Jump to content

 
Photo

Cartographic Rules

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1
TonyB

TonyB

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • No Country Selected

Does anyone know of examples of GIS-based cartographic specifications, including both general guidelines as well as feature-based rules? I'm primarily interested in 1:50,000 topographic map specs.

#2
Geographic Techniques

Geographic Techniques

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Location:Mount Horeb, WI
  • United States

A good place to start would be ESRI. They decribe base map data models and have case studies and design templates you can download.

ESRI-Basemap Data Model
Douglas Norgord, Geographic Techniques
www.geotechmap.com

#3
TonyB

TonyB

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • No Country Selected

I'm looking more for cartographic rules and grammar
e.g. don't show roads less than 300 metres in length
e.g. show a bridge or culvert at every meeting spot of road and stream\river

#4
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

You want to know what features are appropriate for certain map scales, and how they should be represented?

I don't know of any list of specifications that are widely followed, other than rules of thumb for general map scale classes.
It also depends, slightly, on the purpose of the map.

If you are interested in producing a large scale map, similar to a USGS topo, you might want to track down their specs, OR find an
existing map that you like and generate your own specs from it.

#5
TonyB

TonyB

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • No Country Selected

@Chris
Yes, I'm interested in what and how features should be selected and represented at a certain scale, but I'm also interested in conflict identification and the subsequent contextual rules of generalisation/adjustment
e.g. a paved minor road running closely parallel to a major highway should be moved aside and shown, while a similar dirt road can be done away with if needed.
I find it hard to accept that cartographers today do this task by rule of thumb, especially in large organisations that have a long tradition of cartographic "language".

#6
Clark Geomatics

Clark Geomatics

    Jeff Clark

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

@Chris
Yes, I'm interested in what and how features should be selected and represented at a certain scale, but I'm also interested in conflict identification and the subsequent contextual rules of generalisation/adjustment
e.g. a paved minor road running closely parallel to a major highway should be moved aside and shown, while a similar dirt road can be done away with if needed.
I find it hard to accept that cartographers today do this task by rule of thumb, especially in large organisations that have a long tradition of cartographic "language".

The Canadian gov't has published specifications for the 1:50,000 scale maps. It's not exactly what you are looking for, but it may help. Check it out at: http://maps.nrcan.gc...ainIndexE50.htm
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#7
Charlie Frye

Charlie Frye

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 112 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redlands, CA
  • Interests:Base map design/data model, political/election maps; use of historical maps for modern GIS analysis
  • United States

Short Answer: I've been looking at this issue for over five years and outside of a few national mapping agency type organizations (USGS, OSGB, SwissTopo, etc.) there is no listing and what's there is fragmented by map scale and not cross-reference or integrated by feature type. These agencies list the rules for the maps only at the scales they make maps, and the rules are typically very incomplete, depending upon senior cartographers to make things right, on the job. These specifications are also, entirely for print maps, not onscreen products.

Long Answer:

Outside of myself, and my group at ESRI I don't think anybody is researching this question. Certainly Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc. and their sub-contractors have defined specific products that work most of the time. However, these are for one kind of map that supports a rather limited scope of use (though the popularity of these sites suggests that scope is news to a lot of people).

You could certainly use the base map data model content to good effect in the way you've expressed a need for, however, you'd be required to sort out the details yourself. The data model is just a framework or a way of thinking about managing cartographic information; it's intended to support most mapmaking rules and be adaptable for any others. I've used it well in that regard for several years now--in fact had originally intended to reprise it and found that I'd just be adding examples rather than expanding or creating new models.

The trick is you really have to know your cartographic requirements. You have to decide at what scale bridges no longer appear. The hard part is that the larger the geographic area you want to map, the more flexible your rules need to be. For example, mapping a relatively small area allows you to just turn off bridges at a given scale. For a larger area, you need to decide on a threshold for bridge size, keeping the largest at some smaller scales. For really large areas, you'll need to come up with several regionalized thresholds. I present this example this way because the fact is most people don't want to do all that work, as it ultimately leads to assigning a min scale and max scale to every feature. That's drudgery to the nth degree.

