Marek Pieniążek, Maciej Zych
Statistical maps. Data visualisation methods

Statistical Research Papers, Volume 1
Główny Urząd Statystyczny, Warszawa 2020

About the book

The handbook sets forth standards of cartographic presentation of statistical data, thus responding to the growing demand for information shown in the territorial and spatial contexts. This demand necessitates constant enhancement of the forms of statistical presentation of data – not only as tables and charts, but also on maps.

The book also attempts to respond to challenges posed by the recent development of modern tools for data presentation and analysis. It offers a synthesis of cartographic presentation methods, as well as recommendations and good practices in this field. Intended as a set of guidelines on how to make a statistical map adhering to the principles of graphic cartographic presentation, it shows the ways to overcome the limitations of the available IT tools in this respect.

A properly constructed map is one of the basic forms of visualisation enabling a fast and effective perception of data indicating spatial relations between phenomena. Bearing this in mind, the authors provide theoretical background and practical guidelines on how to use statistical maps, what kind of content can be presented on them and how to properly make maps intended for statistical publications.

The book is divided into six chapters that address the most important issues in the context of map preparation:

  1. Elements of a statistical map;
  2. Base map;
  3. Applications of GIS – data management and preparation for map creation;
  4. Elements of spatial analysis;
  5. Cartographic data presentation methods;
  6. Statistical map editing guidelines.

The handbook contains numerous maps, most of which were prepared specially for this publication. The maps which refer to Poland or its regions were based mostly on data provided by the Polish official statistics.

This edition, addressed to international readers, is the adaptation of Statistics Poland’s 2017 publication in Polish which won the 3rd award at the International Cartographic Exhibition in Tokyo in July 2019.

About the authors

Marek Pieniążek, a geographer, graduated from the University of Warsaw (Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies) with a PhD in Earth Sciences (2005); in 2005–2016 worked as an assistant professor at the University of Warsaw (Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies); is the co-author of an innovative curriculum for spatial analyses and GIS tools; has worked for Statistics Poland (Spatial and Environmental Surveys Department) since 2010, currently as an expert dealing with the analysis of the spatial effects of human activity, i.e. social and economic processes, regional policy and public sector activities, including public services. He also conducts methodological research and is working on the application of GIS methods and tools to spatial statistics.

Maciej Zych, a geographer and cartographer, graduated from the University of Warsaw (Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies / Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences) with a Master's degree in Cartography (2000); contributed substantive content to 24 geographical atlases; he is the author or co-author of over 900 maps for books and websites and the author of almost 60 papers, mostly on geographical names; has worked for Statistics Poland (Spatial and Environmental Surveys Department) since 2012; since 2001 has been a member of the Commission on Standardization of Geographical Names Outside Poland at the Surveyor General of Poland (as the chairperson of the Commission since 2019, and in 2008–2019 as vice-chairperson); since 2004 has been representing Poland in the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN), and since 2018 has served as vice-chair to the Baltic Division of the UNGEGN.

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