The principle task of a thematic map is to create a clear image of a spatial distribution that is understandable for the map user. The effectiveness of this information transfer determines the quality of the thematic map. Depending on the defenition of quality, the quality assessment of a cartographic representation can be done using different approaches, each using a different set of influencing elements (e.g. semiology, graphical density, internal contrast, generalization, readability, attractiveness, aesthetics, composition, etc.). This paper situates these different methodes and positions the influencing elements.