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Choropleth Maps

  • By: William Buckingham
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Choropleth maps can be described as the most commonly created thematic map type, in large part due to the relative ease of their creation using most GIS software packages and also due to the perception that they are easily understood. Choropleth mapping involves aggregating data to an areal unit of measure and then representing these data using color or pattern within the areal unit. Creation of choropleth maps involves normalizing, representing, classifying, and symbolizing the data of interest.

Normalization

Choropleth maps involve mapping data by areal unit, for example by country, state, or county. Because of the disparities in size that exist for all types of areal units, mapping raw totals will often present a skewed representation of the data. To combat this problem, choropleth maps are ...

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