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The Decline of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans.

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#1
vartman

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I put a link to this in my "Introductions" thread, but I thought this might be a better place to get some criticism. This was my final project in an advanced cartography course I took last quarter. It's already turned in and everything, so this is the "final product." Any critiques on what could've been done better or what I should look out for next time would be most appreciated!

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#2
Raphael Saldanha

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Hi!

Very nice map! But the title of the main map is using similar font, color and height of the labels. That can confuse the reader. Try change the color to, like wine.

By the way, here is a nice similar idea map: http://www.askdrmike.com/bestgrf.jpg

#3
Boyd

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I can see this in a textbook. Very nice.

The graph of conflict and war dead is superb, but in my opinion could use a little more formating. The text and color of the Sultan timeline probably should match to help the reader. The fly-out lines could be thinner to distinguish from the timeline divisions. Does it have a title?

The main title might benefit from more than just widdening your typeface. Try a different face and set it tighter to give your main map more head space.

The maps could be easier to read for the layman if you added modern boundaries and perhaps used a lighter shade to show the Ottoman Empire. That way you won't have to reverse out text and crowd in labels, e.g., Crete.

One last observation....I do agree you should make your inset titles more different than than your labels..prehaps italized. Do you have title for the 2nd inset?

Good looking historical map.

ps...is it World War One or World War I?

#4
Jean-Louis

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The maps could be easier to read for the layman if you added modern boundaries


I love historical maps. I found your graphics showing the progressive falling off of chunks of empire very effective. I keep going back to look at them.

I agree with Boyd. The main map should show (subtly) current border outlines. It will make it more interesting and familiar. As a straight dark mass, the territory looks a little like China.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#5
vartman

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The maps could be easier to read for the layman if you added modern boundaries


I love historical maps. I found your graphics showing the progressive falling off of chunks of empire very effective. I keep going back to look at them.

I agree with Boyd. The main map should show (subtly) current border outlines. It will make it more interesting and familiar. As a straight dark mass, the territory looks a little like China.


Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I think you're pretty much spot-on on all accounts. For what it's worth, I did consider putting in the modern boundaries, but it was one of those things that ended up getting left out as the end-of-quarter deadline approached. I also thought it might seem somewhat confusing to a lay reader where the Ottoman boundaries were "close, but not quite" the same as modern boundaries, which I reasoned might lead some to think there was an error in the map or just sloppiness.

Looking back, I realize that in the text body, I refer to "World War One", but on the graph, I refer to the "First World War", which I tend to think sounds a bit more elegant. Shoulda caught that one :)

The map colors were another point of contention to me... on one hand, the giant mass of black really draws the eye and the red chunks getting lopped off of it illustrates the point I was trying to make very well. On the other hand, it's a massive black blob. I'd toyed with the idea of laying down a hillshade/DEM underneath it and making the polygon transparent (or even draping it over the terrain), but that just seemed to flashy and didn't really fit in with the "classic" historical look I was going for.

The other color scheme I toyed with was a red to match an Ottoman flag (through most of the period in the map, the flag pretty much resembled the modern Turkish flag) and a black or gray to symbolize the territories that were lost. I'm not sure if a big blob of red is really all that much better than a blob of black, though.

#6
laszlo.nemedi

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some thoughts:
-historical accuracy problematic in the map (in the main map there is Buda-Pest but un that time Buda and Pest was two different entity, there was not any Austro-Hungarian Empire in that time, there was Hungarian Kingdom and Austria, etc...)
-personally I would prefer the borders of the surrounding countries not just names of them

anyway nice maps

#7
vartman

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some thoughts:
-historical accuracy problematic in the map (in the main map there is Buda-Pest but un that time Buda and Pest was two different entity, there was not any Austro-Hungarian Empire in that time, there was Hungarian Kingdom and Austria, etc...)
-personally I would prefer the borders of the surrounding countries not just names of them

anyway nice maps


The problem is that during the period covered in the map, numerous changes in the political landscape occurred, as you rightly point out. I chose to label things as they'd be most familiar to readers, since modeling the evolution of the Austrian Empire into the Dual monarchy and its subsequent breakup after 1918, for instance, would've been far beyond the scope of the map. Similarly with Budapest, calling it Buda and Pest would've been accurate up until the late 19th Century, but after 1873 (if I'm not mistaken) it was Budapest, so leaving the label simply as Buda and Pest would've been equally inaccurate since the map covers through 1922.

Sounds like the general trend is for borders, though, so I should go back and change that, especially as I'm thinking about entering the map into a cartography contest on campus :)

#8
natcase

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The graph of conflict and war dead is superb, but in my opinion could use a little more formating. The text and color of the Sultan timeline probably should match to help the reader. The fly-out lines could be thinner to distinguish from the timeline divisions.


Just a quick late comment: to me the blocks of war dead include comparative size by volume, but the quantity is based on linear size. This makes a long war with relatively few dead look like as much of a bloodbath as a short war with a lot of casualties. Don't know if there's a way to make this clearer easily, unless you can break down war dead as a bar chart by year.

Nat Case
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maphead.blogspot.com



#9
Boyd

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This makes a long war with relatively few dead look like as much of a bloodbath as a short war with a lot of casualties.


That didn't initially stike me as an issue, but it could skew one's interpretation. You could also change the scale slightly so that the lower values are compressed compared to the higher values. That would make the longer wars, with fewer dead, look less bloody. But the best solution as you suggest would be to show the dead tally in finer divisions.

#10
vartman

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Hey guys,

I just wanted to let you guys know that a month or so ago, I submitted my map -- with a few modifications -- for the University of Oregon Geography Department's Bill Loy Award for Excellence in Cartographic Design... and I won! The award itself is quite prestigious, and comes with $1,000.

The modifications that I made were inspired by a lot of the comments I got here -- chiefly changing the color from black to green and adding in modern-day borders for reference. I just wanted to thank everyone for the great suggestions, because they really did help it be a better map!

#11
BioGeoMan

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Congratulations!!

Can you post the winning entry so we can see the transformation?

Michael Scisco

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#12
DaveB

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Cool
Congratulations!
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#13
Jean-Louis

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Congratulations!
The feedback on Cartotalk is truly priceless.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal





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