First draft for review
Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:39 AM
...and here's a zoom of part of it: http://www.mapgraphi...oads/Detail.png (2 MB)
The client has asked for an editable base map to create various map products showing different scenic routes etc. He wants a vegetation-based relief background and a basic network of map detail, along with National Parks, NMs, and NRAs.
We used a modified Tom Patterson approach to the relief background, inspired by his "Natural Earth" style. The challenge was to retain an attractive and intelligible relief background without being too distracting from the parks or the highway and city fabric of detail. Ultimately it will be the client who will decide whether this draft has succeeded, since he knows best what his priorities are!
Nevertheless -- feedback invited, however blunt.
Posted 15 November 2007 - 02:55 AM
First and foremost, see if we can get people to look at the attached, optimized "Detail.png" instead....so that we can save about 80% of the bandwidth and download/display time in reviewing that image. You know me....always looking at imagery on-screen with a highly critical (though hopefully constructive) eye.
That said, I think my first reaction to that proof was very positive. The one thing that jumped out at me though was the placement of text labels. Personally, I would probably tighten-up the leading on multi-line text entries by about 15-20%. Grand Junction, Colorado Spring, Estes Park, etc. Those labels are taking up more "real estate" than they actually need to...and tightening up the leading a bit would serve to trick the eye into perceiving a bit less "clutter," I think.
The other thing that jumped out at me was that if a bit more time was spent placing those text labels as to ensure the absolute highest contrast and minimum number of times where those labels have to hide roads and other features, the better. Three particular examples would be Moab (UT), Fruita (CO) and Estes Park (CO). There is really no need to have those labels crossing highways and/or having lower contrast on that sample. A bit of minor shuffling of labels and iconography could make a nice difference related to increasing legibility.
Those were some initial thoughts I had. Hope that helps!
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Posted 15 November 2007 - 04:13 AM
Looks very nice, although I'd have to agree with Derek re. shuffling type and symbology around a bit. Especially the symbol for Hovenweep NM... (also, I was under the impression Four Corners was an NM too, but apparently it's not)
Green text on green background (e.g. Fort Union NM, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NM) is a bit difficult to read, maybe you can increase contrast there a bit.
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Posted 15 November 2007 - 09:09 AM
Posted 15 November 2007 - 11:07 AM
I find that the '100%' black text stands out too much. I would suggest trying a lower percentage (dark gray) with maybe a small percentage of magenta. Same thing for the town symbols.
I notice 'exit' dots along the highway (e.g. 25). Not sure, but maybe the exit number could be added.
Also you might want to remove the dark park boundaries altogether and simply darken the park polygon. I tend to think that there is a lot of lines on the map already. (Not sure on this one ... but worth a try).
edit: good example of image compression from Derek.
Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:15 PM
Posted 15 November 2007 - 02:22 PM
I'd probably use a solid, small square rather than the hollow tree for small NMs and NPs. Aztec Ruins, for instance is on the northwest corner of the town of Aztec, not miles to the east. I'd try to make the green outline of NP areas more closely related in hue (not value or darkness) to the dark green for the type. I often use something like C100 M0 Y100 K20 for park type, then make the fill a quarter of that (C25 M0 Y25 K5) and the stroke half (C50 M0 Y50 K10). The idea is for them to all be the same color family.
Probably unnecessary for the interstate shields to have white strokes separating them from the roads. Not sure whether I'd use the interchange circles, as there are many other exits not shown and it would be extremely rare to have a highway junction with no interchange (there are only a half dozen of note in the entire US).
Teeny, tiny picky things:
Fillmore, UT has two Ls.
Tierra Amarilla, NM is on the east side of US 84, not the west.
Most of Denver's 470 loop should be shown as freeway.
Unlabeled highways through Estes Park, CO and Saguache, CO are potentially confusing, as is the placement of 24 south of Vail.
Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:50 PM
This looks really great. nice work. I grew up in the area your showing so I'm probably being extra picky here. The issue I see is you are showing towns like Dinosaur Co. in the same way your showing Grand Junction Co. Dinosaur is essentially a gas station, a plaster dinosaur statue, and a few homes (maybe 350 residents at most) and no services. Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. The two towns have very little in common. At the same time, Telluride is given less prominance than Dinosaur, and in terms of national/international tourism and recreation, Telluride is massive. Also, I don't think Mesa Verde extends into NM. The label could be moved a bit to make sure there is no confusion. Maybe you could filter the cities by population along with recreational importance and go from there?
You should also consider including the minor scenic byways if you can do it. An example is scenic byway 128 aka "The Prehistoric Hwy" that runs between Moab and Cisco Ut. along the Colorado River. It's one of the more popular (not to mention stunning) routes through that area. Scenic byways would be a great addition.
As a final comment I think you could drop the font size on the cities and towns and it would still be readable. Free up a little real-estate. All around very nice work.
Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:33 PM
Have yet to hear back from the client though....
Dennis: I am in fact in the USA right now, and plan to celebrate Thanksgiving. It's nice to do it twice in a year -- once in Canada (October), once in the States (November). Too bad Christmas is on the same day in both countries!
Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:08 PM
- Green River (the text River is touching the line)
- Is Metropoliton text in Bold? It's very dominant
- Some point symbols are not located on the roads (eg. Salt Lake City)
- Some of the park symbols are located on the roads.
Overall a very good looking first proof; much better then my own in school.
Posted 17 November 2007 - 10:57 PM
I do want to expand on/amplify one of Dennis's comments:
Point symbols tend to relate to their labels as if they were another piece of type. Not exactly like, but I find that if I use a rule of thumb like "one word space between symbol and label" or "visual (squint-your-eyes-and-make-them-go-out-of-focus) weight of the point symbol should approximate that of a bolded text character," I end up with a more harmonious map. I just need to remember to do invoke those rules to myself more often.
I'd probably use a solid, small square rather than the hollow tree for small NMs and NPs. Aztec Ruins, for instance is on the northwest corner of the town of Aztec, not miles to the east.
Head of Production, Hedberg Maps, Minneapolis, MN USA
"Life's too short for bad maps"
Posted 19 November 2007 - 02:11 AM
Agree with prev comments and feel this is a very decent map.
A few observations:
1. NM/NP icons are not uniform - sometimes the boundary is used and sometimes the conifer tree icon.
-Using the boundary vs tree makes sense for large NP/NM, but I would keep this rule firm. Organ Pipe NM has boundary, but I felt it deserved an icon instead.
2. Is there a way to do away with leader arrow for Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP? Have you 3 line stacking there?
3. Sometimes I felt a word or letter casing would help where prominent labels overlapped highways.
Great work!! Thanks for posting.
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