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#1
Sky Schemer

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I am working on a topographic trail map covering a series of large parks and am having trouble finding a color scheme for the trails and the service roads(that are accessible to the public for recreational, non-vehicular use).

I've attached a PNG sample showing what I have so far. My goal here is to de-emphasize city streets, highways, etc. but still have them visible for reference purposes. What I really want to stand out are the recreational trails, themselves. The PNG image shows my trails in bright red, fire roads in bright orange and service roads in dark grey so that you can recognize them clearly. Note that these are not my color choices. :) I just needed something to point them out. I'm looking for help working out colors and casings (if any).

In fact, I'm not particularly married to any of the colors on the map at this stage. If someone thinks I'm going about this all wrong, please point out the errors of my ways.

The final media will be a series of PNG images accessible from a small-scale overview map via the Web.


Thanks,
John

Attached Files


Edited by Sky Schemer, 06 April 2007 - 04:05 PM.


#2
Matthew Hampton

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Ahh, Forest park.

Fryday afternoon thoughts...

I would put a dark casing on the trails. Perhaps a green (c=75y=100b=25) for the main trail with a dark green (1pt) casing (c=100m=25y=100k=25)? Fade the fire roads to a light umber (c=10m=23y=33) and do the same for the access roads but use a dark .5pt (hatched?) casing.

I would use a negative color space for the roads (white) and you might add a dark casing to bump them up a bit if needed (arterials/hwy?). If you are going to use contour lines make sure the line casings are different enough in color/size to avoid confusion.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#3
Charlie Frye

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I'm still working on a similar project (it's volunteer work, so I'm not tied to a tight schedule). My clients liked having long dash/short dash lines for trails in natural settings, while trails on fire roads or the like were all short dashes. The idea was to make the trails in more natural settings have a higher impact. In terms of colors, since the trails are foreground, I am using a fairly bright red; I've also got the potential for regional trails and if they're asked for they will be in dark green--I'm still leaving black for my text, grays for existing streets and boundaries. I've also got contour lines to deal with so casings on the trails made for a too busy look.
Charlie Frye
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ESRI, Redlands, California

#4
BEAVER

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Strange looking trails. Looks like someone took the contour line shape and turned it into trail. I think the trails are just too thick. I know you want them to stick out, but I think the road east of the trail look better with the green state land than the trails. Are you doing this in Manifold to Illustrator or just Manifold?

#5
Sky Schemer

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Thank you, everyone, for the responses so far. I'll reduce the trail thickness and work with some of the color and casing ideas people have suggested. Specific replies are below:

Ahh, Forest park.


It's that obvious, eh? ;) And it looks like we may be neighbors. Nearly.

I like the green idea but I've been purposely avoiding it as it's close to the color choices used by the folks at Green Trails Maps. But maybe I'm just being silly by doing that. It's not like this will end up on the shelves at REI where someone might care.

Are you doing this in Manifold to Illustrator or just Manifold?


Right now it's just Manifold but I am in the early stages of the map and it's not ready to go to another illustration program. There's are some artifacts that need addressing first, such as the contours that encroach on water bodies and a few other oddities related to the different data sources.

Still, I have been curious about just how far one really can take a map layout in Manifold despite it's up-front limitations, and since this is a personal project I have the time to fiddle and work around some of its issues.

#6
Dennis McClendon

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I think continuing the roadways into the park as cased streets (with no green tint) keeps them appropriately in the background but properly relates them to the city streets below. Trails can be dark green that sometimes coincide with the edge of a fire road but sometimes don't.

Using different colors for lines that are all the same thing (trails, for instance, or streets and roads) pulls apart a network that should be unified in the user's mind. Much better to use small variations in color or line weight to designate different trail surfaces than to emphasize how incredibly different walking along a fire road is from walking through the forest. The user wants to see how to get from here to there more than he wants to differentiate between trail surfaces.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#7
byzantium

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Is there any consideration for color-blind users? I do see a lot of older guys (maybe retirees?) on trails, and that suggests a fair number of color-blind people in the potential customer base. Red is not that great for color-blind map readers. The government (not sure if Federal level or just states) has some sort of standards for publications and people with sight impairments (I believe), and I think the recommendation is that something important like the trail have a 70% visual contrast with the background. I'd be interested if others have run into this standard.

bb

#8
Sky Schemer

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Is there any consideration for color-blind users? I do see a lot of older guys (maybe retirees?) on trails, and that suggests a fair number of color-blind people in the potential customer base.


Since the medium is the Web, I was planning on producing both full color and b&w versions, with the latter using its own theme (i.e., not a simple "desaturation" of the colored version).

#9
Sky Schemer

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Is there any consideration for color-blind users?


Just to follow up, I've found this site helpful in choosing colors for Web site design, etc. It also provides functions to simulate the various forms of color blindness.




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