The primary purpose of micromaps is to highlight geographic patterns and associations among the variables in your data set, graphically integrating these two aspects of the data. Micromaps can be designed to communicate known patterns to others or to allow you or your audience to explore data. For exploring data, you can go beyond a simple description of patterns and use your knowledge of local conditions to generate hypotheses about plausible causes of the observed trends and relationships. Sometimes the micromaps uncover or communicate unexpected patterns that serve as powerful evidence to motivate action.