GEOG 486
Cartography and Visualization



A. Objectives

By the end of this lesson you should be able to:

  • Interpret descriptive statistics and related graphics to aid classification choices.
  • Use color ramps that fit the logic of the data being symbolized.
  • Produce multiple classifications of the same dataset in a way that visually compares their function and some advantages and disadvantages of the classifications.
  • Create a series of maps that visually communicate differences in classification methods.
  • Create a series of maps that visually communicates change over time using custom data classes.

B. Project Overview

The lessons this week and next week examine issues related to presenting data for thematic display. In Lesson 4 we focus on data classification and color schemes, and in Lesson 5 we focus on different kinds of map representations. How do different data classifications affect map pattern recognition? How do different color schemes affect pattern recognition? What is the appropriate classification for a given dataset? In Lessons 4 and 5, you will explore classification and symbolization tools to create several map series using longitudinal crime data.

C. Lesson Checklist

Lesson 4 is one week in length. (See the Calendar in Canvas for specific due dates.) To finish this lesson, you must complete the activities listed below.

Step Activity Access/Directions
1 Read the concepts introduced for this lesson. See the Concept Gallery page to begin.
2 Work through the Lesson 4 Project. See the Part I: Getting Started page to begin.

Submit the Lesson 4 Project.


Detailed instructions on the Lesson Project Tasks page.


4 Begin work on the proposal for your Capstone Project.

Read the information on the Capstone Project.

Read information specifically about the proposal and work on the proposal. Note: You will not be turning the proposal in until Lesson 6.


Complete the Lesson 4 Quiz.

Complete the Lesson 4 Quiz in Canvas.


If you have any questions now or at any point during this week, please feel free to post them to the Lesson 4 Discussion Forum. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate.