Correlation Matrix

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1515237&show=htmlA correlation matrix takes into account several variables in this case 11 and shows how they relate to each other. In cartography correlation matrices can be used to show the relationship between everything from soil to temperature.

Similarity Matrix

A similarity matrix is a graphic representation displaying scores that depict the similarity of two different data points.

Star Plot

Star plots are used to graphically show data with more than one variable. Each star a whole represents a single data set and the points to the stars represent the variables that represent the data set. Each star in the star plot above represents a type of car with the points representing variables such as price, gas mileage, engine type, etc.

Box Plot

A box plot is used to graph a numerical data set and show the middle, first quartile(25%), second quartile(75%), and also the highest and lowest values of the data set. The above box plots represent data from winning lottery ticket pay outs for three separate time periods, May 1975-March 1976, November 1976-September 1977, and December 1980-September 1981.

Parallel Coordinate Graph

A parallel coordinate graph is used to show multi dimensional variables on the same graph. Each variable corresponds to its own axis and can be compared to the other variables.

Triangular Plot

A triangular plot is used to graph and compare three separate variables, mostly in cartography they are used to compare rock and soil samples. The above triangular plot is a graph comparing types of soil.

Economic Map

A economic map uses symbols to illustrate what goods and services a country uses to fuel their economy. The economic map above depicts the country of Brazil and their economic sources in 1977.


Population Profile

A population profile shows the gender and age of all the people in a given geographic area. The above population profile is a depiction of Washington D.C.

Index Value Plot

Index value plots are used to show change in a variable that is constantly changing. Such values that are commonly graphed are rainfall, stream flow, and temperature. The index value plot above represents the non manufacturing index which relates to the success and failure of many manufacturing companies. In this case if the index value is over 50 the company is succeeding and under 50 the company is failing.

Lorenz Curve

The lorenz curve is used to show inequality in a data set of numbers or in a area when referring to cartography. When illustrated it is the curved line below the line of equality which illustrates that data is not always equal. The lorenz curve shows the variance in a data set. The lorenz curve above is illustrated by the red curved line which represents the inequality between households and income.

Bilateral Graph

A bilateral graph is a graph that compares two similar variables. As you can see in the graph above the blue line represents the US trade deficit with the world in 2009 and the red line represents the US trade deficit with the world in 2010. The primary function of this graph is to show that since August of 2010 the US trade deficit to the world is on a downward trending run and if it will keep up.


A climograph represents the monthly temperature and precipitation amounts for a given area in a graphical form. The above climograph is for Memphis, TN with the red line graph depicting the monthly temperatures and the blue bar graph representing the precipitation amounts.


http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/gdem.aspA DEM Map refers to a Digital Elevation Map which is a map that uses remote sensing technology to depict the elevation of a certain geographic area. The DEM Map above was provided by NASA and shows the elevation of the entire globe. From this map you can tell that the blue areas are of low elevation such as Florida and green and yellow areas represent higher elevations.


A DLG map illustrates cartographic features in the vector format and most are produced by the USGS. These maps can still contain detail such as bodies of water and such but for the most part they are a outline of the depicted geographic area. The DLG map above represents Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area which is often referred to as having the largest stand of Cypress forest still left uncut in Florida.


A DRG map stands for a digital raster graphic which is essentially a scanned in digital version of the standard 7.5 minute USGS topographic maps. Many GIS type softwares use these maps as they are in digital form and can have layers added or removed from them. The above DRG represents an area of western Washington D.C. on the Potomac River.

Isopach Map

A isopach map is a type of isoline map that uses continuous lines to represent the true thickness of rock layers in a specific geographic area. The true thickness takes into account the lay of the land and is the actual thickness of each layer without taking into account geographic features. The isopach map above represents a oil reservoir site with the red dashed lines representing the isopachs, as you can see they don't necessarily mimic the contour lines, but they are in close correlation.

Isotach Map

A isotach map is a type of isoline map that represents areas of equal wind speed. The above map represents the entire United States and uses continuous lines to represent equal wind speed, also known as isotachs.


LIDAR stands for light detection and ranging and it is a system used to determine elevation of a specific geographic area. LIDAR is a form of remote sensing that uses light technology to determine the distance to an object, or the ground. The most common tool used is laser technology which can determine accuracy down to a half foot. The LIDAR image above represents ground zero after September 11, 2001 with the green area in the center where the towers once were.

Cartographic Animation

A cartographic animation depicts a geographic area that wouldn't be seen as accurately through several maps. It often relates to the spatial or temporal scale in why it is better depicted as an animation. The video above is a cartographic animation of the Grand Canyon which allows the user to see the vast elevation change and the large expanse of which it covers. Cartographic animations are often times very hard to make and utilize due to their digital nature.

Classed Cloropleth Map

A classed cloropleth map breaks down a variable to be shown on a map into several groups also known as classes. The above map depicts an area in Connecticut which is being studied to determine what is causing health ailments in the area. The map above specifically depicts the percent of low birth weight which has been broken up into 5 classes which are depicted from light to dark blue.

Range Graded Proportional Circle Map

Range graded proportional circle maps depict a varying statistic in a given geographic area. The difference between the standard proportional circle map and one that is range graded, is that instead of using standard values that usually are assumed by natural breaks, each circle represents a range of numbers as seen by the key.

Statistical Map

Statistical maps depict a variable feature that is present in a specific geographic area. Such that the map above represents the mean travel time to work for the entire United States. The map uses colors to depict the different time intervals with red being the longest travel time and dark green being the shortest travel time.

Isohyet Map

A isohyet map is a type of isoline map that represents rainfall amounts in an area. The above map depicts the mean October rainfall on the island of Kaua'i. The rainfall is depicted in mm with a range of 75-700 mm of rainfall present.


Black and White Aerial Photo

Black and white aerial photos are the most common form of aerial photography. Even the most recent USGS aerial maps were made by using black and white film in cameras that were on airplanes. This is the most common form of capturing the images but nowadays many satellite systems are replacing the airplanes. The above image represents the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA and was taken by a airplane at 40,000 ft.

Infrared Aerial Photo

Infrared aerial photos are the primary visual representation of remote sensing. These photos can depict numerous things about a ecosystem but also about objects such as the integrity of a roof. The image above depicts the deep water channels in Sacramento, CA.


A cartogram is a map that depicts a feature by either distorting its land area or distance. For instance the map above is depicting energy consumption, and as you can see the United States is very large and distorted due to its high use of energy.

Isotherm Map

An isotherm map is a type of isoline map that uses continuous lines to represent areas of equal temperature. The map above depicts isotherms for the United States with cooler temperatures represented with green and hotter temperatures represented with red.


A pictograph is a statistical map that represents a given data set by symbols or pictures. Similar to a stem and leaf plot but a graphical representation. The pictograph above shows the variety of apples that are shown at a local grocery store. From this a full apple represents 10 apples and a half represents 5 apples.

Isoline Map

A isoline map is one that uses continuous lines to represent areas of equal value on the map. For instance the map above was used to illustrate how a isoline is depicted by connecting all points with a value of 40. From here subsequent isolines can be drawn in the contour interval.