Style numbers

Maps allow you to visualize data in a variety of ways. For example, you can visualize population data for countries as a sequence of colors, such as from light to dark, or as proportional circles, such as from small to large. The flexibility of using colors and shapes allows you to tell different stories and discover hidden patterns depending on how the data is presented.

ArcGIS for Office allows you to explore your data in different ways through a variety of smart mapping styles. When you style map layers, the type of data determines the default styling options. You can experiment with color ramps, line weights, transparency, symbols, and other graphic elements, and see your choices reflected immediately on the map.

Several styling options are available for visualizing features according to numeric values in your data.

Counts and Amounts (size)

This map style uses an orderable sequence of sizes to represent your numeric data or ranked categories. Points and lines can be drawn using this approach. Adjust the size of the symbols to clarify the story you are telling. For example, you can use proportional symbols to show the annual average daily traffic in a city. Higher values are drawn with larger symbols and lower values are drawn with smaller symbols.

To style counts and amounts by size, do the following:

  1. At the top of the layer list, select Layer options Layer options.

    The layer options appear, with the Styling pane open by default.

  2. Choose a data attribute to style from the Select a drawing column (size) drop-down menu.

    To style by counts and amounts using size, the data attribute you select must be numeric.

  3. Select the Counts and Amounts (size) style card and click Style options Style options.

    The layer updates to style counts and amounts using size, and options for the style appear.

  4. Select from any of the following:
    • Click Symbology and specify the symbol settings to change the styling of your proportional symbols (color, stroke, and opacity).
    • If your data isn’t already normalized or standardized, choose an attribute field from the Divided by drop-down menu to turn your raw data into rates or percentages. Examples of normalized data include x per capita, y per square kilometer, or a ratio of x to y. Raw counts, by comparison, are better visualized with colors after they are standardized.
    • Adjust the bounding handles along the histogram to change how the proportional symbols are applied to the data. You can either drag the handle or click the number next to the handle and type a value. All values above the upper handle are drawn with the same largest symbol. Values below the lower handle are displayed with the same smallest symbol. The remaining values are drawn with a proportional sequence of sizes between the two bounds. Experiment with the position of the handles and use the histogram to see the distribution of the data to fine-tune the message of the map.
    • Turn on the Show features with no value or out of range toggle button to draw locations with missing data on the map, and optionally specify a style and label to represent those values.
    • Turn on the Classify data toggle button and choose the classification method and the number of classes to further generalize your map, or if you are using standard deviation, choose the interval.
    • For Size range, keep the default size range or specify a custom range (in pixels) by adjusting the slider handles or clicking the default values and providing new values.
      Note:

      The size range is available only for Select drawing column (size).

    • Click Transparency, turn on the Enable Transparency toggle button, and specify the transparency settings to adjust the transparency of counts and amounts per feature. You can only use this option if you have numeric or date data associated with your locations. For example, if your layer contains population data, you can adjust the transparency of each location proportionally to its population.
    • If you are mapping point symbols, you can rotate symbols based on a second numeric attribute. For example, the color of the points can depict wind speed at weather stations, while the rotation of the points depicts direction. To set rotation by attribute, click Rotate symbols and specify the rotation settings.
  5. Click the Back button Back/ Return to close the Styling pane and view the layer list.

Counts and Amounts (color)

If you have numeric data, you can distinguish features using graduated colors to reflect a count or an amount. Different types of color ramps can be used—for example, a simple light-to-dark color ramp is good for showing low-to-high data values, such as age, income, or ratio. Color ramps can be applied to points, lines, and polygons.

To style counts and amounts using color, do the following:

  1. At the top of the layer list, select Layer options Layer options.

    The layer options appear, with the Styling pane open by default.

  2. Choose a data attribute to style from the Select a drawing column (color) drop-down menu.

    To style by counts and amounts using color, the data attribute you select must be numeric.

    Note:

    If you select a string value, for example, a name, the Types (Unique symbols) style card opens.

  3. Select the Counts and Amounts (color) style card and click Style options Style options.

    The layer updates to style counts and amounts using color, and options for the style appear.

  4. Select from any of the following:
    • Click Symbology and specify the symbol settings to change other graphic parameters such as stroke weights and colors.
    • If your data isn’t already normalized or standardized, click Classify data and choose an attribute field from the Divided by drop-down menu to turn your raw data into rates or percentages. Examples of normalized data include x per capita, y per square kilometer, or a ratio of x to y. Raw counts, by comparison, are better visualized with colors after they are standardized.
    • Adjust the bounding handles along the color ramp in Classify data to change how the color ramp is applied to the data. You can either drag the handle or click the number next to the handle and type a value. Experiment with the position of the handles and use the histogram and calculated average Calculated average to understand the distribution of the data to fine-tune the message of the map.
    • Click Color ramps and choose a ramp. You can choose from several collections of color ramps, including ramps that are color-deficient vision (CDV) friendly and ramps that are best for dark backgrounds. You can also click Reverse ramp colors Reverse ramp colors to change the direction of the color ramp.
    • Turn on the Show features with no value or out of range toggle button to draw locations with missing data on the map, and optionally specify a style and label to represent those values.
    • Turn on the Classify data toggle button to further generalize your map, and choose the classification method and the number of classes, or if you're using standard deviation, choose the interval.
      Note:
      To use Manual as the classification method, adjust or move the handles on the histogram.
    • Click Transparency, turn on the Enable Transparency toggle button, and specify the transparency settings to adjust the transparency of counts and amounts per feature. You can only use this option if you have numeric or date data associated with your locations. For example, if your layer contains population data, you can adjust the transparency of each location proportionally to its population.
    • If you are mapping point symbols, you can rotate symbols based on a second numeric attribute. For example, the color of the points can depict wind speed at weather stations, while the rotation of the points depicts direction. To set rotation by attribute, click Rotate symbols and specify the rotation settings.
  5. Click the Back button Back/ Return to close the Styling pane and view the layer list.

Color and Size

When you style with two variables, the value of one of the variables is paired with a value of the other variable. The association is studied via a tabular or graphical display. The method used to investigate the association depends on the level of measurement of the variable.

  1. At the top of the layer list, select Layer options Layer options.

    The layer options appear, with the Styling pane open by default.

  2. Choose from both the Select a drawing column (size) and Select a drawing column (color) drop-down menus you are styling.

    The Color & Size card appears. You now have two variables that show relations and changing patterns.

    Color & Size card

  3. On the Color & Size card click Style options.
  4. Apply style options to Counts and Amounts (color) and Counts and Amounts (size).

When the variables are numeric, the pairs of values of any two variables are often represented as individual points on a map. This is done so the relationship between the variables is clear. For example, two data attributes on a map can be used to study the relationship between population and the sea level rise (SLR) that affects its migration and density.

Legend with size and color relation

You can also use this style if your data contains date values that you want to show sequentially as a continuous time line on the map along with another attribute. If the first attribute you choose is a date, color is used to show the date values and proportional symbols are used to show the other attribute. If the second attribute you choose is a date, the reverse is true: dates are shown using proportional symbols and color is used to show the other attribute.