Overview of Creating Themes
Concept Procedure

A theme varies the display of data based on properties or attributes of the data, for example area, length, pavement type, assessed value, temperature, or land use.

You can use themes to change colors, line types, symbols, text, or other properties that can help you present map information and tell a story. Themes can help make information more visible, illustrate how data is distributed, make data easier to analyze and interpret, and reveal patterns.

For example, you can use darker colors for areas with more rainfall, a larger dot to display cities with a larger population, or a wider line to draw roads with high traffic volume.

A theme showing counties by area

You can theme on specific values or a range of values. For example, an agricultural theme might show different crops in different colors. Each crop is a specific value. Temperature, however, can be any number along a continuum. When you display this type of data, you define ranges for the values. For example, you could divide temperature values into three ranges: below 30, 30 - 60, and over 60.

You can add labels to a theme to label features or drawing objects. You can also add a legend that lists the conditions of the theme and explains the colors, symbols, line patterns, shadings, and annotation used.

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