The main thing is that only you can decide how important bridge are to your map; that's why cartographers are all thumbs with rules (so to speak). If you don't know cartography well enough, you need to find a cartographer to help you. We recommend to the point of arm-twisting that cartographers work along side the GIS data management folks in coming up with a data model for the kinds of mapping products you're talking about. The GIS folks, in this process need to understand the process of coming up with the data model is a product (your map) requirements-driven data modeling exercise--in the classic sense. The cartographers have to supply the inventory of graphic marks and their plan for transforming the GIS features (the geography) into those graphic marks (the map) on a feature-type by feature-type basis. The latter may be that it's manually done, or it may be automated with a specific software function or script.

In the end maps are complicated information products and most folks for reasons I cannot understand want to deny that, even vehemently.

So, Tony, I think you've clearly got the vision, but the implementation details, as you're noting are few and far between, and they require a melding of cartographic, GIS, data management, & process management to codify in an organized, useful way. To really make matters overwhelming, each fundamentally different kind of map will require a different, if slightly, solution. This is the reason the theoreticians who promulgated the "one map" theory were up S__'s Creek w/o a paddle (rather than bandwidth or lack of intellectual horsepower); they never understood the cartogarphic problem.

Anyway, I'm editorializing now, so I apologize for only offering perspective.
Charlie Frye
Chief Cartographer
Software Products Department
ESRI, Redlands, California

#8
Polaris

Polaris

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Location:Burnsville, NC
  • Interests:Making maps and data graphics!<br />Paddling<br />Hiking<br />Gardening<br />Natural Philosophy<br />Loved Ones
  • United States

I would add my $0.02 that I think these decisions depend more than slightly on the intended purpose and use of the map. I am always thinking of how the map will be used when I make these decisions. While, over the years, I have developed 'rules' or practices of sorts for various scales and types of maps, I do actually rethink this stuff on a case by case basis for each new project.

Eric

#9
TonyB

TonyB

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • No Country Selected

Thanks Charlie (and everyone) for your insightful replies. It seems that this is a field that needs extra attention, especially in the wake of new tools with enhanced cartographic capabilities such as ArcGIS 9.2.
So, how about a collaborative effort via this forum to identify and list cartographic guidelines and rules for "standard" 1:50K topographic hard-copy maps that are GIS database-generated? It could be feature-class orientated, or integrative/process based, or even both. We could all benefit from this on-line brainstorming and info-sharing.
If it is a success, we could extend it to other scales and user-contexts.
So how about it......?

#10
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,900 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

So how about it......?


Standard? :rolleyes:

Those rules differ per country and quite often change over time as well. And that's only considering maps by the various national mapping agencies. So it would be a massive effort. Heck, I've done an awful lot of work trying to produce maps from Dutch 1:50k scale data and have them look exactly like the official ones and I haven't succeeded in that yet. In fact, I'm not even sure I can get them to look 100% the same.

This obviously brings another question forward... (well, several actually)

Why?

What kind of end-result do you have in mind? Some sort of master ruleset that can be used to map the entire world at 1:50k scale?

If that's the case, it would have to be some sort of general description, not a ready-to-use ArcGIS template (or MAPublisher, or Manifold, or any other GIS/cartography application) because the data offered by various mapping agencies is in a wide variety of formats and data models (and projections, but that can be fixed relatively easily)

Who would be using that?

There's been several efforts to produce 'standard' maps for larger areas (VMAP 1, EuroGlobalMap), but as far as I know, none of them went down to 1:50k scale (except maybe the Russians, back in the Cold War).
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#11
Charlie Frye

Charlie Frye

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 112 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redlands, CA
  • Interests:Base map design/data model, political/election maps; use of historical maps for modern GIS analysis
  • United States

I like the "standard" idea, so long as it stays in quotes. Like Hans says, it differs per country, sometimes in big ways. However, a good basic guideline is needed. It could start as simple as inventorying the types of features that should appear on such a map:

Hydro Lines:

Small River
Major Stream
Intermittent Stream

Hydro Points:

Sewage Treatment Ponds

etc.

Ultimately a range of minimum capture specifications and symbology guidelines could come of this as well. While they'll obviously differ based on climate, and I for one would love to see a geographic depiction of where different climate based cartography rules would apply.

