Isopleth Map
An isopleth map shows values of equal distribution in a three dimensional view. The map above is not a standard isopleth map as mostly they depict features that deal with elevation. In this case the elevation of the map depicts the percent of citizens that are working from home.

Proportional Circle Map
Proportional circle maps use varying size circles to depict the amount of a chosen feature. Likewise of many maps of this type the larger the circle the more of a specific feature is represented. In the case of the map above the circles are used to show population size of Native American Indians.

Cloropleth Map
A cloropleth map is essentially a thematic map that breaks down the information depicted by frequency using color. Cloropleth maps are commonly used to show population density or per-capita income, i.e. variables that vary from place to place. The map above represents the percent of Hispanic population in Florida. This map hits home especially because we live in the state.

Dot Distribution Map
Dot distribution maps use a dot to represent the feature they want to depict on the map. In the case of the map above the light blue dots represent the distribution of the wildflower species Centaurea cyanus.

Propaganda Map
Propaganda maps are maps that have been modified to be false to represent propaganda techniques. These maps were very prevalent in the 1900's and were a large for of mass slander that was easily represented. The map above is from the 1940's and relates to the fact that, "tea revived the world." Although this can be true in some cases the map depicts the whole world as benefiting.

Hypsometric Map
A hypsometric map is essentially a topographic map that shows elevation by the use of colors. A cartographer has to decide the tints to use to show the elevation the best. The map above shows a section of France that contains many different elevations. The green areas are low in elevation and the tan areas are of high elevation.

PLSS maps were the first maps to document the United States land partitions. They were mostly used to depict the government land that would be sold off to benefit the citizens. The map above shows the meridians and baselines that were used to establish the PLSS mapping system. These lines are arbitrary but were decided on where they fit best.


Cadastral Map
Cadastral maps show the property boundaries of a specific geographic location. This cadastral map is of Costa Rica and the neat thing is that by implementing these maps it made the property more secure. This has made it more appealing for people to buy land as now they have a physical map of their property. Also along with this it has made it easier for the government to identify and collect luxury home tax.


A DOQQ map is a satellite image of an area that is geometrically corrected to all be the same uniform scale. From this corrected satellite image true distances can be measured. This DOQQ map is of Louisiana post Hurricane Katrina. This map could be used by agencies at the time to aide in rebuilding and supporting the hurricane stricken areas of the state.

Doppler Radar
Doppler radar is used to determine the velocity of an object(mostly weather systems) without coming into contact with it. Doppler radar uses microwaves to determine the change in wavelength to determine velocity, also known as the doppler effect. This doppler image depicts Hurricane Katrina as it made landfall with Louisiana. This is the most prevalent doppler image in recent times due to the destruction the storm caused.

Isobar Map
Isobar's show areas that have the same atmospheric pressure and are depicted by concentric lines labeled with the pressure they represent. The above image represents both a low and high pressure system with isobar's surrounding each representing either an increase(high) or decrease(low) in atmospheric pressure as you move towards the center.

Nautical Chart
A nautical chart is very similar to a bathymetric map in that it shows the depth of the water, just in numerical form instead of graphical. Nautical charts are essential for any type of passage even though nowadays GPS are outsourcing them. This nautical chart shows the Gulf of Mexico and is 1:2,160,000 which is a very small scale for a nautical chart. Ones used for primary navigation are usually 1:10,000-1:80,000. This chart is significant to me as I have done much sailing in the Gulf.

Bathymetric Map
A bathymetric chart is essentially a topographic map that shows the sea. From the image above of the Gulf of Maine you can see the depth and contours of the seafloor through color and shading. This map is special to me as this past summer I raced sailboats all up and down the coast of Maine.

Thematic Map
A thematic map is a map type that is used to show a particular theme in a depicted geographic area. In the case of the thematic map shown above it shows the republican/democratic party control of the Governors office as of January 2007. From this map many political inferences can be made accordingly.

Topographic Map

A topographic map is used to show the elevation of an area. The most common topographic maps that are used today are from the U.S.G.S which has documented the contiguous 48 states with 7.5 minute 1:24,000 scale topographic maps. These maps depict areas of elevation through contour lines such as the one seen of Crater Lake in Oregon above. The map shows the elevation of both the elevated crater walls and also the sunken down lake.


Scatter plot

Scatter plots are a graphical representation of two separate variable values. They are used to show a correlation between the two variables which can be positive, negative, or random. This scatter plot shown represents median home value to the median rent. Which as the scatter plot shows has a positive correlation, so as the median home value increases so does the median rent and vice versa. 

Wind Rose

Meteorologists use wind roses to determine the distribution of wind speed and direction in a given area. This wind rose depicts an area in Nebraska from 1996-2005 with the prevalent wind direction being shown as a west wind. This information can be very important when studying the climate of a particular area.


A histogram is used to graphically represent the distribution in a given set of data. Similar to a stem and leaf plot but it doesn't list the whole set of values just the frequency in which they occur. In this histogram the heights of 30 people are taken and represented on the histogram. From this histogram one can tell that the most prevalent height of the people was between 149.5-159.5 cm's tall seeing that it occurred 9 times.

Stem and Leaf Plot

Stem and leaf plots are used to organize quantitative data in a graphical format. Often times they are used to represent a range of numbers to more easily be analyzed mostly from a distribution aspect. The stem and leaf plot shown represents the test scores of a given class. From the data one can tell that the test scores were distributed toward the 80-100 range. 

Planimetric Map

This planimetric map represents my hometown of Crestwood, KY and the surrounding area. It shows the horizontal position of all the cities in the Louisville, KY vicinity. A planimetric map shows the horizontal position of places on a map without showing the vertical position(elevation). Planimetric maps are mostly used for street maps and as the maps on GPS devices where knowing the vertical position is not needed.


Mental Map

Mental maps refer to those that a human has stored in their memory. Often times mental maps are used to depict a nearby location such as directions to a place someone is not familiar with. This mental map is of the Nottingham City Centre in 1997 and as you can see the map is not to scale or exact measurements, it is how a human depicted Nottingham City Centre from memory.