Geography: Data Collection, Processing and Analysis: Diagrammatic Presentations, Presentation of Data through Maps

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for IAS : Get complete video lectures from top expert with unlimited validity: cover entire syllabus, expected topics, in full detail- anytime and anywhere & ask your doubts to top experts.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 203K)

Data collection

Data Collection

Data collection

Diagrammatic Presentations

Diagrams are both graphical as well as geometric in nature. The processed data is portrayed through different diagrams for visual presentations. It is important to make use of diagrams based on their relative merit of visual presentation. The diagrams mostly refer to time or space or both the characteristics related to one location. Some of the diagrams used for the presentation of primary data are discussed below:

Bar Diagram

The use of column or bar has become common in representing a comparative performance of various units and growth of an individual unit. The length of bar is kept proportional to the size of production or the volume of change. Thus, bar diagram is used to represent many elements at one point of time and one element across the time. The compound bar diagrams are used to represent the subclasses of an element. The block of a bar is proportionately subdivided to represent the sub classes in a compound bar diagram.

Pie Diagram

The pie diagram is also known as divided circle. It is used to represent the proportion of the sub-unit of whole. The different segments of a circle represent percentage contribution of various components of data. For drawing a pie diagram, we construct a circle of any diameter. The circle is then divided into desired number of segments. i.e. angle 360 represents 100 percent. Pie diagram is generally used to represent the general land use of village, composition of shops in a functional profile of urban areas, social composition of surveyed village, composition of total population etc.

Presentation of Data through Maps

Various types of maps can be constructed with the help of primary data. Maps related to various themes such as environment, trade, land use, production of community population, etc. can be prepared for presentation. A map is a proportional representation of some or whole part of the earth on a flat surface or piece of paper. Thus, the outline map represents the direction, distance and shape of the area, while the technique of the representation of data on the maps explains distributional characteristics. The method of preparing dot map is given below here as an example.

Dot Maps

  • These maps are used to show the dispersal as well as concentration tendencies (characteristics of a distribution) of the phenomena. Dot maps are related to point specific pattern of distribution unlike isopleth maps which are concerned with joining places having the same or equal values of distribution or choropleth maps which are concerned with area specific distributions instead of location specific distributions.

  • These maps use data to represent location specific distribution. The size of the dot is worked out considering the capacity of space on the map and the value of distribution at one point of location. The dot is assigned specific value in quantitative terms. Once the value of a dot is determined the number of dots at each location can be worked out. Dots are plotted on the map based on location specific distribution of variable. Due care needs to be taken while putting dots on the map.

  • Transport lines, rivers and canals, mountain tops, and such other negative areas should be separated from placing dots. The final map clearly represents the concentration and dispersal of a distribution. The field data related to household population, agricultural production, shop-wise daily sales or consumer pattern, unit wise industrial production, or field wise crop can be better represented through dot maps.

Interpreting the Information

Interpretation of information/data is crucial for written communication. It is an art of expressing a given data/information in a written or oral form to provide a logical explanation for the given facts. The following points should be kept in mind while interpreting the information:

  • Clarity and explicitness of the interpretation.

  • Segregation of common and special features.

  • Focus should be clarified right in the beginning.

  • Organisation of the facts must be step by step.

  • Accuracy of facts need to be checked.

Interpretation of a Table: A table is a compact orderly arrangement of facts. It is summarized or grouped from a processed data. Interpretation of a table needs to start with the identification of minimum and maximum value i.e. ranges in the data. The difference between these two values explains the range to be comparatively smaller or larger. The smaller the range, lower the deviation and in the concentrated form is the distribution. Contrary to this, if range is larger, the interpretation will change as the distribution will be dispersed. The second step in the interpretation of a table relates to the analysis of various classes and their frequencies. The third step in the analysis of a table relates to the inferences derived. It should be brought out very clearly as what generalizations emerge from the table.

Interpretation of a Graph: Graphs are different types and their interpretation varies significantly one another. The interpretation should be done with great care. There could be broadly two types of graphical interpretations. The first type of interpretation may deal with the amount of change with reference to time or areal units or both. The second dimension of graphical interpretation is the trend. It is further divided into total trend and point specific trend.

Interpretation of a Diagram: Each diagram has its own merit of presentation. It should be interpreted with regard to variables shown. A diagram highlights different levels of variables viz high, medium, low, very low etc. Interpretation of each component should be made clearly to give an idea about the performance of a variable across time and places.

Interpretation of Maps: Interpretation of maps refer to area specific characteristics of a phenomenon. It could be with regard to time, intensity, and community. The distributional characteristics of a variable should be interpreted. It will bring out the distributions both in terms of volume and area covered. Logical explanation should be given to the factor responsible for such a distribution.

While interpreting the information certain points should be kept in mind. The points are clarity and explicitness, segregation of common and special features, focus, organization and accuracy of facts.

The interpretation of processed data differs from one medium to another. For example, the interpretation of a table is different from diagrams, graphs and maps.

Preparation of Field Report and Its Format

Field reports are the written account of the facts and data collected from the field, its generalizations and basic conclusions. These reports are being used for comprehensive and application-oriented learning. Implementation of various development schemes and plans are made depending on the conclusions derived, suggestions and recommendations made in the report. Since report forms the basis of decisions making, it needs to be comprehensive and capable of reflecting the ground truth. The field report should be prepared based on the following components:


The first step in writing a field report is its introduction. The introduction includes the statement of the problem of field survey and its objectives. Methodology of the field work and the general background of the area of field survey has to be planned. The selection of samples and variables, hypothesis, processing, and presenting the primary data from the part of mythology. The last part of the introduction is expected to discuss the scope and plan of the report.


The value of the report is adjusted on the basis of insight and labour put in its making of a scientific and logical project. Analysis of the report is sub-divided into chapter of convenient number. Sequence of these chapters, however, follows the system like

  1. Structure on nature of the theme of investigation.

  2. Trends and patterns (both temporal a well as spatial) related to the theme of investigation.

  3. Correlation of associated factor influencing the problem under study.

  4. Constraints and associated problems.

  5. Conclusions and suggestions.

Each chapter contains logical and scientific analysis of the facts derived through the processing of data in the form of tabular and cartographic presentations besides investigators personal impressions gathered during the field work.

The Results and Recommendations

  • The third and the important part of the field reports is related to deriving results and the recommendations. The generalisations made in each chapter are put together to form specific conclusions. To make suggestions more meaningful, constraints and likely problems should be worked out. Having analysed the entire theme of survey both individually (at the level of variables) as well as collectively (at the level of groups), one is able to make final observation or to derive both broad as well as specific conclusions. The recommendation should be based on these results.

  • Both basic as well as functional aspects of the problems should be covered by these recommendations. Before making recommendations, one is expected to assess the viability and feasibility of the same. The smaller and specific is the dimension of the problem, more workable and viable is the recommendation. Similarly, the feasibility aspect of recommendation deserves to be assessed in the light of available technological, financial, and social implications. The report must avoid vague and unclear recommendations. Thus, result and recommendations should touch upon finding solutions to problems faced and accelerating the pace of development.

Developed by: