By Jennifer Woodson on Monday, 19 January 2015
Category: MapViewer

MapViewer 8 New Feature Series: New Graph Types

To celebrate the release of MapViewer 8, I'm going to be writing a series of blog posts to highlight what's new in MapViewer! This week will focus on new map types and options that are available-- the multi-graph map, contiguous cartogram map, proportional pin map, bivariate symbol map, and base maps from online servers.

Multi-graph map

The newest graph type available from MapViewer is the multi-graph map! Where the line graph map shows a single data point for each object on a similar graph, the multi-graph map creates a different graph for each object by using a unique XY data set for each. The graphs are positioned according to the object's centroid and can be moved, if desired. The multi-graph map is a great way to plot a variable against time for each object. For example, your X axis may represent time as days, months, or years, and your Y axis may represent a variable such as population, gas price, average daily temperature, or number of reported vehicular accidents. The multi-graph map below displays graphs showing population growth for some southwestern states in the U.S.

Multi-graph Map

Contiguous Cartogram Map

The contiguous cartogram map is a new option for the existing cartogram map! A cartogram map is a visually stimulating way to display data by sizing each object according to a selected variable. In a noncontiguous cartogram map, the polygons are disconnected from one another; however, with the contiguous option, the polygons remain connected and their size and shape are distorted according to the variable. Simply set the Cartogram type on the Map page of the Property Manager to Contiguous! The contiguous cartogram map below shows the provinces and territories of Canada sized and shaped according to the number of smokers in each area.

Contiguous Cartogram Map

Proportional Pin Map

The ever-popular pin map can now communicate more information! In addition to uniformly sized pins and pins sized by class, you can now size your pins in proportion to a variable! This option allows you to set a minimum and maximum size for the symbols, and each symbol is sized within that range according to the value in the specified data column. The proportional pin map is a sleek and minimalist method for displaying locations and relative data! To size your symbols proportionally, on the Map page of the Property Manager, set the Method to Proportional, select a Data column, and specify the desired Min symbol size and Max symbol size. In the proportional pin map below, the symbols are sized according to gas prices in the city in March of 2005. Larger symbols indicate higher gas prices.

Proportional Pin Map

Bivariate Symbol Map

In previous versions of MapViewer, similar to the new proportional pin map, the symbol map displays data by placing symbols sized according to a data value on each object. In MapViewer 8, the symbol map gives you more control than ever over your symbols with the added ability to color each one according to a different variable than was used to size them! To color and size your symbols according to two different variables, on the Map page of the Property Manager, set the Proportional properties to Size and color, and select the Data column in the Color section. Set any desired properties for the size, fill color and line color! The bivariate symbol map below shows population in the United States. The symbols are sized according to total population, and they are colored according to whether the state is populated by more males or females.

Bivariate Symbol Map

Base Maps from Online Servers

If you've used Didger 5 or Surfer 12, you may already be familiar with downloading base maps from web mapping servers (WMS). Now, you can download maps from your favorite WMS in MapViewer too! A number of servers come readily available to use, and you have the option to add more web mapping servers to the list. To download a map, click the Map | Add | Download Map command and select your data source (server), specify the area you'd like to download, and set the desired image resolution! You even get a preview of your map before you click OK! The map below consists of Colorado boundary files from the Samples folder and two base maps downloaded from online servers. I downloaded an aerial image of Colorado and an image that shows where wilderness conservation areas are located in Colorado.

Online Base Map

Why limit your picture to just a thousand words? Let your maps communicate more! With a new map type and new exciting options for existing map types, you can say what you need to say!

Stay tuned next week for a look at using text for classes in hatch maps and territory maps! Do you have an idea for a blog post or have a topic you'd like to see featured? Let me know! Leave a comment, or send an email to

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