randomly so I used the "Properties button" from the "Symbology tab" on "Layer Properties" and I checked the radial buttons for "Fixed Placement" and "Place dots only in these areas" to limit dot placement to "Urban areas."  Do you think this sounds confusing? I did too until I ran through the execution a few times. The only frustrating part of this lab was waiting for the layers to draw. I found that if I turned off everything I wasn't working with at the moment, it went much faster. However, when I was close to the end and finalizing my map, I wanted to view all the layers to ensure I had everything complete and accurate. This is where I executed a change and left the room to grab another cup of coffee, or something to eat, or a walk around the house, get my message.  I learned great patience in the creation of my Dot Map.  Hope you like it!


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