choropleth map

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A choropleth map showing Global Militarization Index (relative weight and importance of the military apparatus)


From Ancient Greek χώρα (khṓra, location) + πλῆθος (plêthos, a great number) + English map. First proposed in 1938 by American geographer John Kirtland Wright to mean "quantity in area," although maps of the type have been used since the early 19th century.[1]



choropleth map (plural choropleth maps)

  1. A thematic map in which the distribution of some property is shown using different colours.
    Synonyms: choropleth, chloropleth (misspelling), chloropleth map (misspelling)
    • 1999, Jeffery T. Walker, Statistics in Criminal Justice: Analysis and Interpretation, page 66:
      The scale and unit of analysis for choropleth maps depends upon the area to be mapped.
    • 2004, Gerald R. Pitzl, Encyclopedia of Human Geography, page 29:
      The choropleth map, which shows distributions by area, is one of the most frequently used maps in geography.
    • 2013, Ian Muehlenhaus, Web Cartography: Map Design for Interactive and Mobile Devices, page 147:
      As the Mercator is to Web projections, choropleth maps are to thematic cartography (i.e., they are overused).

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Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ John K. Wright, "Problems in Population Mapping," in 1938, Wright, et al., Notes on Statistical Mapping, with Special Reference to the Mapping of Population Phenomena, American Geographical Society, Population Association of America, p. 14.