Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Thematic Map

  • Hans HinterbergerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1377


Chart; Data map


The graphical representation of quantitative data or qualitative data for a given geographic area (e.g., regional unemployment rate or type of crops grown).

The many different methods that cartographers apply to create thematic maps are used to define a thematic map more precisely. The following five are found most often:
  1. 1.

    Choropleth maps. In choropleth maps, the areas of the map are shaded or patterned in proportion to the value of the data to be displayed for a particular area.

  2. 2.

    Dot maps. These maps use equal sized dots to show the presence of a feature at a particular geographic location and thus display spatial distributions. A dot need not be restricted to a single occurrence; it may indicate any number of entities.

  3. 3.

    Proportional symbol maps. When drawing proportional symbol maps, a cartographer selects a symbol (e.g., a circle or a bar), places it at the spot on the map to which the data apply, and varies the symbol’s size from place...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Bertin J. Graphics and graphic information-processing. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter; 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Slocum TA, McMaster RB, Kessler FC, Howard HH. Thematic cartography and geographic visualization. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson-Prentice Hall; 2005.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tufte ER. The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire: Graphics Press; 1983.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hans Hinterberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Inst. of Scientific ComputingETH ZürichZurichSwitzerland