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Introduction to Cartographic Design Richard Taketa Associate Professor Department of Geography San Jose State University
Basic Map Design Visual organization –Improve legibility –Focus attention Maps do not have a natural sequence –Design can guide the map reader Make the reader’s job easier
Today’s Design Topics Figure-ground Layout Generalization Symbolization
Graphic characteristics Some elements as figures Other elements as background
Figure-Ground Can’t easily distinguish elements
Figure-Ground How people see graphics Elements –Contrast –Contour –Closure –Enclosure Visual organization
Contrast More contrast = stronger figure
Contrast Not just the darker element
Contour Sharper contour (edge) = stronger figure
Closure Closed element = stronger figure
Enclosure More enclosed = stronger figure
Create Visual Levels
Arrangement of map elements Objectives –Visual balance –Structure
Centering is a good starting point...
Poor balance = harder to read
Assign appropriate emphasis
Text Placement: Figural Object
Text Placement: Background Object
Text Placement: Enhance Pattern
Text Placement: Hide Pattern
Level of detail Function of –Purpose –Scale –Graphic limits –Quality of data
Generalization Simplification Selection Classification Symbolization Induction
GIS Data Detailed
Detail a Problem for Symbolization
Simplifying for Clarity Loss of information…negligible
Detail Changes with Scale
Most maps involve abstract symbols –Represent features of interest –Can’t always show them as they actually look
Graphic Variables Shape Size Color –Hue –Lightness –Saturation Orientation Pattern Texture
Levels of Measurement Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio
Symbolization & Measurement Shape Size Color Hue Lightness Saturation Orientation Pattern Texture NominalOrdinalInterval/Ratio xx x-x x
Can affect ability to see patterns Complex symbolization and classifications can obscure
Map Design Summary Organize graphic information Provide structure Make the map legible Focus the reader’s attention
Guide the reader...
Contact Information Richard Taketa Department of Geography San Jose State University One Washington Square San Jose, CA
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