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Basemap poster for review

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#1
MapMedia

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Here is a link to a recent basemap at 1:200k. It measures 42" x 36".

Would love to hear what you think!

The map is on my site via Zoomify, so please let me know if you want me to post a PDF (7 megs) on my site for d/l.


EDIT: This is a basic wall mounted map that will be used to add more information later on. Its purpose is to provide general reference in a multiple county area for inter-government planning. Its not a big ticket item (not a lot of time to be spent on it now).

Chris

#2
BEAVER

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Can you tell us more about the map. Is this going to be a wall map? How much time can you put into this project? To be honest, at this point this is not the best looking map. I would change just about everything on this map, but than again, it just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions. Most of the maps in 70s and 80s looked very similar.

#3
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Chris.

Here is a few of my general comments (mostly related to text).

1. Not sure if you need to show the detailed golf courses. A point symbol at a 1: 200 000 scale should suffice.
2. Same goes for airports.
3. Text crossing text (see Pinellas Co...) That is a no-no.
4. If you can't place the entire lake name entirely within the lake place it entirely OUTSIDE the lake (see Keystone Lake). This is an old rule but I think it should be mentioned.
5. I think the curve text along the road needs a bit of work. (you don't always have to curve text to get a proper annotation-feature link).
6. You use a large kerning for curved text and a smaller one for straight text (see Van Dyke Rd). The difference should not be so apparent.
7. Generally annotations should not cross land and water at the same time... (see Anderson Park)
8. Place name are often too far away from the place symbol. (see Beacon Square). Again another example of various text kerning.
9. The Golf of Mexico annotation text needs to be larger and follow the feature. (I had a bit of trouble locating myself when I first looked at the map).
10. In sum most of the annotations need reworking.
11. 'Land O Lakes Rec. Complex' Should be left justified. (check for others on your map with regards to proper justification).


Was the text generated via automation? What software?

This is start, I did not take on feature symbology, others might have something to say about that.


It might not be a big ticket item as you say. However, I think it should be reworked before it is sent to your client.
Off topic... (a bit)
CLIENT scenario. Client says: I don't want anything fancy (means: he does not want it to be expensive). You give in something that is not fancy, and he the clients says: this does not look good (to use kind words).
So you tell him I could do better if you pay me more.... Sorry it does not work this way...
My approach: give him the best you can for a fair price only if you think he can be (or his) a good client . If you don't think he can or will be a good client, then don't do the work in the first place because you will only be wasting time and money...(your answer to the client: would love to do the work but we are booked for the next 6 months...hoping he will back off, if they insists then you have a great card in your deck)
If you are going to do it... then do it to the best of your abilities.

Could not help but notice Eloise Loop Rd. (Eloise is the name of one of my daughters pronounced HAY-LOO-HEESE in our part of the world).

Chris don't despair, I am also in the learning process (especially with regards to map design) even after 25 years in the mapping business. Every map is a learning experience. Makes it all the more interesting.
Chart

#4
ELeFevre

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Chris,
I think you a have a good start here. Jacques hit most of the major points I can see...but I'll try and elaborate on a few of them.

1.City labels:
The issue I take with your city labels is the lack of consistent, logical, placement. If people are having a hard time interpreting the labeling (as I am now), imagine the confusion when you start piling on more data in the future. I always look for a city's lable to be at the top-right of the point. You could also reduce the font size a point or two.

Golf Courses:
2. I agree with Jacques that the detailed golf courses are not necessary. If you think they are, I would desaturate the green. Label placement could also use some work here. Additionally, the white stroke on the green labels makes it hard for me to read.

3.You can remove "Legend" from the legend. Most people know what a legend is...I hope!

4. I noticed that you have grid locators (A, 1, etc) around the borders. Is there going to be a table included?

5. How about a different North Arrow? There's something about that super-wide "N" that bothers me. It's visually complex. You could also try integrating the north arrow into the legend, just to tidy things up even more.

6. The "airport" labels are extremely difficult for me to read with that white stroke. I would try something like a 90% black or straight-up black.

Anyways, good job and keep at it.

