Overview of maps

A Map allows you to display the means or counts for a multi-choice or grid variable in a graphical format. You can associate one or more areas of an image with each of the question codes. The areas are colored according to the number of cases where that response is selected.

These can be used in conjunction with data which has been gathered using a Map Control in the questionnaire or with data gathered or calculated in any other way.

For example, you could have a picture showing the areas of a city and color each one according to the number of respondents living there. You can specify the colors used for the highest and lowest values, and how the color changes in between.

You should note that there is only benefit in using a map analysis if the picture contributes something to the analysis. This means that the location of the areas within the picture has meaning (for example, a city map). If the graphics could be replaced by a simple list, then the analysis could be equally well displayed as a bar chart.

Maps in detail

Maps can only display analysis data for questions with single or multiple responses.

You can specify, counts, percentages, means or sums as the type of data to be displayed.

You specify which area(s) of an image to associate with each variable code, and how the areas will be colored according to the data related to each code.

You can set a color for the highest value (max) and the lowest value (min), and the intermediate colors will be calculated according to the data value for each code.

Maps consist of:

  • a background image
  • the defined areas of the image, and the response codes they are associated with
  • the way the colors change according to the statistical data for each code.

Maps for analysis are defined in the Map Control Editor. Details for creating a Map Control can be found at Hyperlink here.

Note that the usefulness of a Map in analysis is entirely dependent on whether the area of the image has a meaning related to the specified response code. If the image areas and the response codes have no natural relation, then you would probably be better off using a bar chart.

When you create a Map style for analysis, it has a different function from the Map Control styles used in the questionnaire window.

This is because the image must convey information about the response codes, even when filled with a color that represents a calculated number (e.g. the mean).

You can either:

  • use an image, such as a map, where the shapes are instantly recognisable and identifiable through outline and location in the picture.
  • use an image which shows what the response codes mean, but displays the analysis information separately.