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#1
natcase

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Arlington, MA has districts for each of its elementary schools. They wanted to show each of them on a map. This may be the lowest-tech solution I've seen in this admittedly short year. As my colleague Dorothy pointed out, though, The Peirce School map is a lot more legible than many of the hi-tech solutions I've seen...

http://www.arlington...MA_Maps/schools

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#2
benbakelaar

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As previous threads have mentioned, mapmaking is an innate part of life and information sharing, so there really is no such thing as a bad map. But I'd be interested in seeing some of the high-tech solutions you mention that are less legible than this. I can remember some really early WMS's and government sites that were pretty bad, but nothing I've seen in the past 4 years.

#3
natcase

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As previous threads have mentioned, mapmaking is an innate part of life and information sharing, so there really is no such thing as a bad map. But I'd be interested in seeing some of the high-tech solutions you mention that are less legible than this. I can remember some really early WMS's and government sites that were pretty bad, but nothing I've seen in the past 4 years.


MapPoint: I find this harder to read:
http://www.mbl.bz/Ma...LegionField.htm

Or see the Chicago Schoolfinder, which looks like a great, data-rich, powerful tool, but see the attachment for a screencapture of what I got two clicks in...Attached File  Chicago_schoolfinder.png   588.49KB   106 downloads

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#4
Derek Tonn

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I always think "bad maps" are in the eye of the beholder (end-user). I have an uncle and a friend/client who both have severe forms of color blindness. They always tell me that many of the maps that we all find to be "pretty" or easy to use are simply garbled blobs of similar shades of gray/brown. I finally found a site online a while back (VisCheck - http://www.vischeck....checkImage.php) which helps me to simulate what "Gary" and "Dick" are seeing.....and it REALLY opened my eyes (no pun intended) to the way we all use color in our imagery.

Of course, I could always revert back to the summary that my Graphic Design instructor used to introduce us freshman to the world of professional design some 18-19 years ago: "Ninety percent of all design work out there is garbage." Welcome to your first official undergraduate design course, LOL. :) One man's "trash" is another man's "treasure" though, as the saying goes. We all do GREAT work and each of our work hits the recycle bin from time to time too. Without knowing the background of the image that we are critiquing though, it is awfully hard to deliver objective criticism. The client may have insisted upon certain colors or fonts on a job, had about $0.20 to work with for a budget, needed it "yesterday", been stuck using an inferior piece of software, etc.

All that aside though, YES, those three maps Nat shared links to are not some of the more flattering maps I've ever come across. However, when it comes to presenting maps on the web (or designing maps in general), I've yet to encounter a map graphic that was above criticism. Humans, by nature, are imperfect....as are the works we create 99.99999999% of the time. ;)
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#5
Dennis McClendon

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That Chicago website was for a while actually the best citywide GIS server. The city's has improved, but still no data is available. The Board of Education hired us to draw maps like this for every single school in the city:

Posted Image

though they would not allow us to have the shapefiles for the attendance districts.

I'm certain the Arlington conversation was "how can we get attendance area maps on our website? I guess we could scan that map in Nancy's drawer. These scans are PDFs; can we put those on the web? Probably. Email them to the webmaster."

What I find intriguing is how little understanding clients have of scale issues. So the same client who wants you to use callout numbers so a 12 x 18-inch paper map showing 20 restaurants "won't look too crowded" will turn around and ask for the finished map as "a 400x800 JPEG for our website."
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#6
Derek Tonn

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What I find intriguing is how little understanding clients have of scale issues. So the same client who wants you to use callout numbers so a 12 x 18-inch paper map showing 20 restaurants "won't look too crowded" will turn around and ask for the finished map as "a 400x800 JPEG for our website."


Dennis,

Yes....ABSOLUTELY! Scale issues and legibility are a HUGE problem when folks are looking at maps for any combination of print, signage and web-based presentation (2 of 3 or 3 of 3). Thank goodness for Zoomify though related to the web! It makes squeezing that 12"x18" print map into a 400x800 pixel window 1000% easier than it used to be. It's not the perfect solution, but it sure helps.
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

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http://www.mapformation.com




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