GEOG 102: Thematic Maps Introduction.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Name: __________________________


Thematic maps show distributional patterns of human and physical phenomena and illustrate diffusion processes

-mineral resources                                         -agricultural production                                                             -trade                                                   -religion                                           -language


Thematic maps usually show one class of geographical information (a theme) against a background of basic location information.

The purpose is to represent the geographical distributions of the theme.


                                    -small scale: p. 48-49 = population density                         p. 52-53 = literacy, language, religion


                                    -larger scale: p. 104-105 = United States demographic information


Some types of thematic maps.


    -Choropleth maps: show variations in statistical values by predefined areas (counties, states, countries)

                                                                        -ex: election results or income p. 104-105


    -Isopleth maps: isolines connect places w/ similar statistical values

                                                                        -ex: p. 32-33 = temperature


   -Area class maps: employ different colors or patterns to divide the surface of the earth into different categories of a particular phenomenon.

                                                                        -ex: p. 44-45 = soil taxonomy, p. 53 = languages and religions


    -Proportional Symbol maps: use circles or pie charts of different sizes to represent the frequency or quantity w/ which a phenomenon occurs in different places

                                                                        -ex: p. 72 – 77, 103 = energy and trade


    -Dot maps: a single dot, or some other symbol(s) represents a specific # of occurrences of a phenomenon in a given location.  Dot maps provide more precise locational information than choropleth maps.

                                                                        -ex: p. 59 = Wheat


    -Flow maps: show movement between locations

                                                                        ex: p. 83 = Shipping lanes           


Now, let’s interpret some maps.

1. Turn to the Export/Import maps on p. 77.  What kind of thematic map is it? _________________________________________________________

According to the map, in what two ways do Saudi Arabia and China’s exports differ? ___________________________________________________

How is the continent of Africa exceptional regarding imports?  ____________________________________________________________________ 

Which two African countries are exceptional in Africa for their imports? _____________________________________________________________


2. Now use the Climate Regions map on p. 30-31 to answer the following questions.

Chico’s latitude is ~40°N.  Which 5 European countries share this latitude? __________________________________________________________

 The British Isles, southwestern Scandinavia, and much of Western Europe have the same climate found in what part of the western US? __ ______________

What is the name of this climate? __________________

What kind of thematic map is used to show this information? _______________________________________







3. One aspect of Europe’s population is its recent increase in ethnic diversity.  This increase emerged after WWII.  Some countries in the European Union have established reputations as welcoming hosts of refugees.  Look at the map and bar graphs on p. 81 to see the geographic distribution of refugees in Europe.


Which three European countries host the largest refugee populations? 1. _____________, 2. ______________ 3. ________________

How does the size of these three countries’ refugee populations compare with that of the US? ________________________________

What kind of thematic map is used to show this information? _________________________________________



Now choose 5 thematic maps on your own between p. 30 and 83.  Write the title of the map below and indicate what type of thematic map it is.  Then write one question that you could answer with each map.  This is due on Wednesday, October 3.


     Title                                                                               Type of map                        Question

1. _______________________________________________________________________________________


2.  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________



3. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________



4. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________



5. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________