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Lesson Navigation IconThematic Cartography

Unit Navigation IconIntroduction to thematic cartography

LO Navigation IconDefinition

LO Navigation IconMap vs. cartogram vs. diacartogram

LO Navigation IconStatements of thematic maps

LO Navigation IconData value types

LO Navigation IconQuantitative and qualitative data

LO Navigation IconData structure

LO Navigation IconSummary

LO Navigation IconSelf Assessment

Unit Navigation IconDesign of thematic maps

Unit Navigation IconPreliminary decisions and questions for the creation of a thematic map

Unit Navigation IconTransformation of statistical data into thematic maps

Unit Navigation IconMapping techniques for thematic maps

Unit Navigation IconSelf Assessment

Unit Navigation IconRecommended Reading

Unit Navigation IconGlossary

Unit Navigation IconBibliography

Unit Navigation IconMetadata

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Statements of thematic maps

Thematic maps give explanations on type and attribute, location, extent and distribution of a phenomenon. They can depict completely qualitative as well as quantitative information in the shape of diagrams or mosaic depictions. In addition, it is possible to visualise frequencies, durations, motions, directions or relations on the map.

On a thematic level several differentiations can be employed. On the one hand, single-layered and multi-layered maps are distinguished and on the other hand thematic maps can be divided into analytical, complex and synthetic maps. These map types are described below.

Single-layered and multi-layered maps

Single-layered maps or cartograms only depict neighbouring elements based on location- or area-based signatures. No superposition of signature layers exists. Therefore, single-layered maps are constrained to one statement layer. This has the advantage of a better readability and comprehensibility.

When different signature layers as well as quantitative and qualitative statements are superimposed one speaks of a multi-layered map. This kind of maps can contain a high density of information. Rises the amount of data generally the maps complexity rises as well, which requires more attention from the cartographer and the map reader.

The example below shows a single-layered map on the left and a multi-layered map on the right.

(Spiess 2004)

Analytical, complex und synthetic maps

Maps can also be classified in a thematical and content related way. Depending on the amount and kind of information it can be differentiated between analytic, complex (or complex-analytic) and synthetic maps. The following interaction introduces the mentioned types.

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