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Nitty Gritty Guides

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#1
gregsd

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I was watching a TV program last night called the Dragons' Den, where would-be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. One of the ideas was a new type of map/guide to cities, called Nitty Gritty Guide. It didn't impress the investors; one commented that it had given them a headache just looking at it! Here's a little snippet from the guide -

[attachment=452:attachment]

and you can see the full pdf version of the first Bristol *LINK UPDATED* guide.

What do people think of the design?


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#2
frax

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Artistically and aestetically I think it looks quite good, reminds me of some pop art, like Keith Haring or ?yvind Fahlstr?m. Would I use it - no. I doesn't seem like a good way to communicate the message, and hard to get an overview. Thumbs down from me.
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#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Could you correct the link? It's pointing to the GIF image, not to the PDF.

From what I can see from that small image, the idea is nice, it's visually attractive (though you have to like the style) but I wouldn't necessarily trust it for using it on-site and for navigation purposes. Maybe I'll change that opinion if I've had a chance to look at the full-size version though.
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#4
Matthew Hampton

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I think this type of map is useful to tourists or those new to an area. I don't think a local would appreciate the (subjective) narrative comments. It is certainly a busy map.

This style (narrative cartography?) reminds me of Krygier's article on Jake Barton (Cartographic Perspectives #53) who created public maps based on people's input.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#5
gregsd

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Could you correct the link? It's pointing to the GIF image, not to the PDF.


Sorry, forgot to check the link and I've now updated it in my original post :)

I must admit I quite like the style of the map, but it does seem overloaded. I'd quite like to see a full printed version, just to see if it works better full size.

Greg.


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#6
benbakelaar

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interesting. take away the handdrawn feel, and i see this as a perfect example of the possibilities of a geo-tagged location search. imagine popping open your gps-enabled laptop or cellphone in a specific location, and adding a little "tag" or note to an online database, a la google maps. later on, go to "tourist" mode or "wiki" mode or whatever, and all over the map you see people's little notes displayed. i think if you looked up wiki maps on a search engine, you'd find basically the beginnings of services like this.

as for the style and feel of this particular map as a guide, i imagine it being popular with high school students, college students, the young at heart... anyone looking to explore and kill time who appreciates a map that shouts out "we're a local map, not a corporate map!". my two cents.

#7
MapMedia

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Pretty bad (reminds me of 'quick and dirty') - pop art maybe, but would I trust the author? no
Also, tourists have a lot of better, low budget options, for city maps / guides.

Yet - no one has a crystal ball on how the market would react if you stocked the racks of street vendors with these maps - priced right they might sell like hot cakes.

Ultimately I agree with the judges. yuck

#8
benbakelaar

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Ultimately I agree with the judges. yuck

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey who are these judges you refer to? :) At least a few of the comments say they liked the style.

#9
aka_hawkeye

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Looks like cover art on an lp. Remember those things that played on turn-tables. Now, Geography was at one time considered more of an art. Now days we are leaning more towards a science. A little of both. But, sorry this is not a map that can be used. -Hawkeye

#10
benbakelaar

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Looks like cover art on an lp. Remember those things that played on turn-tables. Now, Geography was at one time considered more of an art. Now days we are leaning more towards a science. A little of both. But, sorry this is not a map that can be used. -Hawkeye

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I really didn't expect to find myself defending this map! I have to disagree that this map cannot be used. I think it has many uses. Probably only for the demographics I mentioned. But that doesn't mean it's useless.

I agree that it cannot be used scientifically/for scientific purposes.

#11
Rick Dey

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Oy!

Yes it is headache inducing.

Yes it is probably useful to some people as there is a lot of info on it. Useful info? I don't know about that. It reminds me of (and may even be) ad-art maps. You get everyone that's shown to pay you and voila, a map is scribbled out.
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#12
gregsd

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It reminds me of (and may even be) ad-art maps. You get everyone that's shown to pay you and voila, a map is scribbled out



According to the Nitty Gritty website- No payment, persuasion, influence or greasing of palm has taken place to be involved therefore creating an impartial and unique guide to Bristol. You can however sponsor the reverse of the maps!


If anyone is interested in watching the TV program, or finding out more about it, then here's the link. Nitty Gritty Guides are in episode 1, towards the end if I remember correctly, though only for around 30 seconds!


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#13
natcase

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I'd like to see the same design, with a professional letterer; say a comic letterer. I think a lot of the legibility problem comes with not-well-thought-out cramming of type. Also, while I like the idea of hand lettering, the type here is too "hand lettery," the letter forms too irregular.

I also wonder how it looks on paper vs on screen. I think even the slight fuzzing/anti-aliasing we get from the PDF is degrading the legibility.

This is certainly not the first map of its type (see MapEasy), but has a fresh look, which as others have said, might appeal to a younger crowd. I liked it, so it must be a younger crowd, right?

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#14
MapMedia

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In some ways, it also reminds me of the old exercise of drawing a map of where you live from memory - spatially distorted, great subjectivity in identifying features, and of course the endearing amateurish design.

On a side note - I saw a cartoon map of my town today. The map was 16 years old and hanging on the wall of my local auto repair shop. I was amazed at how the town has changed, and what was 'important' then vs now, such as the new computer store selling Macintoshes to University students! Cartoon maps are typically made to illustrate businesses that sponsor it, but this map also had people and animals scattered around it making dated wisecracks - telling of the town's character at the time. While cartoon maps may be silly or fun maps and less accurate reference maps, they are, in a way, time capsules. And so are nitty gritty maps. To that end they are useful, however hideous they may look.

Chris

#15
l.jegou

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An interesting document, so much work for such a poor result in visualizing information :)

I can't imagine a tourist decyphering this map and these scribblings.




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