PDF Version of this document Search Help Glossary

Lesson Navigation IconThematic Cartography

Unit Navigation IconIntroduction to thematic cartography

Unit Navigation IconDesign of thematic maps

LO Navigation IconBasic principles

LO Navigation IconBuilding blocks of a thematic map

LO Navigation IconThematic content

LO Navigation IconBase map

LO Navigation IconSummary

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

LO Navigation IconThematic map using point symbols

LO Navigation IconNetwork maps

LO Navigation IconArea-class maps

LO Navigation IconChoroplethic maps

LO Navigation IconDiagram maps (cartograms referring to a specific point or area)

LO Navigation IconLine and vector related diagram maps

LO Navigation IconIsoline maps

LO Navigation IconDot maps

LO Navigation IconSummary

LO Navigation IconSelf Assessment

Unit Navigation IconSelf Assessment

Unit Navigation IconRecommended Reading

Unit Navigation IconGlossary

Unit Navigation IconBibliography

Unit Navigation IconMetadata

GITTA/CartouCHe news:

Go to previous page Go to next page

Network maps


Network maps depict networks of truly existing or imagined linear objects in their spatial context. The forms of the network elements depend on the characteristics of the lines in the real world. For instance the layout of a road network is different than the layout of a river network. This has to be taken into account for the visualisation as well as for the generalisation. The symbolisation of a network is realised through the layout, the type of junctions and the interweaving as well as by the colour and form of the lines.

Street map 1:200'000,        reproduced with permission from swisstopo (BA057224)Street map 1:200'000, reproduced with permission from swisstopo (BA057224)

Opposite street map is an example of a network map.

Network types

There is a variety of network systems that can be depicted as network maps. The most common and most important ones are listed as follows (c.f. (Imhof 1972, p. 109)):

  • Network of supporting, construction and measurement lines
    Map grids, triangulation diagrams, radar networks, networks of line-of-sights and influence line fall in this category.
  • Networks resulting from the generalisation of area objects
    Examples are river networks, networks of paths, railway networks and supply networks. Also imagined networks like ship routes, travel routes or lines of fire fall in this category.
  • Boundary lines
    This category includes property boundaries, political boundaries and language boundaries. This kind of network is often used but the focus of such maps lies mostly on the areas which are limited by the boundaries and not on the boundaries itself.
  • Value, iso and gradient lines
    These kinds of networks are used to visualise continua. They represent a special case within network visualisations and are therefore explained in a subsequent section.

The following animation shows different examples of network visualisations of the above mentioned network types.

Top Go to previous page Go to next page