Jacques,
"(Eloise is the name of one of my daughters pronounced HAY-LOO-HEESE in our part of the world)"
That's a beautiful name and pronunciation.



#5
MapMedia

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Jacques & Erin -

Excellent feedback. Thank you. I agree with every comment.

I've been using Maplex with my 9.1 license, but generally re-doing >70% in Illy. Kerning, or tracking, is something that needs to be more consistent too.

I also agree full heartedly about producing a well done piece vs not doing it at all - why is what brought me to delay the deliverable until I could get it vetted by peers and revise.

Re: feature symbology - Its pretty straight laced. I tried going with a white terrain background, but opted for a lightly blurred sandy texture, for now. Like I said - this is a pretty straight up basemap, for the hours I have left to do it, but any additional thoughts on labels / symbols / colors would be welcome.

Thanks again - Chris

#6
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Chris,

I am not familiar with Maplex (use MapText product) but maybe someone else on this forum can help. I believe that using different settings with Maplex should yield a higher percentage of success.
Finally here are a few other comments.

- Make sure the reader can follow road numbers accurately
- Try to avoid road number (shields) on intersections (e.g 27 and 17 near de Soto City).
- I little more distance off the boundary lines for the county names.
- a little reworking the color hues... maybe Erin can help on that one.

Glad to see that our constructive criticisms has help.
Chart

#7
Charlie Frye

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I'll try to address some of these suggestions in terms of maplex settings to tinker with;

1. Lake labels (Airports too I think): Inside only or outside; The Overrun feature option is on by default and the default is a ridiculous value of 80 points. In this case turn the feature off. Depending on your label color and text symbol color, you may run into the issue of the label being too close to the shore line. There's no real fix for that beyond copying and shrinking the polygons in a dummy dataset for labeling use only. Next make sure, on the Label Position tab that the "May place labels outside polygon boundary" option is checked. What this does when the Overrun feature option is unchecked is support the either it's inside or it's got to be outside placement strategy.

2. Shields on intersections: I think this may be a manifestation of a bug that we found in 9.1 and fixed in 9.2--some of the trial positions were not being tested and the result was sub-optimal placement; 9.2 makes a huge difference on this for street maps like yours. 9.2 is shipping now, so if your maintenance is paid up, you should be seeing it soon.

3. I would suggest leader lines for some of the golf course labels. Set the text symbol up to use a leader line of the color that matches with your text symbol, and still is dark enough to see when it passes into the golf course. Also change the default width--its a bit crayola. I would suggest editing these in ArcMap before going to Illy; There is a setting in the Editing Options Window on the Annotation tab; its annoying but necessary to set the symbol here to match the anno layer you're editing.

4. On the boundary lines; whether you are using Maplex's boundary placement (for polygon data) or just labeling boundary lines (as line data), the Offset parameter at can be set to real, non-integer values such as 0.25 pts, etc. The crossing text thing, if you were labeling lines, is also a manifestation of that Maplex bug mentioned in #2 above.

5. Some of your road labels cross highway lines. My guess is that you either did not give the highway lines a feature weight, or that it is too low. The issue there is that Maplex takes higher values in the 0-1000 range much more seriously than lower values. For instance, if all your feature weights were between 50 and 300, Maplex is acknowledging them, but not with any gusto. For those highways, try 900.

6. For the water land boundary, create a shorelines dataset, as lines. You can assign it a feature weight, even though it is not being labeled. Again, something like 900 or higher would do the trick.

7. There's definitely something goofy going on with your city labels. On the design side, I'm not sure I would use points at this scale--versus areas (a no-outline four-color look would work here too). But if you're locked in to points, here's my Maplex guidance: It looks like you have character spacing on (Tampa and Feather Sound labels are spaced differently than West Park and Carrollwod Village). Make sure character spacing is off. Make sure your reference scale and map scale are the same as their appears to be some exaggeration of the offset value, which needs to be fussed with ala #4 above.

