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Mapping Principles: Making Your Map Look Good! 2006 MAGIC Symposium Kansas City, Mo April 23-27, 2006 Micah Cutler GIS Coordinator Harrison County Logan,

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Presentation on theme: "Mapping Principles: Making Your Map Look Good! 2006 MAGIC Symposium Kansas City, Mo April 23-27, 2006 Micah Cutler GIS Coordinator Harrison County Logan,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mapping Principles: Making Your Map Look Good! 2006 MAGIC Symposium Kansas City, Mo April 23-27, 2006 Micah Cutler GIS Coordinator Harrison County Logan, Iowa

2 Overview Elements of a Map Elements of a Map Map Design Considerations Map Design Considerations Map Symbols Map Symbols Principles of Color Principles of Color Text Placement Text Placement

3 Beginning the Design Process What elements need to be included on a map? What elements need to be included on a map? How should those elements look? How should those elements look? How should they be arranged? How should they be arranged? When making a map, consider the following questions:

4 TALDOGS T - Title A - Author L - Legend D - Date O - Orientation G - Grid S - Scale This acronym will help you remember what to include on a map. Source: South Carolina Geographic Alliance

5 T = Title On a cadastral or road map, it is most likely the name of the county or area. On a cadastral or road map, it is most likely the name of the county or area. On a thematic map, such as house values, it should include the name of the area and the main subject of the map. On a thematic map, such as house values, it should include the name of the area and the main subject of the map. Ex: Eagle Ridge Subdivision 2003 Parcel Land Values 2003 Parcel Land Values TALDOGS

6 A = Author The organization or person who made the map. The organization or person who made the map. This also include the source of the data if it is different that the person who created it. This also include the source of the data if it is different that the person who created it.Examples: Prepared by: Harrison County GIS Prepared by: Harrison County GIS Data compiled by the Harrison County Assessor’s Office. TALDOGS

7 L = Legend Explains the symbols used on the map. Explains the symbols used on the map. Clear and easily readable. Clear and easily readable. Symbols should try and be the same size as they are on the map. Symbols should try and be the same size as they are on the map.Examples: TALDOGS

8 D = Date Always include when the map was created or the date of the original data. Always include when the map was created or the date of the original data. I include a printed date and the date of the aerial photography, if appears on the map. I include a printed date and the date of the aerial photography, if appears on the map.Examples: Printed: 8 JUNE 2004 Digital Orthophotography flown on March 1, TALDOGS IMPORTANT NOTICE All data posted is certified as of January 1, 2003

9 O = Orientation Generally maps are drawn with North towards the top of the map and South towards the bottom. Generally maps are drawn with North towards the top of the map and South towards the bottom. Very localized maps such as those for shopping malls or parks are often oriented around the main point of entry. Very localized maps such as those for shopping malls or parks are often oriented around the main point of entry. Include a north arrow, even if it seems obvious – there are a lot of poor map readers out there! Include a north arrow, even if it seems obvious – there are a lot of poor map readers out there! Examples: Examples: TALDOGS

10 G = Grid This is the most difficult at the county level. This is the most difficult at the county level. Includes latitude/longitude; A-1, B-3 type grid, etc. Includes latitude/longitude; A-1, B-3 type grid, etc. My personal opinion: the township and range/section boundaries provide a location grid. My personal opinion: the township and range/section boundaries provide a location grid. Many software programs will automatically put on a latitude/longitude grid. Many software programs will automatically put on a latitude/longitude grid. A “location map” (overview map) also works well. A “location map” (overview map) also works well. TALDOGS

11 Overview Map The overview map helps the map reader know where in the county he or she is examining. The overview map helps the map reader know where in the county he or she is examining. TALDOGS

12 S = Scale A map's scale is a ratio that relates a unit of measure on a map to some number of the same units of measure on the earth's surface. A map's scale is a ratio that relates a unit of measure on a map to some number of the same units of measure on the earth's surface. TALDOGS

13 S = Scale The larger the number, the smaller the scale. The larger the number, the smaller the scale. A map of an area 100 miles long by 100 miles wide drawn at a scale of 1:63,360 would be more than 8 feet square. To make the map a more convenient size, either the scale used or the area covered must be reduced. A map of an area 100 miles long by 100 miles wide drawn at a scale of 1:63,360 would be more than 8 feet square. To make the map a more convenient size, either the scale used or the area covered must be reduced. TALDOGS

