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SimplyMap Tip - Editing the Map Legend

Posted on Dec 02, 2014 by Admin

Today we take a look at one of the more advanced features in SimplyMap - editing the map legend. Editing the map legend is a great way to not only customize how the data is distributed on the map, but to also change the look and feel of the map.

First, you can customize the map by changing the geographic unit shown and the variable year from the legend.


Data can be displayed by State, Congressional District, County, City, ZIP Code, Census Tract, or Census Block Group. The geographic unit can be chosen manually, or you can check the box labeled “Auto-select Geo Unit,” and SimplyMap will automatically display the most appropriate geography based on the zoom level of the map. Zooming into an area will result in increasingly smaller geographic units and present the data in greater detail.

To edit other aspects of the map legend, select “Edit Legend” at the bottom of the legend. The Legend Editor will open. The image below details this dialog, along with an explanation of what can be edited:


1. Classification Method: This dropdown determines how the data in your map is grouped. There are multiple methods for calculating break values for the data. You can select any of the following from the Classification Method menu:

•Quantiles (Local)
•Quantiles (National)
•Natural Breaks (Local)
•Natural Breaks (National)
•Equal Intervals

Changing from Quantiles (National) to Quantiles (Local) will reconfigure your data ranges to reflect a sample of locations from the current view, as opposed to viewing it on a national scale.

You can learn more about each of the classification methods in the FAQ.

2. Number of Categories: Determines the number of data ranges you would like to see. This will also impact the number of colors you see on the map. By default, this will show 5.


3. Color Scheme: Changes the map’s color scheme. Alternatively, if you select an individual box in the legend, you can apply your color of choice for each.


4. Data Values: Allows the user to manually enter new category break values and create custom data ranges.


5. Outline Color/Outline Thickness: Changes the color and thickness of your map’s outline. The image below shows a map’s color outline and thickness set to a darker grey, and 2 respectively.


This is what the final map would look like with the edited color outline and thickness:


Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips and tricks!