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A new map of Forest Park

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#1
erik

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I’m interested in your feedback on a new map of Forest Park, Portland. Forest Park is located in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, and is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The park is popular with residents and has somewhere around 80 miles of trails (if you include Wildwood going down into Washington Park). This map has very detailed topographic relief and contour lines, trail segment mileages, and a 200 meter UTM grid. It shows local attractions, in-park landmarks, distinguishes between permitted trail uses, shows the trail milestones, and identifies parking and trailheads. The map audience is all users of the park.

The map files are located at http://tinyurl.com/24jjf2
Each panel is about 2 to 2.5MB in size. You will need the Adobe Acrobat software to view them and/or print them. When printing, I recommend using the "Page scaling: Fit to printable area" option so that the map fills the page as much as possible.

These panels are usable at letter size paper but can be printed quite well on 11x14 or super-B size paper.

Several aspects of the layout were optimized for 1) the very long skinny nature of the park; and 2) so the end-user could print the panels legibly on their letter-size home printer. For instance, Skyline Drive is cropped off a bit along the upper left of the park, which I would prefer not to do but was necessary to get the maximum detail on a letter size page. Some of you may wonder why I rotated the maps 37.5 degrees from true north. One challenge has to do with the fact that the shape of the park is not aligned with a UTM graticule. So my choices were to have the body of the park run diagonally across each panel, requiring an offset between each panel from the next; or rotate grid north. The latter option allowed getting the maximum coverage of the actual park areas within 4 letter size panels and for people to be able to butt the pages together to form a tiled view of the entire park. Another design decision was whether to overlap the panels slightly. I did overlap them because there are certain boundary zones such as Germantown Road where people go either north or south from the trailheads on that road. Both panels adjacent to Germantown Road need to show the trailheads.

There is both a separate legend file and a mini-legend on the third panel from the top. The reason I did not put a legend on each panel is that I believe most people will download all four panels and thereby see at least a mini-legend, and there was not room on every panel for a complete recap of the key. The Washington Park panel is slightly less polished than the others in the area of showing every single street in non-park areas--however key streets to get to trailheads are all shown, I believe.

Things that will be added in the near future include showing the MAX line coming out of downtown and the MAX stops there, a few more city streets west of the Zoo, and bus stops/Trimet IDs along Highway 30. Also the UTM grid notation will be better described in the legend for GPS users unfamiliar with it.

This map was started using a foundation of GIS data in ArcGIS, and then 99% of the rest of the time building it was done in Adobe Illustrator CS3 on a Mac. The map was a byproduct of a class project, and credit is given in the legend for the instructor's help in providing some of the key data.

erik

#2
DaveB

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Very nice map! :D

I can't find much to criticize (some of the colors are a bit difficult to distinguish on screen, for example the yellow for the utm grid in some parts, the orange vs. red for the trails, but not excessively so, and maybe they work better when printed?). I wonder how well it works when printed to a black and white printer?

I would definitely download it and print it (in color - and maybe laminate it!) if I lived in the area. Looks like it would be very useful for people wanting to get to and hike or bike the trails.
Dave Barnes
Esri
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Map Geek

#3
MapMedia

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Great maps erik. They are at once useful and well designed.
My one comment at this moment, before printing a few, is the small tag at the corners of the map, leading to other maps,
instead of stating that the next map can be found at artofgeography, maybe state the name or number of the map panel.

Cheers, Chris

#4
DaveB

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It might be useful to add the adjoining map title(s), but I wouldn't remove the site address. It could be very useful information - in case you or someone else only downloaded or printed out one of the pdfs, for example, and then later you want to get one of the adjoining maps. What if you didn't remember (or didn't know in the first place) where on the web the maps came from? Sure, you could do a search, but having the site address handy would be nice. :)

so not "instead of", but "in addition to"? :)
Dave Barnes
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Map Geek

#5
Matthew Hampton

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I have seen quite a few maps of Forest Park by several skilled cartographers and I like this one the best with respect to overall design, content, distribution, etc.

