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#1
Wes Peck

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I’ve been a voyeur on this site on and off for the past few months and finally decided to take the plunge and register and put my humble creation out for comments. I am creating a regional map of a central part of North America using ArcMap and Adobe Illustrator. The final product will be 24”x36”. I have no formal cartographic training so there may be some fundamental rules of thumb that I have broken (e.g., font use). I would appreciate any feedback that members of the forum have to offer.

-Wes

Attached File  ArchDsize.jpg   1.59MB   240 downloads

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I’ve been a voyeur on this site on and off for the past few months and finally decided to take the plunge and register and put my humble creation out for comments. I am creating a regional map of a central part of North America using ArcMap and Adobe Illustrator. The final product will be 24”x36”. I have no formal cartographic training so there may be some fundamental rules of thumb that I have broken (e.g., font use). I would appreciate any feedback that members of the forum have to offer.


That's looking pretty good actually. One thing I did notice right away is that the state names and boundaries are a bit hard to make out. I would suggest making them a tad bit bigger (unless of course this isn't an issue on the full-sized map). Especially the Idaho/Montana border is hard to see. Also, you have placed the label for Idaho in Montana (automatic label placement on the center of the bounding box, I assume...)

I would lose the transparancy in the legend boxes, and maybe align both of them to the left. I would also try to align the information at the bottom with the left and right map borders.

Just wondering, what is that straight, brownish, line running along the bottom edge of the map?
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#3
MapMedia

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Welcome Wes! And thanks for jumping into the Gallery head first.

Very nice poster! Can you tell us a little about its purpose (audience, etc.)?

There is a lot of information and data presented very well here. You used Arcmap and Arcscene quiet well and you were prudent in your use of Illustrator goodies (only drop shadow indulgence I saw).
My comments are aesthetic really, except for the following:

Revision items:
- Idaho label - place over state (westward ho!)
- Label or remove orange line at bottom (aligns with km scale bar)
- Footnote sourcedata (spatial and CO2)

Aesthetic ideas:
- Overall very pleasing, good color balance
- Maybe lighten surface water (lakes) from 'electric blue' :P to light blue
- Center Montana label more
- Add back light to Co2 site dots - green dots get lost a little.
- Also: Lignite and Beaver Lodge dots appear to have different color from legend
- Add key or description of what the basins are
- Since you are labeling the pie chart, no real need to differentiate with colors -
- I suggest simplifying to 4 pastel colors or grayscale even
- Minimize scale bars - too prominent in legend
- In text blurb - IMHO, change anthropogenic (too techi) to human caused
- Fonts - Nice choice overall - I would apply slight bend to Basin texts that are on angles
- Why label Canadian towns only? Either also label US capitols too or remove (for consistency sake)
- Legend: In CO2 sources, spell out millions instead of ,000,000. Also change 1st group (250 - 5 million) to lighter red
as these small dots seem to dilute the prominence of greater sources, as they are same color.

That's it!

Again - job well done and thanks for posting!

#4
frax

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Wes, that looks beautiful!

But... For a thematic map like this - I would actually consider dropping the landcover, and maybe even shaded relief. For a view this steals too much attention, and away from your main content/message.

Also - what are these basins, are these drainage basins, and how they are relevant? Maybe it would be more relevant to highlight cities, or at least major urban areas.

The chart looks very plain excel, I would suggest changing the colors, remove the 3d effect and shadows and sort the states/provinces by percentage, rather than alphabetically. I think it would also be interesting to consider calculating the CO2 output per capita - a lot of the times people are interested in a) how bad is it where I live, and B) who is worst/best.

I would also consider making the smallest dots even smaller, and maybe the bigger dots bigger. Now it looks like Wisconsin and Minnesota are all red, but in the percentages, they are not the worst.
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#5
rudy

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Wes -

Welcome to Cartotalk. It's a great place to be. You're a braver man than I - and more talented. Your map looks great. I've read through some of the other comments and I would agree. I did have an additional comment, though - what does the darker brown area on the rightr side of the map that covers off part of Lake Superior indicate? And what are the siginifigance of the basins? How are they determined? I must admist, I hadn't read through the entire accompanying text but it isn't immediately clear as to what these are and what role they play in the map.

Good work! Looks like a processor-intensive project.

#6
Wes Peck

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Wow, thanks for the great input! You guys are thorough. I will take all the suggestions to heart. Here are a few comments in regard to your comments:

1. The brown line across the bottom of the map is something I missed. There was a line across the top of the map that I removed. Both lines are issues with an Illustrator layer coming from a photoshop file (psd). I wanted smooth transitions fading the geologic basin boundaries and could not do it directly in ArcMap or Illustrator.

