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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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For one of my clients, a large city in The Netherlands, I have (on and off) been responsible for the production of their city maps. They have seen an interesting evolution over the past few years, going from a utilitarian Microstation-produced map to a rather fetching Illustrator design.

Part of this evolution process involves discussing and trying out new ways of identifying certain objects on the maps. One such discussion, ongoing for a long time, is on what symbol to use for schools.

Attached File  scholen.jpg   21.84KB   122 downloads

This image shows the evolution of the school symbol from the first Microstation maps (nicknamed "Darth Vader" for its obvious likeness to the Sith Lord) via the "Playing Kids" to one of my designs ("But they're schools, not universities!") to the one we finally settled on yesterday.

I was wondering if there's any other suggestions. I find it very hard to come up with a clear symbol for something that doesn't really have a standard or traditional symbology.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
loximuthal

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On our maps (under our old system, anyway; we are developing a new system and have not got to point symbols yet) we used this for schools. It is quite similar to something I have seen on a number of other maps.Attached File  SMIMS_school.bmp   11.02KB   162 downloads
Andy McIntire
US Census Bureau

#3
MapMedia

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Hans, I didn't see anything that would intuitively indicate a school, but that's because I am used to North American school symbol (house with flag) - because all public schools in US have a flag pole.
Maybe this isn't the case in Netherlands. But the point being maybe there is some universal feature about schools in the Netherlands that you could use.

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Hans, I didn't see anything that would intuitively indicate a school, but that's because I am used to North American school symbol (house with flag) - because all public schools in US have a flag pole.
Maybe this isn't the case in Netherlands. But the point being maybe there is some universal feature about schools in the Netherlands that you could use.


Yeah, there certainly is a cultural difference going on here. I remember seeing the 'house with flag' symbol used on various North American maps. Unfortunately, there is no standard symbol for schools here in The Netherlands (although the 2nd from the right does convey the general message of 'education' to the map reader), hence my difficulty in coming up with something suitable.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#5
Dennis McClendon

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Here's what we use on our maps <_<

Posted Image

OK, well to be serious, I feel we sometimes get a little icon-happy, when we already have a good, recognizable signal for map readers--a word they already know.

What scale are you working at?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#6
Charlie Frye

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A culturally recognizeable icon is a nice convenience here in the U.S., though it doesn't quite fit the bill for some of the maps I've been experimenting with. I've been using color and size (7-12 pts) to differentiate:

- elementary schools
- middle schools/junior highs
- high schools
- private schools & academies
- community colleges or professional schools
- smaller colleges and universities or adjunct campuses
- larger colleges and universities

On large scale (1:2,500 - 1:10,000 scale) I use polygons based on the land parcels, and use the same colors, though toned down a good bit, that I use on the marker symbols. For maps that operate within scale ranges, I switch to points first for the primary schools and eventually the universities as the map is zoomed out to smaller scales. I drop elementary schools entirely off the map first and on through the hierarchy as the map continues to zoom out, leaving, larger universities at say 1:100,000 scale. It's particularly difficult with so many colleges and universities having so many sites or having fragmented non-contiguous main campuses, particularly in urban areas. Though at least colleges and universities can be distinguished by caps/mortar boards (from the cap & gown concept) for symbols.

I agree, I would like something that is modern and culturally broader, but so far I've not seen anything that fits that bill. Especially since the one-room school house is long since been replaced as the symbol for primary education by a wide variety of architectural forms and campus complexes (oddly many looking more like prisons these days). I googled a bit and found myself thinking, "Where have you gone Raymond Loewy" after seeing so many idyllic and child-focused designs. It seems there ought to be a mature way to represent primary education consistently on maps that need to work for readers of diverse cultural communities.
Charlie Frye
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Software Products Department
ESRI, Redlands, California

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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What scale are you working at?


1:10.000 to 1:12.500, so showing them as outlines with texts is not really feasible (especially not because there's a lot of schools in a city with 150.000 inhabitants).
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#8
Dennis McClendon

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I've never had any trouble labeling schools at 1:30 000. Are Dutch school names remarkably long?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#9
Hans van der Maarel

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If you spell them out, they can be... "Protestant-Christelijke Basisschool De Windmolen".

The thing is that with all the other information in the map (all street names), there is no room at that scale to label all of the schools as well and still remain legible. We don't really want to put too many labels on the map.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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