Work in progress: York Neighborhood
Posted 15 October 2007 - 04:10 AM
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.
Posted 15 October 2007 - 05:33 AM
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:
... or even solid shadows or object extrusion like that:
But that's only me :-)
Keep us posted on the development of the map.
Posted 15 October 2007 - 10:55 AM
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?
Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:19 PM
Posted 16 October 2007 - 01:52 AM
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!
Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:10 PM
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.
Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:10 AM
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.
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