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Bi-Variate Spider Map Creation

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Bi-Variate Spider Mapping




The creation of a Spider Map is an advanced mapping technique that at the heart is really a data manipulation process.  In this example, we take it a step further, and introduce a Bi-Variate display method for the spider lines.  The trick to generating the different line widths is to actually turn the Line spatial objects into rectangular Polygons via the Buffer tool.  The Buffer tool uses values from a field in order to allow different “lines” to have different widths.  The Multi-Row Formula tool is used to create the different line width groupings.

Individual Line Segments. -These are created by duplicating all of the records in the table, one after the next. The first record's Spatial Object is the client location, while the second holds the distribution location. Both of these points are stored in the same field, and their original record ID (Group) is used to define the grouping method within the Poly Build tool.

Varying Line Widths. This functionality is enabled due to the creation of individual line segments, as mentioned above. The Totals (volume of business) field is segregated into four groups, where the Summarize tool is used to ensure a reasonable distribution. Each of the four groups is assigned a numeric value that is then passed to the buffer tool. The buffer tool uses the numeric value as the radius of the buffer to be created in miles. A formula tool is included in the processes for adjusting the scale of the grouping values. The Buffer tool acquires its radius value from the LineWidth field, enabling the displayed variation in line widths.


BaseMap Creation. A custom BaseMap is developed using the Allocate Input tool, and specifying only the state boundaries. The settings for which are then adjusted inside of the Map tool.

Colored Theming by Distribution Center. Inside of the Map tool, the "SpatialObj_Built_Buffer" field is used to display the lines (technically they are polygons). In order to develop the theme, the Plant field is selected for the Thematic Field option, where the theming method is set to Unique Values and the “Summer” color-scheme is chosen.

Title and Legend Lastly, the Legend is specified as a separate field inside of the Map tool, and a Text tool is used to create our map’s title. To pull everything together, an Overlay tool is used to define the locations of our Legend and Text objects upon the map.

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