Creating Choropleth Interactive Map Visuals

In an Interactive Map visual, Arcadia Instant enables you to create choropleth maps. A choropleth map shows geographical areas that are shaded in proportion to the value of the measurement that is displayed on the map.

Tips:Consider the following when building choropleth maps:
  • Use choropleth maps when your data is attached to enumeration units, such as counties, countries, zip codes, and so on.
  • Standardize data to show rates and ratios instead of raw data counts. For example, instead of plotting gross GDP, plot GDP per Capita.
  • Use choropleth maps when you have data with continuous statistical surface. For example, Population is a count and representing it in colored map may be misleading. Population density is a ratio with a continuous statistical surface (even where 0 represents unpopulated areas); so it can be used in choropleth maps.

To create a choropleth map, for each visual, you must specify the following:

Let's create a choropleth map that colors the average tax liability in California by zip code.

In our example, the choropleth interactive map visual is based on the dataset Personal Income Tax Statistics by Zip Code. For an overview of shelves that specify this visual, see Shelves for Interactive Map Visuals.

  1. Create an Interactive Map visual; see Basic Interactive Map Visuals.
  2. Populate the shelves from the available fields in Dimensions and Measures in the Data menu.

    Note that to create a choropleth map, the dataset must have at least one field in the Geo shelf with Geo-type Shape ID.

    • Select zip_code field and drag it over the Geo shelf to identify the shapes by zip code.

      Cast this to the appropriate Geo Type: click the field on the shelf, and in the Field Properties menu, select Change Type, and select Shape ID. This helps in identifying the measure that maps to the shape.

      Selecting the 'Shape ID' Geo Type for Geo field 'zip_code'
    • Under Measures, select the avg(total_tax_liability) field, and drag it over the Colors shelf.

      Change the aggregation from total_tax_liability, by selecting Aggregates Average

      This colors the average tax liability in California by zip code.

  3. Navigate to the Map Style menu under Settings, and enter a Custom mapbox style that you have obtained from Mapbox. Make sure that this style has a choropleth shape file in it.
    Specifying a Custom Mapbox style
  4. Navigate to the Choropleth menu under Settings, and enter a Layer ID. Choropleth Layer ID identifies the shapes that you would like to color by a measure in your data..
    Specifying a Choropleth Layer ID
  5. Click Refresh Visual.

  6. The choropleth map visual appears.

    If the visual does not display a choropleth map, check that the Geo-type of the zip_code field is set to Shape ID.

    Displaying a choropleth interactive map visual

Proceed to Customizing the choropleth map.