View Full Version : A Thematic Theme

06-19-2011, 04:46 AM
Pretty much all the maps created by the guild are some form of Reference map, displaying a broad range of general information. In real life, the vast majority of maps created are highly specific Thematic maps which display one or more specific data sets, usually in order to fulfill some particular purpose (A map of the distribution of an invasive species in order to convince someone to take action to contain it.)

So, my suggestion for a challenge is to create a thematic map. It might be a map of Orc Population Density, A comparison of psionic background levels against instances of schizophrenia, or a map of magic levels, transportation systems, and local legal status of mages as part of the process for selecting the location for a new magic academy.

06-19-2011, 05:25 AM
I really like this idea!

Steel General
06-19-2011, 09:44 AM
Interesting idea...

06-21-2011, 09:53 AM
Love this idea.

06-22-2011, 03:59 PM
mmmmm. Infographics.

-Rob A>

06-22-2011, 04:08 PM
*Scratches head and mumbles* "What........ :)

06-22-2011, 04:28 PM
Sounds like an interesting idea for a challenge.


06-22-2011, 10:00 PM
*Scratches head and mumbles* "What........ :)

This: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thematic_map

For an example of a real life interactive one, here's one I created as part of the practicum for my GIS diploma: http://wells.viu.ca/vicgmn/

06-28-2011, 07:57 PM
Great idea. Since a bunch of us don't do a lot of them, "any thematic map" might be a good enough focus. But even the Wikipedia explanation leaves a lot of room for judgment. I mean, were the April 2010 contest entries (http://www.cartographersguild.com/utilities/Thumbs/Html/Challengers_Apr10.htm) thematic? Worldwide distribution of beers.... When I think of thematic maps there's something more than just spatial distribution - else a regular political map would be "thematic, showing distribution of population"....

The dasymetric map shown as one of five types of thematic maps in that Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thematic_map) looks a lot like a climate zone map, but it shows values along a range - plant hardiness being a sort of linear progression. So would a typical climate map (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora/wiki/index.php?title=File:Samthuma3Climate.gif) count?

06-28-2011, 10:39 PM
Well as with so many things, Thematic and Reference maps can get a bit "fuzzy" around the edges. For one thing, many Thematic maps have a Reference map as a "base map" underneath.

Dasymetic maps take a bit of thinking you wrap your head around. They are sort of recursive in that you are defining regions to aggregate data based on the data you are aggregating. That's what makes them difficult and computationally intensive to produce, but it's also what makes them so good at representing a dataset.

A biome map is more of an abstract categorization based on a wide range of features rather than an aggregation of a numerical data set which is what a Dasymetric map is doing. Think of a dasymetric map as being like a census map where you redefine the census boundaries to try to minimize the variation in population density within a region, for that specific census after gathering the data.

A categorization map is certainly be a thematic map, but they are comparatively simple and so don't have a fancy name. Not that it's easy to make a good categorization map if you have a large and complex set of categories but it's not so much a technical problem as a design one. Geological maps for instance are infamous for their dense categorizations and arcane symbology.

08-13-2012, 07:54 PM
Has this one been run yet? I think it would be a cool idea.

02-26-2013, 05:04 AM
i like this very much. Most of the periodicals i get (like National geographic, medieval/ancient warfare) interest me the most when there's thematic maps - distribution of x animal in Y area, fishing trends in the Mediterranean with lists and tables and stuff, stuff like that. This would make a great challenge and make a lot of members try something specific that they're not used to (if they're interested in taking part, of course!)