GEOG 486
Cartography and Visualization

Lesson 7 Lab


Lesson 7 Lab

Multivariate Mapping of the World Happiness Report

For this lab, imagine you are the mapping specialist and a member of a new “Happier World 2020” team, tasked with creating a document of maps and supporting text (500+ words) to present to a group of leaders at the United Nations.

Use data from the 2018 World Happiness Report to visualize multiple variables related to world happiness and well-being; these relate to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. In creating this document, you will gain experience both with creating maps from a multivariate data set and in visualizing data uncertainty. In compiling these maps as a document rather than in a map layout, you will explore a new way to present your maps - one that is common when designing maps to present to policy-makers, or when illustrating a scientific paper.

Lab Objectives

  • Create both a primary map and three smaller maps.
  • Compile these maps into a neat and useful document with supporting text and good design.

Overall Lab Requirements

For Lab 7, your only deliverable will be your compiled PDF with text and images of your four maps.

Map Requirements

Primary Map
  • Map a focus variable of these provided happiness indicators: Life ladder, Social support, Freedom, Generosity, and Perceptions of corruption.
  • Create a world map visualizing your chosen indicator and associated uncertainty – your primary map's focus variable must have an associated standard error measure.
  • Non-survey indicators (GDP and Life Expectancy) are not accompanied by a standard error value in the World Happiness Report. You can use these variables for some of your small multiple maps if you choose, but not for your primary map.
  • Variables may be mapped as raw values or calculated into ordinal values to be mapped (e.g., rankings, percentile, or high-medium-low). You choose how to best visualize your data.
  • Null values (i.e., countries not included in the World Happiness Report) should be mapped, but not prominent in the map’s visual hierarchy.
  • Thoughtfully select an appropriate symbolization method, projection, and visual variables for your map.
Small Multiples
  • Create 3 smaller maps to visualize additional happiness/well-being indicators.
  • If you would like, you may choose a large region (e.g., Latin and South America, Europe) to focus on—this region should still visualize many countries (so do not choose North America, Australia, etc.)
Compiled document requirements

Export your main map and three smaller maps as images (or use the Snipping tool) and include them as figures in a report with accompanying text. As when creating a map layout, attend to aesthetics, visual hierarchy, and negative space.

  • Use concise explanatory text for legends, titles, and any additional map text.
  • Define any non-obvious terms, such as the “life ladder” in your report. Definitions of all indicators are included at the bottom of this page in the "Happiness Indicator Definitions" section, and more information is available in the 2018 World Happiness Report.
  • In your report (500+ words), focus on answering the following questions:
    • Why did you choose to map the happiness indicators that you did?
    • What do the maps you created tell us?
    • Where (or how), based on conclusions drawn from your maps, do you think funding ought to be directed, and why? What role should knowledge of data uncertainty play in these decisions?
Lab Instructions
  1. Download the Lab 7 zipped file. It contains:
    • A project (.aprx) file to be opened in ArcGIS Pro.
    • A database that includes the data needed to start this lab.
      • Data source: World Happiness Report (Helliwell et al. 2018), Natural Earth.
  2. Extract the zipped folder, and double-click the blue (.aprx) file to open ArcGIS Pro.
    • All the data you will need to complete this lab has already been downloaded to the included geodatabase.
  3. Compile your maps into a Word document with accompanying text to be saved as a PDF.

Grading Criteria

A rubric is posted for your review.

Submission Instructions

  • Submit one PDF—save your Word document report as a PDF file in Word. Please use the naming convention outlined here: Map Report: LastName_Lab7.pdf
  • Submit the PDF to Lesson 7 Lab.

Need Guidance?

Please refer to the Lesson 7 Lab Visual Guide.

Happiness Indicator Definitions

You can learn more about these indicators in the World Happiness Report, but this will help you get started as you decide what indicators to map and what ideas you might propose in your report.

The Life (Cantril) Ladder asks people to imagine a ladder with steps from 0 to 10 (the top), where the top of the ladder is their best possible life, and the bottom is the worst—and to place their life at the present at some point on the ladder.

GDP per capita is calculated in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in 2011 international dollars as indicated by the World Bank.

Healthy life expectancy is calculated based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and WDI. WHO data is based on estimates from 2012.

Social support is the national average of responses (0 or 1) to the question “If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them, or not?” This question is part of the Gallup World Poll (GWP).

Freedom is calculated as the national average of responses to the question “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?” This question is part of the Gallup World Poll (GWP).

Generosity is calculated as the residual of regressing the national average of answers to: “Have you donated money to a charity in the past month?” on GDP per capita. This question is part of the Gallup World Poll (GWP).

Perceptions of corruption is calculated as the average of answers to two questions: “Is corruption widespread throughout the government or not?” and “Is corruption widespread within businesses or not?” Perception of business corruption is used as a proxy for a total corruption measure in countries where responses to questions of government corruption are not available. These questions are part of the Gallup World Poll (GWP).

Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2018). World Happiness Report 2018, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network.