Friday, September 27
Making Truthful Maps
Friday, September 27
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Room 2.107, HafenCity Universität (HCU)



Maps represent indispensible products in the modern newsroom. They are used to show results, embedded in published articles, or as research tools for investigative journalism.

Visualising quantitative data on a map truthfully and - at the same time - aesthetically requires thoughtful decisions. The choice of the number of classes, their specific ranges and even the final visual representation determine the message of the map and thus its meaning to the reader.

Participants of this workshop learn about standard cartographic rules in order to create intuitive, truthful maps.

Topics of the workshop include:
- How to decide on appropriate class breaks
- The role of data characteristics and its topic
- Different methods of classification
- How to decide on the number of classes
- How to choose valid symbology and colors
- Which common traps to avoid
- Where to find helpful tools
- How to make beautiful maps!

The free and open-source GIS software QGIS is used as tool of choice for demonstrations and participation. If you want to bring your own device, make sure you have QGIS installed. For installation options, please see or use the portable Windows distribution at

Note: Attendance at the earlier session 'Effective and Efficient Thematic Maps' (Thursday, September 26th) offers a great theoreticalpoint of view into the topic.

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