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Forest ecosystem map. Second draft advice needed! updated 5/15

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#1
johnnyh

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Hi all,
Started out in cartography advice but realized it's hard to tell what the intent is without the entire map.

So the map is for the forest manager, medium is 34x44inch wall map, purpose is most likely for aesthetically pleasing general reference.

I'm ashamed to post such a mess straight out of Arc 9.0, but I'm a little rushed!. Non computer people seem to think that maps grow on trees! :rolleyes: Still first map I've got to work on in a while and would like to make it as nice as possible within the deadline.

Any advice and questions are appreciated and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks again cartographers! :D

BTW. the orange "all other areas" are historic forest fires.

Here's a link to a 3.7mb jpg:
http://www.fileden.c...name=forest.jpg

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#2
Rob

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the quick technical things: add map surrounds; if you are going to show coords outside the neatline i'd also show the grid; title your legend with the theme of you map (good point always mentioned by Erin); if you are dropping the transparency of layers above your hillshade, make sure to update the colors in your legend, arc won't consider this automatically.

other things: use Dennis' suggestion about unit/sub unit boundaries: if on a joint boundary like this, just show the unit boundary (his dashed set up will accomplish this.) and loose the purple imho. Also, the resolution of the line gets really jumbled with the wider hashing in areas of sharp turns: either drop down the size of the line, generalize it; or change the cap/join/miter limits.

Of the two major (one east/one west) semi transparent orange poly areas, it's not clear (b/c of different colors underneath) if one is the wilderness buffer zone. Becareful how you place one semi transparent color on top of another semi transparent color on top a hillshade. you end up with five or six different combos. you could opt for some type of linear symbol or much subtler hatching for this class.

are there any other types of land cover besides "wilderness" and forest that could help to reduce the mass of grey in the middle?

and make all your 1 pt. roads the grey style. no need the black by the towns.

good luck with the short time frame and do post again when you are pau.

#3
byzantium

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It's too low res for me to be able to make concrete suggestions. Can you post more pixels?

bb

#4
johnnyh

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Sorry all, been on field assignment. Anyway looks like I get a second run at the map.

Here's a draft that I still need to place labels on and fix a bunch of things in AI. But, so far this is what I have done.

When I printed a test map at full size, I noticed it printed darkly on our HP DesignJet 1055. This knocked out much of the relief under the textured forest. I was reading Tom Patterson's "See the light: How to make illuminated relief in PS 6.0" and there's a section called "masking the mask" which says to "combining the shaded relief mask with a registered grayscale DEM"... How is this done in PS CS 8? Seems like there is no option to "paste into" an existing mask. Or would there be another way to help bring out the hillshading?

How do you all feel about the colors, overlays and general symbology... content, layout? Any and all advice appreciated! :)

Edit: Also, would like to thank and give credit to Pat Dunlavey and Tom Patterson for providing inspiration and direction to my cartographic development with their work!

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#5
ELeFevre

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Hey Johnny,
Nice map! I thinks it's really coming together. You may want to take actual samples from the map to use in the legend for the Roadless, Forested and Major fire zones. Also, the river text over the forested areas is hard to read and muddy. Maybe if it was a closer to the color of the rivers it would easier to read? Or was this caused by the printer error you mentioned? nice work. Erin



#6
CHART

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Really Nice Map,

I like the way you place the lat long grid. (May I suggest adding the degree sign).

I notice a small text overlap near cottonwood rd (south west).

I noticed that some dashed lines were inconsistant in lenght and were somewhat jagged. (Maybe some line smoothing required?)



Again nice work.
Chart

#7
johnnyh

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Thanks guys! The legend and labels are the first thing I plan to fix in AI. I'll definitely lighten up the stream text color, making it closer to river color. And the dotted polylines have been smoothed in Arc, but are still not very even. I think I'll have to let AI handle that. ESRIs maplex gets an A for effort but that's about it... Labels will need a lot of work.

I'll also try some photoshop editing to try and get the illuminated relief to come out. Printer is just printing dark, Erin. I might just try and change the settings on the printer because the peaks under the forested areas are coming out somewhat flat.. Once I get time to work it out in A. Illustrator I'll post my progress.

Many thanks for the tips, guys!! :)

#8
byzantium

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I like the look of this map. Very nice!

Some roads (like something that looks like Big Gulch Rd on the middle left side) seem like the road is not visible, but the label is. When I zoomed in enough, I finally saw the road, but I think at first I thought that color was the fine grey line mentioned on the side.

I've almost never seen something described so-and-so is a "fine grey line" as opposed to showing an example of the line. I think a description like that in a densely overlaid map can be too ambiguous. Gray can range from 1% black to 99%.

I really like the bump-mapped forest--what tool did you use to do that?

I think I would try to keep the legend from overlapping the blue degree labels. But perhaps that's already on your list of label improvements. The landscape subunits seem hard to fathom without additional labeling.

I'm trying to understand why a small area is shown outside the reservation boundary along the top edge.

The color of green in the legend doesn't seem to match the color of the trees, and the same is true of the red for fires. The green for all lands inside the reservation could suggest (in combination with the ambiguity of the legend green) that the entire place is forested and the dark green is just extra heavy forestation. That's not how I would read it as a map-maker, but I'm trying to look at it as a random person. What I might do myself is add a box in the legend explaining what the light green color represents. Is it grass prairie? Brush? Light forest? Clear-cut? Not being familiar with the area in question, I would have no way of knowing.

Are there actually glaciers on the mountains along the right side? Cool!

bb

#9
johnnyh

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Thanks for the tips, bb. Labels are generally a mess, something I'll have to fix in AI.

Forest texture was done in photoshop 8 -> applied texture via texturizer, then a little gaussian blur and slight bevel for height. And yes, the lighter green is either agricultural, grassland and/or shrub dominant. I played around with more classes, but thought it looked a little distracting and didn't add value to the map's intent. I might try again, or at least add an entry in the legend for "low vegetation".

Oh, and the area outside the reservation, near the top of the map, is land owned by the tribe that is outside the reservation boundary.




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