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Bowery Artist Tribute Interactive Map

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#1
jonathanelevy

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Hi all,
I was recently commissioned by the New Museum of Contemporary to design a map for their Bowery Artist Tribute project that was created in conjunction with the opening of their amazing new location in the Bowery area of New York City. The map highlights artists, past and present, that have called the Bowery their home/studio. The project is ongoing and content including video/audio interviews, images and new artists will be added over the next few years. The map is featured on their new website as well as in the Resource Center on the 5th Floor of the building. I'll post the direct link to the project as well as a link to the museum website. Any feedback on the map design or anything to do with the site is most welcome. Thanks, Jonathan

Bowery Artist Tribute
New Museum

For more of my work go to www.jlcartography.com

#2
Jean-Louis

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Jonathan,
I found that I liked the look immediately as the map scrolled down. However I am not able to give you a full appreciation because, on my system anyways, the map locked at the bottom making me unable to look at it again.
Another thing is that from a mapmaker's point of view, I found the general context reference (ie the small outline of manhattan with a pink spot) was hard to grasp. You really have to know about the Bowery and New York to understand what you are looking at. Perhaps your audience is only a local one in which case that may be fine but if you aim at a wider readership, perhaps the cartographic information is a little too minimalist.
Hope this helps.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#3
Dennis McClendon

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The design seems straightforward enough. I probably would have used some muted and desaturated colors instead of the grays. The hotspots pop up windows with names, some of whom I know are artists, and sometimes a picture of the same two windows of an old building.

I'm curious why you chose to do the map in Flash, when the content is fixed and not zoomable. It could have been an ordinary PNG with HTML hotspots and achieve the same effect without having to worry about whether the user has Flash, and without the user having to wait while it loads. The lengthy loading time nearly caused me to bail.

Because I'm also working on a Manhattan map today, I'm curious whether you made a deliberate decision to use true north instead of Manhattan north, or if you just took the GIS data as you found it.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
Sky Schemer

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My impressions echo Dennis'.

The current north orientation in particular means you have a larger map area than needs to be rendered to accommodate the rotation in the highlighted region. That's a lot of space that people can scroll around into for no real purpose. I'd re-orient north so that the map doesn't have so much unnecessary real estate.

If you are going to stick with flash, or need something like flash due to layout/space constraints set by the customer, then a click-and-drag interface with zooming would be more natural than edge-to-scroll. Otherwise, as Dennis points out, just make it a static image.

#5
natcase

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First off, cool concept. And I like that you've used building-level detail; a lot of similar projects I've seen just use street grids (cleaner, simpler, mor designerly), thus losing sense of scale.

My bigges quibble is how the popups work. The initial hit on a dot gives you a window above the dot, regardless of where the dot is on the screen. Hit a dot at the top, and it disappears off the top. click on an artist's name, and the detail pops up in screen. Seems to me like you could have done the same in-screen thing for the first window, too.

Since the first window doesn't (for now at least) have any unique information except the names of the artist and the address or approximate location, could you have--instead of a dot per location with a pop-up window--a dot per artist with a roll-over tag? This would get you only one window away from artist info, and would save window clutter.

Fun site, I enjoyed poking around!

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com



#6
MapMedia

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Very impressive - thanks for sharing.

I like the colors - out of the ordinary, stark and engaging. The popups are clean and simple.
Since I am not familiar with NY artists, and I know this might get into copyright BS, but my eyes wanted to see small pop-ups showing some signature work, or snippet of the designs etc., so when I rolled-over Julias Tobias' house, an image popped up showing me a piece of his work. Did I also mentioned I prefer rollover than mouse-down? I do.

Maybe this is too geeky, but under the Artists menu, it would be useful for the map to center on the artists home when an artist is listed from menu, so map pans/centers to address, and pop-up of artists blurb occur. :D

What an excellent resource.

#7
jonathanelevy

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Sorry for the late reply but I thank everyone for there comments and notes. I did forget to mention that this is a work in progress and the content and hopefully functionality will be changing over the next few years. As for navigation issues and Flash, as I didn't program this site, there was not much I could/can do to change that.

I definitely agree with your comment about the artist menu and I think that it would be key to have the user press the artist name and have the map zoom to there geographic location.

Dennis, as for reorienting north, I see your point about wasted space and I will definitely take it into consideration when working with NYC Data or any data for that matter. One reason I decided to stick with true north was that I liked the diagnol orientation from a design point of view. As this map is intended for an audience interested in art I thought it may be appropriate to joggle their brains with an alternative orientation than they are used to (ie. the nyc subway map and most other maps of NYC you see are not true north).

well, i hope that some of you get a chance to see my response to your comments. thanks again everyone, Jonathan


Very impressive - thanks for sharing.

I like the colors - out of the ordinary, stark and engaging. The popups are clean and simple.
Since I am not familiar with NY artists, and I know this might get into copyright BS, but my eyes wanted to see small pop-ups showing some signature work, or snippet of the designs etc., so when I rolled-over Julias Tobias' house, an image popped up showing me a piece of his work. Did I also mentioned I prefer rollover than mouse-down? I do.

Maybe this is too geeky, but under the Artists menu, it would be useful for the map to center on the artists home when an artist is listed from menu, so map pans/centers to address, and pop-up of artists blurb occur. :D

What an excellent resource.






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