The idea behind the need for this is that many people who make maps aren't trained and don't have a clue which, even at a gross level, kinds of features should appear on a map of a given scale. They don't know what an acceptable depiction is for these features; of course would be tempered by a number of things, including whether its a print, or interactive map. Interactive maps allow you to get away with a lot more than you could with print maps (outside of performance, it doesn't matter too much whether you paint the same pixel once or ten times).

Personally, I'm pretty curious to see where the common ground is (as I suspect there's a lot more of that than there are exceptions for specific countries).
Charlie Frye
Chief Cartographer
Software Products Department
ESRI, Redlands, California

#12
TonyB

TonyB

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • No Country Selected

The organisation I work for has a significant cartographic tradition, but it has become difficult to implement it in a consistent fashion due to rapid technological change, staff turnover, and increasingly demands from customers for diverse and timely products.
So to answer your question "why", Hans, we need a way to document, update, and adjust the "enterprise memory". A national master rule-set is surely one way to do this, even if it leaves 20% of the work to be done by manual editing, due to contextual oddities or the need for an "instinctive" solution. I don't think a resulting carto template would be feasible, but it remains to be seen.
I tend to agree with Charlie that this master rule-set (perhaps should be more cautiously called "guidelines") would be very universal at a set scale.

Any ideas of how to undertake this endeavour? How could info be contributed and maintained by the community? Could CartoTalk provide the base? The Wikipedia infrastructure is public domain, as far as I know (mediawiki?)- perhaps CartoTalk could install it and provide access? (does CartoEditPedia sound too ridiculous?!)
In terms of content, I would suggest a number of areas of interest:
1. Inventory (as Charlie suggested).
2. Guidelines for each cartographic feature
3. Integration/conflict resolution guidelines for each category (e.g. hydrography)
4. Annotation
5. Overall cartographic process development & management

Any thoughts? :rolleyes:

Edited by TonyB, 19 April 2007 - 10:30 AM.


#13
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,900 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

The organisation I work for has a significant cartographic tradition, but it has become difficult to implement it in a consistent fashion due to rapid technological change, staff turnover, and increasingly demands from customers for diverse and timely products.
So to answer your question "why", Hans, we need a way to document, update, and adjust the "enterprise memory".


Ah, but wouldn't that call for a enterprise-wide collection of rules and metadata, rather than an industry-wide (or even global-industry-wide) effort? I mean, if organisation X is afraid that kind of information is only stored inside the minds of certain staff members and they might lose it if those people move away, it's the responsibility of organisation X to make sure that's all properly documented, rather than looking to see which rules organisation Y is using.

I guess I'm still not 'seeing' it...

So... let's try and define a sample here (just so that I can get an idea of what this is all about). Let's take Charlie's hydro lines a bit further:

Small river = any stream that is wet all through the year, width max 30 feet, depth max 10 feet. To be displayed on 1:50k maps with a line at least 1 points wide, displace if necessary, generalize with tolerance of 30 feet. Color 100,50,0,0 (cmyk)

Big river = any stream that is wet all though the year, width min 30 feet, depth min 10 feet. To be displayed on 1:50k maps with a line at least 2 points wide, do not displace, generalize with tolerance of 20 feet. Color 100,50,0,0 (cmyk)

Something like that (the numbers are all pretty random by the way)?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#14
TonyB

TonyB

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • No Country Selected

Small river = any stream that is wet all through the year, width max 30 feet, depth max 10 feet. To be displayed on 1:50k maps with a line at least 1 points wide, displace if necessary, generalize with tolerance of 30 feet. Color 100,50,0,0 (cmyk)

Big river = any stream that is wet all though the year, width min 30 feet, depth min 10 feet. To be displayed on 1:50k maps with a line at least 2 points wide, do not displace, generalize with tolerance of 20 feet. Color 100,50,0,0 (cmyk)


Exactly!
I'd include cross-referencing too (e.g. all-weather road that runs parallel and close to big river can be displaced - do not displace river.) Also, I'd include annotation details per feature. Process-wise, perhaps refer to stage in editing process too (e.g. first topography, then hydography, then roads, etc.)

#15
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

This makes sense for an organization that churns out maps routinely at scale X. Consistency is very important. Though trying to get organizations of cartographers (even the Cartotalk group) to agree on these 'rules' would not be fruitful.

If you are designing these rules to be first implemented in ArcMap, as it sounds like, you could put the power of ESRI's data model/geodatabase to work, especially the power of topology.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->