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The important stories that numbers have to tell often involve location - where things are or where they've occurred. When quantitative information displayed on a map, visual displays of both abstract and physical data is combine. Quantitative information is abstract - it doesn't have physical form. Whenever quantitative data is represented visually, whether on a map or otherwise, one must come up with visual objects that represent abstract concepts in a clear and understandable manner, such as "Sales are going up," represented by a line, or "Expenses have deviated from the budget in both directions during the course of the year," represented by bars extending up or down from a baseline of zero.
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