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popular tourist locations on the wild and exciting quest to make web maps in fewer tries
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  1. What are geometries?
  • Points
  • Polygons
  • Lines
  1. data vs attributes

The type of geometry and the amount of geometires determine the tool stack

  • What kind of data do you have?

    • Points

    • Polygons

      • How much data?

        • Just enough:Convert the data to GeoJSON & make a simple Leaflet map


        • Too much, the polygons have necessary detail: Use TileMill to render an interactive map with UTFGrid. If you've ever made a map with tilemill, the interactivities are using UTFGrid. See tutorial.

        • Too much, the polygons have unnecessary details: Simplify them with TopoJSON or QGIS

      • What kind of attributes do they have?

        • Absolute numbers:Convert the points to centroids with QGIS
        • Normalized the absolute: Make a choropleth map with Leaflet for small data, TileMillfor big data
  • Visualization defaults

    • Projection:

    • Colors:

    • Scales:

      • For any data
        • Try linear first
        • Then quantile
      • For data of rates or compounding values
        • Try log and power scales: "A logarithmic scale is a scale of measurement that displays the value of a physical quantity using intervals corresponding to orders of magnitude, rather than a standard linear scale."
    • Points:

      • Start with normal circles with no strokes
      • Scale points by area, not diameter (proportional)
    • Flair:

      • Only add a north arrow if north isn't up
      • Always attribute your data, especially OpenStreetMap, to avoid the nerd wrath
      • If it zooms, add visible zoom controls. Pan isn't necessary, but not everyone has a scroll wheel / multitouch