Module 4 - Class 2: The Importance of Styling your Maps

Benefits of styling your map

Once you have added your data to the map, you will need to decide how you want to display each feature or dataset. eSpatial will assign a default style and color to ensure that each dataset or layer is represented differently. With our styling menu, you have the option to change from the defaults.

Styling is important as it can help to bring your data to life, make it easier to interpret your results, and to share your findings with others. A picture paints a thousand words. You may have several datasets on the same map, which could be confusing without proper styling. eSpatial offers you several ways to customize and differentiate the data on your map.


Styling best practices

Don’t clutter your map

  • Remove or turn off any datasets not adding value to your story
  • Turn labels off if there is too much data on your map.
  • Labels work best for areas and when the data is not too dense.

 Choose an appropriate basemap 

  • While basemap preference is very much subjective, there are times when a very plain basemap is more appropriate, and times when a more detailed map can help present your findings. 

Use the styling and analysis types available to aggregate your data

  • Sometimes using clustering, a hotspot heatmap, and a regional heatmap can present a much clearer picture by removing the pins, and just highlighting aggregated information.
  • Heatmap styling can highlight areas of concentrated accounts possibly highlighting a location for a new hire or office.

 Aggregate your data in advance of uploading to eSpatial 

  • While you can upload large quantities of information to eSpatial, sometimes using an Excel Pivot table in advance to aggregate your data into groups of information, can provide for a cleaner, less detailed, easier to interpret map.