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Survey about thematic cartography design

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#1
l.jegou

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Hello, i'd like to invite you to participate in a survey about thematic maps presentation :

 

http://carto.limeque.../577591/lang/en

 

It's for my PhD thesis work, diffusion in your networks very much appreciated :-)

 

Results will be posted after analysis and freely available.



#2
frax

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I went through the survey - got a bit scared at first that it would take a long time, but it wasn't too hard. Here are the comments I submitted at the end of the survey:

 

It is not entirely relevant to judge the map comparisons without knowing what the cartographer wants to communicate in the thematic map examples. The first page questions seemed very focused on research as well!

 

Also - I don't any any french, but I assumed that the maps were demography trends (increase/decrease) for the time period!


Hugo Ahlenius
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#3
frax

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Also - can we circulate the link widely?


Hugo Ahlenius
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#4
l.jegou

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Thanks for your answer and proposition, the more answers it'll get, the more it will be interesting, so if you can circulate the link, i'll be very grateful !

 

I should have redrawn the maps with the titles and legend in english, but i didn't expect very much succes with international answers.

 

The survey is focused on graphical design, and i should have precised the context of the map, it's perhaps not very clear. It's a simple presentation of demographic trends, as we can see examples on teaching materials and official demographics communications.



#5
frax

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Yes, but when you design a thematic map, you always have to keep in mind what you want to communicate - what is the message? One could design that map with different intentions:

  • To show that there is little change (mute colors)
  • To show that there are big changes (more drastic colors)
  • To show where the biggest drops are
  • To show where the biggest increases are

The class breaks, colors etc are part of this.


Hugo Ahlenius
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#6
l.jegou

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Yes, i fully understand and agree, as a cartographer myself. But to simplify the survey, so that it can be answered by very different people (with very different relation to thematic cartography, from simple reader to researcher), i choose not to specify much of the context. Secondly, i'm interested here about the look of the map, it's graphical effects on the reader.

 

In fact, it's like when you first see the map without having read the accompanying text, you react to the general aspect, the overall graphical effect, and that's precisely my approach with my PhD about cartography and esthetics.

 

So with no contextual information, one must suppose that the map is objective, not biased, and that its aim is to communicate some quantitative information about a geographical region.

 

By the way, i've collected more than 500 full answers, and i'm constructing the analysis.



#7
l.jegou

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Hello, the survey is still open and accessible, but i compiled some results (850 answers) into an Excel file :

 

http://www.geotests.net/depot/enquete/

 

(carto_survey.xls).

 

Thanks for your participation :)



#8
P.Raposo

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Hi l.jegou,

 

I respectfully suggest that upon sight of a thematic map and without contextual knowledge, one need not necessarily assume it is objective, though I would agree that many people who aren't aware of the rhetorical reality of maps do precisely that. A trained cartographer or statistician, for example, would probably approach the mysterious map with some degree of uncertainty, and that might affect their interpretations.

 

Cheers,

P







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