The basis of a typology of cartographic presentations should include a division between two concepts related to cartographic presentation: **method (technique)** and **form** (Korycka-Skorupa 2002 a, b).

**A method (technique) is understood as a transition process from data to the presentation forms, as a certain sequence of actions leading to a meaningful presentation, as a way of proceeding which starts from data and leads to a presentation**.

**A form is understood as the final outcome of this process – a graphic image, a result, a map**. This concept is similar to the term “cartographic representation” (Żyszkowska 2016), the difference is that this phrase focuses only on the final result of the cartographer’s work. The data features that will be presented on the map are very important. Therefore, the level of data measurement is essential; in other words, whether we deal with data that describes a phenomenon in terms that are:

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qualitative (distinguishing objects),

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ordered (placing objects in order using type descriptions: few–average–many),

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quantitative (numerical characteristics of objects, numbers).

The character of the data is highly significant: is it absolute or relative? This determines the application of certain presentation methods (e.g. a choropleth map). The method to be used also depends on the spatial arrangement of geographic phenomena: point, linear or areal objects. The manner of data classification is also important – in other words, whether it will be presented in classes (as a classed map) or without classes (as a continuous presentation in which each value of the phenomenon is presented individually).

At this stage, one establishes the number of choropleth map classes, and one decides on the manner of scaling proportional symbols (linear scaling of bars, superficial scaling of circles and squares, or volumetric mathematical scaling of spheres and cubes) and their size (adjusted to map content). At this moment, the data should be adjusted to the presentation, as it may require an appropriate transformation – in other words, a change of one of the listed presentation features.

Having adjusted the data to the requirements of the presentation methods, it is time for them to be visualized. The graphic sign (point, linear or plane) applied on the map is important, as well as the features or attributes of the sign, which are expressed through graphic variables.

**A METHOD can in fact be treated as a mental process as a result of which data is processed and adjusted to the presentation requirements**. Therefore, methodical procedures involve adjusting data to the presentation methods, defining all conditions, and conducting the necessary calculations and transformations. **A FORM is a graphical expression of a method or a combination of methods; it is data distributed in visual space and dressed as a graphic (as the result of visualization)**. A form constitutes the result of visualization, a graphic outcome which can be simple or complex. The form of presentation is a much wider concept, because, according to this definition, it can be the result of the application of various presentation methods. The visualization of results is described as a presentation form, complete with a legend, a scale, a frame and necessary descriptions. All this will constitute a map (Fig. 1). Without them we cannot expect a map to be interpreted correctly.

Figure 1 From data to cartographic presentation. Source: own elaboration

The distinction between method and form allows complex presentation forms to be considered (e.g. combinations of numerous methods on a single map). Classification or typology of cartographic *methods* can include basic solutions (choropleth maps, proportional symbols, dot maps, etc.). However, classification or typology of cartographic *forms* will certainly be much more complex. It will include both simple forms, which can be found in method classification, and more complex forms.

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