ArcGIS Pro

How to make this map of internet connectivity in 1968

Here is a walkthrough of the process of creating a map of internet connectivity in 1968.

0:11 Setting up a graduated colors choropleth (a concatenation of the Greek words, “area” and “multitude”) map.

0:26 Normalization is important for choropleth maps: show a rate rather than a total. In this case, we’ll normalize our internet connectivity totals by the underlying population so we have a rate of internet connectivity.

0:44 How/why to change the classification method for range breaks.

1:00 Changing the map projection to one that maintains area: critical for choropleth mapping. We’ll choose Equal Earth.

1:29 How to modify the geographic position of a map when it is in a layout.

1:43 Inserting a legend and fine-tuning its properties….

2:06 …or just convert it to disconnected graphics that can be edited manually.

2:40 Labeled features can help reinforce a choropleth map, making interpretation clear and direct.

3:03 VoilĂ !

If you can accept the premise of a map of internet connectivity as it was in 1968, I hope you can also willingly suspend your judgement about my use of modern population estimates as the denominator for historical data (even when the historical data is all zeros). This is actually a pretty important consideration for actual historical mapping. Another point of clarity wherein I would like to beg your forgiveness is the errant use of modern political boundaries for showing historical data (even when the historical data is all zeros); many of these countries did not even exist in 1968. But I appreciate your willingness to play along. While the topic is tongue in cheek, the lessons are pretty solid.

Love, John

About the author

I have far too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the Content team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways -and then talking about it. I also get to spend time with the Story Maps team, working on fun and useful user experiences. When I'm not doing those things, I'm chasing around toddlers and wrangling chickens, and generally getting into other ad-hoc adventures. Life is good. Loads more how-to posts: My YouTube channel: Loads of Styles for Pro: Instagram:


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