Importance Of Thematic Maps


Thematic maps are of immense importance. These maps are designed to illustrate a specific theme in relation to a geographic area. Whether it’s trading patterns, the spread of a disease, or even the definitive ranking of people’s favorite beverage by state, thematic maps always have something fascinating to share.

How do Thematic maps work?

By emphasizing on a specific theme or subject area, thematic maps portray social, physical, political, cultural, economic and sociological aspects of a city, state, region, nation or a continent. These special-purpose maps normally include locational or reference information, such as place names or major water bodies, to help map readers familiarize themselves with the geographic area covered on the map. Thematic maps can be both, qualitative and quantitative.

World maps with thematic representation appear like the ones presented below. These world map images show human development index and life expectancy rate of the world in varied colors. A particular theme is set for areas that are high and low on the intensity.

All thematic maps are composed of two important elements: a base map and statistical data. Normally, the two are available as digital files, such as a cartographic boundary file and census data. While the former provides background detail necessary to orient the location of the map, the latter provides parameter data. Desktop geographic information systems or computer-mapping packages are typically used to generate thematic maps.

These maps can be used for exploratory spatial data analysis, confirming hypotheses, synthesizing spatial data by revealing patterns and relationships, and data presentation. These maps use selected geographic areas for the base data, such as coastlines, boundaries, and places, only as points of reference for the phenomenon being mapped.

Cartographers have been making maps since ages and using several unique patterns and techniques for designing thematic maps. Of all the procedures used, the primal techniques for designing maps were choropleth, proportional symbol, Isopleth, Dot, and Cartograms. One of the earliest thematic maps was a map entitled ‘Designatio Orbis Christiani’ (1607) by Jodocus Hondius showing the dispersion of major religions, using map symbols in the French edition of his Atlas Minor (1607). This was soon followed by a thematic globe, represented in the form of a six-gore map showing the same subject, using Hondius’ symbols, by Franciscus Heraeus.

MapTrove has a huge collection of thematic world maps which show data relating to social, cultural, geographical or political information to people. A couple of Canada maps are displayed below, which interprets the density of population on several parts of Canada and data of mineralogy and locations of mineral deposits for Eastern Canada.

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How can you get your ideal map from MapTrove?

MapTrove not only offers you a huge collection of world maps at one place but also allows you to make your own maps. You can easily create custom maps with the places that matter to you. Plus, you can draw, add points or add shapes anywhere. You can search for places, save them to your map, personalize it with your choicest colors, sizes, frames, and orientation. One can even order a printed version of the selected maps and get them delivered at the doorstep. MapTrove thus remains a one-stop destination for map-lovers from all over the world.


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