Equal Frequency v. Equal Distribution…FIGHT!

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Equal Frequency v Equal Distgribution-04

Page #42

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One of my single most favorite interactive lessons for students is Kuby’s True Maps False Impressions activity. Granted, our school has not purchased an updated version of the book in quite some time, we still use a very outdated website to get the kids thinking about how cartographers (or any Yay-Hoo in general) can shift people’s perceptions with maps. The lesson on equal interval vs. equal frequency was also a fun one during my master’s cartography course. If you want to hear about Equal Interval vs. Equal Frequency from the horse’s mouth, check out ArcGIS’s explanation.

I continue using incarceration data from the Department of Justice for this page. Before I can make maps like the ones above, I need to sort the data. I threw it into Excel and ran some quick sorts. Here is the PDF of data so that you can see the distributions state by state: United States Incarceration Stats Sorted.

What did you say? Coloring in each state must have taken years!? Nah. When working with vector programs, selecting a single color and then clicking each individual state once makes things go much faster. I use Adobe Illustrator for my maps though raster would work just as well. ArcGIS has recently paired up with Adobe Illustrator to streamline the use of ArcGIS’s vector data within Illustrator. It is still a bit cumbersome in that you have to correctly name your layers while logged into ArcGIS online, but I have no doubt things will one day be faster (and when I buy a faster computer). In the meantime, thanks to Dan Harris for my characters, and everything else was completed by myself. Enjoy the day and map away!

 
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