Step-by-step: Building a simple county map with a single metric – Part2

Map showing changes to default styles

In a previous tutorial, we showed how to build a county-based map with a single metric in FactLook. In this tutorial, we’ll adjust some of the styles to create a more visually compelling thematic map. Specifically, we’ll adjust:

  1. Changing the number of breaks
  2. Using the color palette to assign unique colors to each break
  3. Displaying decimal points in the Map Legend

As a refresher, here is where we left off the previous tutorial: we created a map of all 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky showing the percentage of population age 25-34 who are at Least High School Graduates or Equivalency.

FactLook Map showing HS Grads or Equiv, 25-34

This base map was created with FactLook’s default style settings:

  • Blue color scheme
  • Four breaks (Breaks are the groupings of your data to illustrate differences between segments of data.)
  • Breaks organized by Equal Size Data Ranges
  • No decimals

Let’s change these defaults to something of our own choosing.

1. Click “Layer: [Layer Name]” in the Map Structure pane.

Layer in the Map Structure pane

2. This brings you to the Layer Styles pane.

3. Number of Breaks: Let’s change the Number of Breaks (under the Metrics pane) from “4” to “6”.  The FactLook wizard will automatically calculate and update the values associated with each break.

Layer with 6 breaks in FactLook wizard

4. Break Fill Colors: The FactLook wizard automatically uses the blue color palette when generating new maps. We can change those colors at the individual break level by changing the Fill Color settings. To do so, click on any of the colored boxes assigned to each break.

As you can see, clicking on one of the color boxes automatically launches a color palette. Here you can change the default color by selecting a pre-loaded color, using the color picker, or by entering a color’s hexadecimal value.

Color palette feature in FactLook wizard

Here are the color choices we selected from the color palette.

Updated color selections


And here is how those choices appear on our map.

Map with updated color selections.


5. Decimal Points: FactLook allows you to display decimal points in the Legend if your data included those values. To display decimals, enter the number of decimals you want to display for each break for the “Decimal points” property in the Breaks pane. Our original data included two decimal points, so we will set each break to display two digits. Note that you can tab across each break and that the FactLook wizard will automatically adjust the Legend Text as you go.

Using the Decimal points property

Here is the Map Legend display after adjusting the decimal points.

Map Legend with decimal points

And here is our map reflecting the changes we made to its style settings.

Map showing changes to default styles




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