Benjamin Thornton

Benjamin Thornton is founding Member at Florida Hackers

I describe myself as a Builder, Cartographer, and Researcher.

I enjoy building solutions for problems at my job, in school, and in my extracurricular activities. I also enjoy building creative communities and helping people reach their full potential. Attacking problems head on and crafting the right solution with the appropriate tools is key. Currently I am building solutions to help K-12 teachers teach GIS in the classroom.

As a cartographer, I take a design first approach to maps and their use. Looking at the data behind the map and how the user can effectively interpret the map is what I love doing every day.

Through research, I give my constant curiosity answers. Whether the research is color theory and cartographic theory or on topics of urbanization and sustainable transportation, I love ending in an actionable conclusion.

My passion is everything to do with maps and the urban. On the weekends you can catch me at a hackathon or building something with my friends.


Bivariate Maps - An Introduction and Case Study using Land Use / Land Cover with Visual Analytics

Bivariate maps are composite cartographic representations of exactly two variables in a single map. They contrast with more typical single variable univariate maps which require side-by-side comparisons of two separate maps. Despite their obvious practical convenience bivariate maps usually require more attention to design; shading and color ramps should be intuitive enough to limit referencing the legend. With the increase in digital bivariate mapmaking we propose key steps in developing bivariate maps. First, we address color choices to facilitate map understanding. Second, we demonstrate the importance of statistical legends to inform the map reader of the data distributions. Third, we demonstrate using symbolism to show land use and land cover simultaneously. Visual analytic diagrams are used to show data interactions, and they further illustrate the interrelationships of land use and land cover.