Advantages and disadvantages of dot maps.

Advantages and disadvantages of dot maps

Dot maps or dot distribution map (also known as dot density map) is a map type that uses a dot symbol to show the presence of a feature or phenomenon. Dot maps rely on a visual scatter to show spatial patterns.

The following are advantages of dot maps:

  • If well constructed it shows the distribution and comparative densities
  • It is easier to show variation in the distribution of a wide variety of commodities if it is presented using different colors.
  • Dot maps are used to represent a wide range of items like population, the value of minerals, crops, and so forth
  • They are very easy to construct compared to proportional circles
  • It is very easy to compare the distribution of items considering the concentration of dots.
  • It is easy to interpret by counting the number of dots multiplied by the dot value to get the total value of the given area

 Image result for dot maps geography
The following are disadvantages of dot maps

  • It is time consuming especially when marking dots on maps
  • When the scale is small many dots are drawn which cause overcrowding and present difficult in counting them to get the actual value
  • In case even distribution of dots is displayed on the map, false impression that the distribution is the same in represented area is perceived. This perception may be false
  • Locating dots on map is to the certain extent a personal and subjective decision and two dot maps done by two people using the same data will rarely be identical
  • Construction of dot maps involves tedious calculation especially when determining number of dots


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