Thanks a lot Erik!\0\0

Oregon Metro - Portland, OR
www.oregonmetro.gov


#6
BioGeoMan

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Hey Erik, great set of maps! I wish these existed when I lived in Portland. A few, minor, things:

  • I agree with Chris concerning the reference box on each of the panels, maybe you should state the name of the next panel instead of referencing your website (which you already did in each of the title boxes).
  • Is the UTM grid necessary? I think most users of the map won't even know what they mean. I like to have them, but your average walker, runner, cyclist, or horseback rider won't notice. I guess geo-cache people may find the UTM grid useful.
  • On the gtown/saltzman map, your scale bar is rotated 90 degrees, maybe you should rotate the text 90 degrees also like you did in the saltzman/thurman map.
  • You spelled "intermittent" incorrectly in your legends.
  • The color difference between the Wildwood Trail and other trails is hard to distinguish in some places and would be totally indistinguishable if printed in B&W.

Great Maps! I hope people in P-town appreciate the value of such a set of maps.

Michael Scisco

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biogeocreations.com


#7
Dennis McClendon

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Really, really nice. Only the tiniest little things to fix:

Check spelling of
Vaugn
Savier
Ogdon
Leif Erikson

doesn’t St. Johns Bridge fly over Columbia River Hwy?

Need to displace NW 1st in Linnton so it doesn’t touch US 30.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#8
erik

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Thank all of you for the comments -- I appreciate the time you tookk to review and provide feedback.

Yes, Hwy 30 is known as the Lower Columbia River Highway as well as NW St. Helens Road. I was not sure if that would be confusing to have essentially three designations. I've never heard anyone refer to it as the "Lower Columbia River Highway". But perhaps there are signs in place that call it that--will have to investigate.

Your comments have definitely convinced me to add a numbering scheme for the panels. No question that will help.

I will adjust the red/orange to pull the two swatches further apart on the color spectrum--one reason I am not pushing them real far apart is that I think it is not as important to distinguish between the Wildwood and other pedestrian trails compared to differentiating between multi-use and pedestrian (via the solid/dash pattern).

This version is definitely designed for color printers. If someone needed to print on B&W, then a simplified version is called for.

Thank you for catching some spelling errors. I've fixed them, and left Leif Erikson and Savier as evidently those are either correct or inconsistent. I do see that Google Maps says it is Leif Erickson, but there are references on City of Portland documents and maps to the other spelling. As the trail naming was put forth by the Sons or Norway (I think), it should be spelling however the Noreegian explorer's name was spelled.

I'm going to rework the scale bars as I'm not happy with them, and they should have a km readout too.

erik

#9
Clark Geomatics

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Hi Erik,

Nice work! The whole layout is very easy on the eyes. A couple of minor comments for you:
- your map uses a UTM projection (metric) and then feet for the vertical units - it's a little jarring for us Canadians ;) . As you mentioned, a scale bar indicating the distance in kilometres would make sense - if you do that, it would help to have a distance marked on the scale bar that relates to the UTM grid size;
- when hiking, I find it very useful to use the trail distances for planning a hike - I find it difficult to see the purple "diamond" indicators on top of the red trails. I realize that you have used the same colour for the distance font, but that font has a white outline - which makes it stand out.
Cheers,

Jeff
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#10
Sky Schemer

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I'm a huge fan of your maps and these are really stunning...and useful. As someone else said earlier, there are a few maps of Forest Park out there, but this set is the best I've seen. The only maps that comes close t it is the Green Trails #421S (which is good, but not this good).

I have a nit on Springville Road on panel 3: you alternate between showing it as a trail and then as a road line. I've walked this trail and this flip-flopping of the symbology is confusing and unnecessary. I'd keep it as a solid orange line.

#11
erik

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Actually there was a system behind the odd flip-flop of representation-- I used the dirt road symbology for roads leading up to the park. Inside the park land, I use the color-coded lines. I agree it's too whacky in that spot

erik

#12
dharmamaps

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Green Trails released a new revision of Forest Park- 426S Last year.

http://www.greentrai...arch/mapid=426S

#13
erik

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I have not seen it, but will take a look at REI tonight.

erik

#14
Polaris

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I'll chime in with the others (in harmony). Very nice work!

my $0.02: I think there is space on the legend page for an overview map showing coverage area for each of the panels and the location of the whole park in relation to major local reference landmarks (e.g., Portland, Willamette R., etc.) - handy for those of us not familiar with the area.

Eric

#15
erik

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That is coming. The legend has lagged behind as far as being a finished document.

Thanks for all the ideas!

erik




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