8. Check your abbreviations on the golf course names; there were several non-standard things like "Usf Riverfront Park" or "Tampa Palms Golf and C.c" where mixed case in the abbreviations doesn't look right. My trick on that is to use the table window to sort and query such things. I also just posted some geoprocessing tools on the base map data modeling website that do batch find and replace for instance to make editing that stuff, once you find all the cases, a standard procedure. (Scroll down to the tools section where the NACIS PC Day tools are listed.)

One additional design idea: since the Golf courses seem to be a pretty essential part of this map, consider dropping the halo on their labels and use a darker green to make them stand out--on the big parks you can lighten that green to make that accomodate that convention.

Also, On your boundary symbols make sure the caps are not set to round--that's fine for the joins. That may also just be in your output--as EMF doesn't support that option anyay.

Last, you're working on a really difficult map, as others said, don't dispair. I think you can make some significant and valuable improvements in pretty short order.

Thanks for posting the map--I liked the viewer and am glad that you shared the map that way as I could definitely see what you were doing better as a result.

Charlie
Charlie Frye
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Software Products Department
ESRI, Redlands, California

#8
MapMedia

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Charlie - Thank you for the thorough review and tips on refining the Maplex settings. I will be revising the map, time permitting, this week and repost.

Again, I do appreciate those who have participated in the review!

#9
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I revised this simple basemap sometime last month.

Thanks for the earlier suggestions re: Maplex label adjustments.

This map is to be used at a series of workshops where patrons discuss regional public utility plan options.

Any follow-up thoughts appreciated.

Link to Basemap

* If you viewed the earlier version, you might need to clear your zoomify internet temp files to see the new version. Otherwise the old version will load up from your cache folder. The meta view should appear as below:



Chris

Attached Files



#10
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Hi Chris,

You did a lot of work on this one since the last post.

Here my few suggestions (suggestions only)

1. Maybe another color then Teal for the Park names (e.g. dark green maybe)
2. Some highway numbers seem off center (.e.g. 301)
3. Color use again.... Black for airports (not blue...)
4. Archie Creek is well place compared to Bullfrog .... (maybe something in the name).
5. Light shaded relief maybe?

Cheers,
Chart

#11
Rob

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Chris,

i noticed you treat different shorelines differently. How does it look if you just leave off the blue line everywhere? It seems weird to be following it and then just have the line disappear, and it also seems too dense around the area that looks like a marina (sorry don't have it open any longer). Nice work.

rob

#12
Charlie Frye

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This is quite nice now--a whole lot more legible. Nice design--at this point if you want to improve things, it will take some hand editing of the anno, but that's up to you.

Good job,
Charlie Frye
Chief Cartographer
Software Products Department
ESRI, Redlands, California

#13
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Thank you Geo, Rob, and Charlie for the comments. I do appreciate it! :)

a. I did create a tinted hillshade for this particular map, but I am keeping it off for now. Figured if I emphasized the small hills, I would be obliged to emphasize the swamps/marshes (more dominant feature) - then its far to busy for a no frills county road map.
b. The hues may have been tweaked in the TIFF to ZoomIfy process - the park green is a tad light on the example.
c. There is just one shoreline - maybe I can tighten it up. Experimented with contoured, path-blended ocean surface, but settled on the clean, flat blue look for now.
d. I plan to spend a few more hours touching up loose annotation. Used the copy/paste of centerline process - works best but a black-hole for time!

Again - appreciate the review and will reciprocate!

-Chris

#14
Mike H

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this is a pretty map! Nice job.

What I see:

political bdry linework fluctuates above or below roads.

Interstate polygon (or lines?) fluctuates in width. Try simplifying to one line?

No interstate exit symbols/numbers.

Kerning issues on some hydro text that follows a path.


Of course, depending on data quality and time/effort, only you can decide if the aesthetics are worth fixing. But I'd say the missing exit numbers is an information disconnect, and does limit its utility to the motorist.

m.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#15
MapMedia

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Thanks Mike - I'll look at these line/text issues.

Re: Hwy Exits: As the use of this map is for regional planning workshops, it wasn't designed for motorists, yet I am creating a separate version for the general market that includes exits, having found a good data source (Florida GIS Clearinghouse). Again, I appreciate the comments!

-Chris




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