Motivating Good Practices for the Creation of Contiguous Area Cartograms

05/30/2020
by   Shi Tingsheng, et al.
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Cartograms are maps in which the areas of regions (e.g., countries or provinces) are proportional to a thematic mapping variable (e.g., population or gross domestic product). A cartogram is called contiguous if it keeps geographically adjacent regions connected. Over the past few years, several web tools have been developed for the creation of contiguous cartograms. However, most of these tools do not advise how to use cartograms correctly. To mitigate these shortcomings, we attempt to establish good practices through our recently developed web application go-cart.io: (1) use cartograms to show numeric data that add up to an interpretable total, (2) present a cartogram alongside a conventional map that uses the same color scheme, (3) indicate whether the data for a region are missing, (4) include a legend so that readers can infer the magnitude of the mapping variable, (5) if a cartogram is presented electronically, assist readers with interactive graphics.

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