14 Disclaimers It’s always a good idea to include a disclaimer on your map. This one should look familiar: It’s always a good idea to include a disclaimer on your map. This one should look familiar: The Data is provided “as is” without warranty or any representation of accuracy, timeliness or completeness. The burden for determining accuracy, completeness, timeliness, merchantability and fitness for or the appropriateness for use rests solely on the requester. Harrison County makes nor warranties, express or implied, as to the use of the Data. There are no implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The requester acknowledges and accepts the limitations of the Data, including the fact that the Data is dynamic and is in a constant state of maintenance, correction and update. The Data is provided “as is” without warranty or any representation of accuracy, timeliness or completeness. The burden for determining accuracy, completeness, timeliness, merchantability and fitness for or the appropriateness for use rests solely on the requester. Harrison County makes nor warranties, express or implied, as to the use of the Data. There are no implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The requester acknowledges and accepts the limitations of the Data, including the fact that the Data is dynamic and is in a constant state of maintenance, correction and update.

15 Putting it Together Now that you know what should go on a map, it’s time to arrange the individual elements. Now that you know what should go on a map, it’s time to arrange the individual elements. This is like decorating, there are some general “rules”, but it all comes down to personal taste. This is like decorating, there are some general “rules”, but it all comes down to personal taste.

16 Map Aesthetics “The quality of a map is also in part an aesthetic matter. Maps should have harmony within themselves. An ugly map, with crude colors, careless line work, and disagreeable, poorly arranged lettering may be intrinsically as accurate as a beautiful map, but it is less likely to inspire confidence.” -John K. Wright, “Map Makers Are Human,” Geographical Review 32 (1944);

17 5 Principles of Map Design 2.HIERARCHY WITH HARMONY - Important things must look important, and the most important thing should look the most important. Harmony is subliminal. 3.SIMPLICITY FROM SACRIFICE – It’s not what you put in that makes a great map but what you take out. The map design stage is complete when you can take nothing else out. 4.MAXIMUM INFORMATION AT MINIMUM COST - How much information can be gained from this map, at a glance. 5.ENGAGE THE EMOTION TO ENGAGE THE UNDERSTANDING - Only when the reader engages the emotion, the desire, will they be receptive to the map's message. We are not just prettying maps up. The philosophy is simple, beauty (aesthetics) focuses the attention. F ocusing the attention is the purpose of map design! - Society of Cartographers 1.CONCEPT BEFORE COMPILATION - Once concept is understood, no design or content feature will be included which does not fit it.

18 So What is a Good Map? To really focus, you need to ask yourself these questions: To really focus, you need to ask yourself these questions: 1.What is the goal of the map? 2.Who will read the map? 3.Where will the map be used? 4.What data is available for the composition of the map? 5.What resources are available in terms of both time and equipment?

19 Map Composition Good map composition should: 1.Stress the purpose of the map. 2.Direct the map reader’s attention. 3.Coordinate the base and thematic elements of the map. 4.Maintain good cartographic conventions (TALDOGS). 5.COMMUNICATE.

20 Simplify or Detail? … depends on the scale and size of the final product.

21 Design Considerations Visual Balance – use the natural shape of your county or region. Visual Balance – use the natural shape of your county or region. Look for “white space” that allows for text placement. Look for “white space” that allows for text placement.

22 Figure and Ground Organization People tend to organize the visual field into: People tend to organize the visual field into: Figures – important objects Figures – important objects Grounds – things less important Grounds – things less important Use contrast distinguish important from unimportant parts. Use contrast distinguish important from unimportant parts.

23 Contrast Lines – labels, borders, neatlines, political boundaries, symbols, etc. Lines – labels, borders, neatlines, political boundaries, symbols, etc. Line character – type and color Line character – type and color Line weight – thickness Line weight – thickness Texture or pattern Texture or pattern Color Color Visual acuity (measures the size threshold at which the eye can distinguish or read) Visual acuity (measures the size threshold at which the eye can distinguish or read) Don’t want symbols and text too small or too big Don’t want symbols and text too small or too big

24 Text Contrast Masking text and symbols works well for giving “importance” and clarity. Masking text and symbols works well for giving “importance” and clarity. Notice the text “Woodbine” and road names. Notice the text “Woodbine” and road names.

25 Contrast The shading for water along the coastline provides nice contrast to the land. The shading for water along the coastline provides nice contrast to the land. Also notice that the text label for the water is italicized. Also notice that the text label for the water is italicized.

26 Hierarchy Contrast, shading, color, and text masking are all techniques used to create hierarchy. Contrast, shading, color, and text masking are all techniques used to create hierarchy. The focus or most important part of the map “jumps” out at you first. The focus or most important part of the map “jumps” out at you first.

