I'm working on mapping some complex ecological data for a client, and I'm a bit stuck at present on how to try and get it done.
Basically, there are a series of zones. Each zone can have one or two activities. For example (these are birds in this case): wintering and molting.
Each zone also has an associated season or, sometimes, two seasons.
The zones can overlap.
In the attached example, the green/brown striped zone indicates that this zone is used in the spring & fall. Inside it, you can see a smaller zone. This zone is used for a different activity, in the spring only. So, really, I need to somehow indicate that the larger area is Activity #1 in Spring & Fall, and the smaller inside zone is Activity #2 in the Spring, while still overlapping with Activity #1 Spring/Fall.
This sort of overlap complexity is going to happen a lot, as I'll be making a number of these maps.
My intent at this stage, which the client is satisfied with, is to offload the symbology for activity into just text. So, I will add annotations pointing to the zones to clarify what activity is happening.
I may try flipping the whole scheme, color coding by activity and then labeling with the season, instead, but I think I'll still have similarly complex overlaps.