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Walking map for convention - work in progress

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#1
Sky Schemer

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Attached is a work-in-progress for a map I am creating for a small convention of sorts. This will serve as my base for what will be a walking map covering the area around the hotel and the key event locations. The client wants to be able to show local dining options and a few other points of interest on top of the base transit information. While there are several such maps available for free, they want the flexibility to highlight sponsors, partner restaurants, and other businesses that have a connection to the events, as well as focus on this particular area of town.

The whole thing has to fit on a standard, US letter-sized paper :blink: though there is some flexibility to go larger if absolutely necessary to maintain readability.

I am looking for feedback on these base colors. I want the street car line (the orange dotted line, with circles representing stops) to stand out, and since the highway does bifurcate the area, I want it to be a solid reference but not so prominent that it jumps off the page. I am open to any suggestions on tweaks or improvements before I move on to the other details. Sorry for the lack of legend, etc., but hopefully what you are seeing is clear enough.

In addition to this, I will also be publishing a b&w version for any color-blind attendees. I haven't gotten that far yet. :)

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#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Looks nice, but maybe you could make the highway a dark grey? It's still standing out quite a bit and since it's a walking map, it's not really necessary other than as a navigational aid.

Would love to see the finished version.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#3
ELeFevre

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I think if you lightened up the gray background just a little bit the street car lines would stand out even more. I agree with Hans' comments on the highways. Something like 80% black would do the trick. Looks good!



#4
MapMedia

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Good start. Are you using local agency parcel data? You might consider a color choice that is color-blind compatible. A muted (pastel) background scheme combined with contrasting walking tour markers/routes.
Thanks for sharing.

#5
Dennis McClendon

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I'm always conflicted about showing freeways differently from streets at this scale, as it requires a sometimes-artificial distinction between onramp and street. See if you think the freeway width isn't sufficient alone for it to stand out to the pedestrian:

Posted Image

As for color-blindness, you shouldn't have to publish and distribute two maps. Stay away from red-green distinctions, or use one of the online checkers. Also, use redundancy between the labels and colored symbols to aid the colorblind user. So, for instance, if red and green are being used to distinguish restaurants from shops, just make sure the symbol also differs in shape or that the restaurants are obvious from the label.
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#6
Sky Schemer

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Big thanks to everyone for all of their input.

I see the point about choosing colors and symbology wisely to avoid having to make two versions of the map. Of course that seemed so obvious once people said it. Shows how easy it is to get locked into assumptions that aren't strictly correct.

I've played with muting those colors on the interstate, and I have managed to tone it down considerably. Dennis, I do see the point you're making about just not assigning them a different color, and I like that technique. At the scale I'm working at (1:7000) it feels like everything runs together, however, so I I'll keep them separate for now. But I'll keep that option open, too.

To answer Chris's question, yes, I am using local agency data for the base layers (roads, parks and transit). It's amazing how poorly organized and inconsistent some of the road data is. :huh: Those of you who do this sort of thing for a living must spend a lot of time banging your head on the wall.


John

#7
Dennis McClendon

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For a map like this, I find it much easier to just draw it instead of wrestling with data. I drew downtown Portland, including ramps and building names, in about three hours (for NACIS 2001).

When you say "running together," maybe you didn't notice the "overpass sides" I use to separate overpass from underpass. As for the transition from street to ramp, I have grudgingly used this approach on occasion:

Posted Image
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#8
Sky Schemer

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I have completely revamped this map using the suggestions from the readership here as my starting point. See attached.

There is still some touch-up work to be done (getting ramps and roads to overlap properly, to pick one example) but the map won't be needed for another couple of months so there's plenty of time to get that done. For now, it's good enough to turn in as a class project. :)

As always, I am open to feedback on how to make it better!

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#9
Kevin McManigal

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Sky, this looks real nice! However, the one thing that catches my eye are the street labels. They seem "pinched" touching the stroke on both top and bottom. Options would be to drop the point size and go with an all caps font to deal with the decenders. Or they could be placed above or below the streets. One other tick is the north arrow. It looks like it is pointing into Washington Park. It could be a little smaller and migrated to the north :rolleyes: That's my two cents, looks good.
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#10
CHART

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Sky,

Really nice 'crisp' looking map.

Only suggestion (IMO)... the scale bar should be added in the legend box (or on a white background).

Out of curiosity, what will the printed size be?
Chart

#11
Sky Schemer

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Sky, this looks real nice! However, the one thing that catches my eye are the street labels. They seem "pinched" touching the stroke on both top and bottom. Options would be to drop the point size and go with an all caps font to deal with the decenders. Or they could be placed above or below the streets. One other tick is the north arrow. It looks like it is pointing into Washington Park. It could be a little smaller and migrated to the north :rolleyes:


Thanks. I don't like doing all caps because it's harder to read, so I'll experiment with placement options. I agree that the north arrow is, uh...a little big.

#12
Sky Schemer

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Only suggestion (IMO)... the scale bar should be added in the legend box (or on a white background).

Out of curiosity, what will the printed size be?


Thanks. I'm not happy with the scale bar yet, either, and moving it into the legend is a good idea.

The final printed size will be a US letter-size paper. The printers tell me I'll have a 3/8" margin on one of the short sides and 1/4" the rest of the way around. It will be a digital print because the run is very short.

#13
Dennis McClendon

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I'd lose the crossties on the streetcar route, and incorporate the arrows right on top. Then your legend doesn't have to say as much.

Posted Image

The discount restaurants are less prominent than the ones that don't offer coupons. And there's probably room to put the name beside the restaurant instead of using numbered boxes. Or use mnemonic codes such as SW instead of 29 for Spaghetti Warehouse.

Why have the roads cased at all? Why not just have white streets in a khaki ground? If you turn the casings the same color as the ground, it will keep the ramp separation for the freeway. Then you don't have to worry about the street labels.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#14
MapMedia

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Nice job!
Though I might have used Helvetica type for the streets, my main point is to align the street type better so that 2nd St is placed above 1st St etc.

#15
Charlie Frye

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Using the "old eyes" or "squinty eyes" test (depending on how you may go about it), something that struck me as odd was that the two most prominant features are the Hospital and the trolley/transit routes. This is a walking map right? When in Portland for NACIS in 2001, I remember that there are many neighborhoods that are scenic, historic, and aesthetic. In short they're pleasant to walk through. This map, to me, seems more about clubs, food, and then finding the fastest way to the hospital. But maybe I'm in a snippy mood.

Minimally, I would suggest using a neutral hue for the street car routes, and maybe not emphasize the hospital blocks so much; place the hospital icon near the actual entrance.
Charlie Frye
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