27 Map Symbols Take time to research commonly- used symbols and conventions. Take time to research commonly- used symbols and conventions. Use line weights and colors to make your symbols stand out. Use line weights and colors to make your symbols stand out.

28 Map Symbols in ESRI Software ESRI software comes with tons of symbols for lines, points, and polygons. ESRI software comes with tons of symbols for lines, points, and polygons. Often these symbols can be modified slightly to get the exact look you are after. Often these symbols can be modified slightly to get the exact look you are after.

29 Why Use Color? Color simplifies and clarifies, as well as unifies various map elements. Color simplifies and clarifies, as well as unifies various map elements. Color affects the general perceptibility of the map. Color affects the general perceptibility of the map. Color elicits subjective reactions to the map. People respond to colors; it creates mood. Color elicits subjective reactions to the map. People respond to colors; it creates mood.

30 Color Wheel Many believe that providing complementary colors in a composition establishes stability. Many believe that providing complementary colors in a composition establishes stability. Complementary colors are opposite on the color wheel. Complementary colors are opposite on the color wheel.

31 Color Balance Use color balance so that dominant colors occupying large areas do not overpower the remainder of the map. Use color balance so that dominant colors occupying large areas do not overpower the remainder of the map. Since areas are fixed in geography, only choice of color is possible when planning balance. Since areas are fixed in geography, only choice of color is possible when planning balance. Remember – what is pleasant to one map reader may not be pleasant to another. Remember – what is pleasant to one map reader may not be pleasant to another.

32 Map Lettering Map lettering should be viewed first as a functional symbol, only secondarily as an aesthetic object. Map lettering should be viewed first as a functional symbol, only secondarily as an aesthetic object. Need to consider: Need to consider: 1.Selection of lettering type 2.Placement on map

33 Choosing Text Style When considering text styles, keep the following points in mind: When considering text styles, keep the following points in mind: Legibility of individual letters (don’t want to confuse c and e or i and j).Legibility of individual letters (don’t want to confuse c and e or i and j). Avoid extremely bold forms.Avoid extremely bold forms. Don’t use decorative typefaces – too difficult to read.Don’t use decorative typefaces – too difficult to read. This would not be a good choice. Neither would this.

34 Point Label Placement Chart at the right shows the preferred order of text placement around a point. Chart at the right shows the preferred order of text placement around a point. Text should be horizontal if possible. Text should be horizontal if possible. Town names should be located on the side of the river on which the town is located. Town names should be located on the side of the river on which the town is located.

35 Examples of Point Label Placements

36 Linear Feature Label Placement Linear features: rivers, streams, roads, railroads, paths, airlines, etc. Linear features: rivers, streams, roads, railroads, paths, airlines, etc. Repeat as often as necessary to facilitate its identification. Repeat as often as necessary to facilitate its identification. Ideal location is along a horizontal stretch. Ideal location is along a horizontal stretch. Prefer italicized labels for hydrology features. Prefer italicized labels for hydrology features.

37 Labeling vs. Annotation Annotation – MUCH higher time investment, but can be used repeatedly Annotation – MUCH higher time investment, but can be used repeatedly Labeling – useful when printing one-use maps at many different scales Labeling – useful when printing one-use maps at many different scales

38 Areal Features Label Placement Ideally, put the label entirely inside the polygon feature. Ideally, put the label entirely inside the polygon feature. Don’t hyphenate names. Don’t hyphenate names. If lettering is not horizontal, make sure it deviates significantly, so that its placement won’t look like a mistake. If lettering is not horizontal, make sure it deviates significantly, so that its placement won’t look like a mistake. Never position text so that parts are upside down. Never position text so that parts are upside down.

39 Areal Features Label Placement

40 Title and Legend Text Titles are generally most important – largest type size. Titles are generally most important – largest type size. May position title or title boxes overlapping other features. May position title or title boxes overlapping other features. Legend materials medium – reflect their position in the hierarchy. Legend materials medium – reflect their position in the hierarchy. Map sources, notes, etc. in the smallest type size. Map sources, notes, etc. in the smallest type size.

41 Title Placement

42 What I’d like you to remember… TALDOGS TALDOGS Know your audience/purpose Know your audience/purpose Examine “good maps” and adopt/ adapt similar colors, layouts, etc. Examine “good maps” and adopt/ adapt similar colors, layouts, etc. Good map design takes practice and lots of revisions Good map design takes practice and lots of revisions Map design is subjective – but we know ugly maps when we see them Map design is subjective – but we know ugly maps when we see them

43 Questions? Comments? Opinions? Thank you! Micah Cutler GIS Coordinator Harrison County, Iowa This presentation can be found at Keywords: cartography, presentation


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