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Work in progress: York Neighborhood

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#1
Adam Wilbert

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I've started work tonight on a small poster-sized map that I plan on donating to my local historic neighborhood association for general reference. I haven't done a whole lot with shading / shadowing before and fear that I might have gone overboard on this one! Does anyone agree or disagree? I still have labeling and point symbols to add, but like where the base work is at.

One of the things that I wanted to highlight with this map was how Interstate-5 bisected the original neighborhood (most houses were built between 1890 and 1920). The area to the west, adjacent to the central business district, is very well maintained, while the area to the east degraded to the point where the majority has been razed and converted to strip malls and trailer parks. By extending the freeway past the neat line, my hope is that I-5 is read as more of a barrier, which is how it feels on the ground.

As an aside, I'm having trouble figuring out how to contain raster effects (like the drop shadows) within clipping masks in Illustrator. The content is masked at the neat line (with the exception of I-5), but the shadows seem to follow their own rules. Ideas?

Feedback and criticism is appreciated.

-Adam

Attached File  york_101407.jpg   146.53KB   202 downloads
Attached File  york_1014072.jpg   67.89KB   163 downloads

Adam Wilbert

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#2
mika

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Adam,

Looks interesting for me, although it might be difficult to predict how it's going to be like when you add all the labels, symbols etc. They might change reading levels so the shadows are not so strong. I'd test colours when you've got it all done so you see the final effect.
One more thing about the shadows though - buildings look like they are flatish and 'float' above the ground. I'd go for something like that:
Attached File  shadow.jpg   8.11KB   90 downloads
... or even solid shadows or object extrusion like that:
Attached File  Shadow2.jpg   10.11KB   86 downloads
But that's only me :-)

Keep us posted on the development of the map.

Dom
maps made easy - www.cartomatic.pl

#3
BioGeoMan

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Hello Adam,

As a former 3-year resident of Bellingham, I appreciate your efforts in supporting this eclectic and very interesting neighborhood.

I think your instincts are correct in that you have gone a bit overboard with the drop shadows. I am especially concerned with the shadow used on the neighborhood delineation boundary, it doesn't seem to "lift" the neighborhood off the map, instead it acts as more of a dark "halo" that surrounds the community. You may want to decrease the "Blur" and "Opacity" settings in the AI Drop Shadow settings. Or...get rid of it altogether and rely on color to distinguish between the York Neighborhood and the rest of beautiful Bellingham.

I agree with Mika that you should consider altering the XY axis a bit to add directional shadow effects on the buildings.

Please keep us informed concerning your progress with this map! Is Georgia Pacific gone yet?

Best,
Michael.

Michael Scisco

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#4
Dennis McClendon

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The streets seem overly wide, causing some of the buildings to intrude past the curbline. Take a look at an aerial photo to get the proper proportion for the actual street vs. the public right-of-way.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
Adam Wilbert

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Thanks for the feedback. I've reeled things back quite a bit and am liking it much better now. I registered an airphoto underneath and was surprised to find that the major street widths were represented pretty accurately. Some of the residential streets are narrower, and others actually aren't wide enough! (we have several streets that used to have trolly right-of-ways in the middle.) I'll represent that moving forward. I'll post more samples once I've made significant progress.

Michael, the GP property was bought, against the recommendation of the EPA, by the Port District and now the city is responsible for the toxic waste cleanup of the sediment ponds. Other than that, everything is great! :rolleyes:

-Adam

Attached File  York_tamed.jpg   78.31KB   166 downloads

Adam Wilbert

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#6
BioGeoMan

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Looks waaaay better, nice and clean and crisp.

At least the GP site is getting cleaned up. I know you would rather have GP do it instead of your tax dollars, but it is better than having a chlorine dump in your front yard. Are they still putting public areas down there (e.g. parks, boardwalks)? Or will it be exclusive and gentrified. I visited this last summer and it seemed that Bham was headed in that direction.

Sorry fellow cartographers for the off topic discussion, but if you've ever been to Bellingham, you would understand my concern...beautiful place.

Michael Scisco

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Albuquerque, NM

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biogeocreations.com


#7
natcase

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As biogenman said, much better, but...

Dennis's problem still holds true, the shadows falling across street casings are a problem. The problem specifically is: what does the shadow "mean"? It isn't really a representation of height as the shadows do not vary in depth, but it does imply "these objects rise up above the ground," which is reinforced by a few of the buildings shapes also crossing the street-edge. So, when the shadows overlap the edge-lines of the street, they say, "these buildings rise up above these lines, which are themselves symbolic of..." and there's the disconnect. The street-edge lines don't actually symbolize a separate object like a curb, they are just edges to the whitespace in the streets. It might work better to eliminate those lines. And I notice the shadows work better where the buildings themselves have no outlines.

On a related note, I find the similarity in tone between the crosswalks and the shadows visually confusing. I instinctually thought these were some kind of depression in those intersections. Maybe a different tint for buildings and streets, and much lighter casings for the streets? I dunno.

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

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