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R Data Visualization Cookbook by Atmajitsinh Gohil

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Creating cartograms

Cartograms are distorted shapes of geographical areas. The distortion is based on a set of data encoded in a map. The idea of a cartogram is to show the gravity of the issue or data being studied. Mark Newman at the University of Michigan has created some of the best cartograms. Very interesting implementations of cartograms are the Elemental Cartograms, where the shape of the periodic table is distorted based on the user data.

In the visualization, we have distorted the map of the USA based on the prevalence of obesity in each state. We observe that the boundaries and area are connected but the geographical accuracy is lost as the shape is distorted.

Yau (2013) states the advantage of using cartograms over choropleth maps as ...

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