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Symbolizing data is a method of making it more readable and accessible to readers and yourself by assigning properties such as colors, markers, sizes and other identifying methods.

Symbolizing Features

To start, right click on the layer that contains the feature data you wish to symbolize and click properties.

This gives us the "Layer Properties" box. Under the symbology tab is where most of the changes can be made.

The first selection is "Features". There is only one choice from here for methods to display your data, ie it will all look the same. You can change the way that all of the data in the layer is displayed. By clicking on the Symbol button you can change the color of the objects or shape and size of the points.

The next selection is "Categories". This is an important one for displaying data based upon chemical concentration as with the CBGIS database. Once you have added your data and you are at this window choose Categories, Unique values. In the value field choose what you are looking for, ie Element Name. The next step is very important: Make sure to click "Add All Values" at the bottom left of the properties box. This will add all data. Next you will want to choose a color scheme. This is done in the top right of the box. Usually the Red-->Green scale works well. Sometimes in the database there are some outliers in the data that you may want to remove. This can be done by selecting one value and clicking the remove button. You may also want to group values for easier viewing. To do this click Quantities then choose the grouping field. You can normalize the data based upon another field (maybe another oxide or trace element).Click advanced and you can select multiple values and combine them.

Charts and Multiple attributes are similar to the previous three in how they work.

Symbolizing Rasters

Symbolizing rasters is similar to features... you simply right click on the layer, select properties then the Symbology tab.

This being said there are some unique features that are worth noting. Particularly when using DEM's(Digital Elevation Models) you may want to choose Stretched or Classified depending on what you need to do. Each of these allows you to change the scaling, either by grouping the values or by setting a color ramp as with features.