2. Once I print out a full-sized I will be able to better evaluate the state name size and boundary line width.

3. I like the pie chart comments. Good point about the colors/labels

4. Yes, where are the U.S. cities? For my first draft I only focused on the selected Canadian cities to find the best font, font size, and dot style for the features. I don’t want too many cities/towns and I don’t want to use an arbitrary cutoff in population size for determining what gets shown. I will probably go with state capitals and a few hand picked towns.

5. I failed to label the darker brown basin in the Iowa/Minnesota region. It is the Midcontinental Rift System. A horse of a different color when discussing major sedimentary basins in central N.A..

I hope to get a revised version done soon. Thanks again for all the input. I wish I had done this earlier.

#7
DaveB

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Nice work. Eye-catching! :D

The lighter colored areas (basins?) are hard to see against the similar colored terrain. Why different colors? Maybe your audience knows what basins are in this context, but it's clear most of us non-experts do not so it might be good to include a little info in the legend and/or in the text (although the text is like "fine print" to me; should I have to read the fine print to know what one of the prominent features on the map is?).

The background globe kind of runs into the map features, especially the lighter bits along the top of the map. Maybe go with a solid color background or more contrast between background and map?
Dave Barnes
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#8
araki5

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totally awesome!! are you using AI CS 2 and arcmap 9.2?
Randy Long
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#9
mike

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Hi Wes,

Very nicely done!

A few comments:
- I would bring the red graduated symbols to a higher layer ABOVE the white study area boundary. This point layer is more important and is a focus of the map. By dropping the white boundary layer below, it would still achieve it's purpose of delineating the study area.
- the landcover looks great, but is a bit overpowering. the first thing i noticed was the land cover itself, then the thematic theme. perhaps making it lighter would help lower its visual hierarchy.
- Make sure the alignment of charts, borders, boxes, titles are even. To me, the title does not look centered. The legend box has less room on the bottom than on the left when comparing it to the border of the map.
- Desaturating the blue water may help it not look as bold.

#10
Wes Peck

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Yes, I am using Photoshop and AI CS 2 along with ArcMap 9.2.

Mike, I agree with your comments.

I am going to try to upload today's version of the map.

I've tried to incorporate most of the comments I have received so far. This group is great at providing constructive criticism.

Thanks again to each of you!

Attached File  ArchDsize2.jpg   1.47MB   141 downloads

#11
Rob

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nice project wes.

because you are using a circular proportional symbol for the c02/year data, i'd maybe go with some other shape for the demostration sites symbols. also, use a more organic patch for the oil and gas field legend symbol, like how you did for the basins. it's wierd to see a big green square in the legend and then no big squares on the map.

thanks for sharing.

rob

#12
ELeFevre

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Hey Wes,
Very nice work. In addition to sizing the stationary sources by CO2, you could take it one step further and classify and color the points by what they actually are i.e. electricity generating stations, et cetera.



#13
Wes Peck

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I see from my latest version that I am layer-order challenged (Salt Lake City in the pie chart).

Erin, I have a version of the CO2 dots which is sized by magnitude and colored by source category. It requires twice the space in the legend. I might have to give it a try and see how it looks.

Rob, your comment on the demo sites is well said. I will pick a new shape. A bigger question in my mind is how many fonts or font styles should a person use. I'm sure the fewer the better. I would like to differentiate the labeling of the various feature types on the map, but not necessarily with different fonts. Are there any rules of thumb for this kind of thing?

#14
Hans van der Maarel

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Rob, your comment on the demo sites is well said. I will pick a new shape. A bigger question in my mind is how many fonts or font styles should a person use. I'm sure the fewer the better. I would like to differentiate the labeling of the various feature types on the map, but not necessarily with different fonts. Are there any rules of thumb for this kind of thing?


Not really, but as you say: the fewer the better. Mixing 2 different fonts (a serif and a sans-serif like you have now) is no problem.

Now that you've added more city labels in the US, there's some more work left there:
- Salt Lake City appears in the pie chart
- Santa Fe is overlapping the scale bar
- South Dakota is overlapping a city label (is that Pierre?)
- Colorado is overlapping Colorado Springs
- Cheyenne is almost touching the white line.
- A label north of Cheyenne (Caspar?) is overlapping the white line
- The label for Sioux Falls should better go in South Dakota (this also avoids overlapping a red dot)
- I can see the dot for Missoula, MT, but not the label.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#15
MapMedia

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Very nice revision Wes. I would also add that you throw 4-5 more labels (serif font?) for major water bodies (Hudson Bay, Great Lakes, etc.)
Pie chart looks nice - I like the re-organization.
And the red vs green works for me.




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