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Lab2. Color

This exercise is about choosing colors. The first part is about using a tool for choosing colors for a thematic map. Then we will write a review of a couple of maps and in the end of this exercise there is a QUIZ.

Try the Colorbrewer

Colorbrewer is a website based on work of perception and types of colors.

The person behind the website (Cynthia Brewer) is also the author of the book Designing better maps:a guide for GIS users.

Go to the Colorbrewer!

'1. Start with just exploring Colorbrewer.'

'2. The data…'

Go to Statistics Sweden and download the zip file Län, kommuner och kommuner med utbrutna storstadsområden i ArcView shape format (Zip fil)

Extract the files in on your computer.

'3. Make a thematic map (choropleth map), choose the number of classes (colors).'

To make a choropleth map of the population density in Swedish municipalities, add the layer with the Swedish Municipalities (Sweden_muniCities07 or Sweden_municipality07).

:File > Add Data

Right click on the layer in Table Of Contents and choose Properties…. Go to:

Symbology > Quantities > Graduated colors


  • Value: BEF2004 (the population)
  • Normalization: LANDAREAKM (the area in km2)

and the number of classes (colors) you want to use for presenting the population density.

'4. Choose colors using Colorbrewer. Write down the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) codes for your choice.'

'5. Change the colors of your thematic map into the colors you have chosen using the tool. '

Click on a color box in Table Of Contents. Then click on the color box after Fill Color and More Colors….

Change from HSV or CMYK into RGB if needed and change the color using the RGB code. Click at OK twice and the color of the map should change.

'6. Export your map as a jpeg when you are satisfied with the result.'

To add a legend, go to Layout View

:View > Layout View


Insert > Legend…

Export the result using:

File > Export Map…


Choose two of the four webpages listed below. Make a review of them and their maps functions and use of colours. Make explicit references to the literature ((Brewer) ((write a half to one page).

Add your thematic map to the review and send it to the e mail address presented by the teacher.


Test what you know about choosing colors for maps with the QUIZ. Redo the exercise until you get everything right. Remember that this questions and answers are not absolute rules. Should be seen as guidelines.

Start the QUIZ!

color_gib2.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/12 10:03 by ene