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American Bourbon Distilleries Map

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#1
Justin Procopio

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I want to get this map looking a little better, I made it last year. Thanks!

Justin

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#2
DaveB

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How about using the same color for the point symbol as you used for the Bourbon font? I missed the points on first glance and even after I noticed them I find it difficult to visually relate the points to the label.
Are the fonts somehow related to fonts used on Bourbon bottle labels?
Otherwise looks like a very good start.
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#3
BP_OCGIS

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Well I'm still a greenhorn when it comes to map design, but I'm finding all those streams and rivers distracting. Maybe just focus on the major waterways or those of significant importance. Would also help clear up some space for your other labels

As a fan of bourbon I heartily approve of this map. :D

#4
Nick Springer

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I'd like to see some towns and roads for reference and so I could go visit :P

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#5
frax

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I would suggest maybe removing the counties, or at least making them more muted.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#6
Matthew Hampton

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This map is dear to my heart!

I would echo Hugo's comment about counties. They are very visually prominent right now and I don't know how important they are in comparison to the distillery locations (whose points should be reddish too). I think I would slightly desaturate (or otherwise change the base color) the background color for "old bourbon country" to make it similar to he inset. I think making the river names the same color as the rivers might pull them back a bit too. To get a little picky - I think I would smooth (generalize) the river lines a bit. The squiggles are overly distracting.

I think adding highways might be a good idea too. Not too sure what the map is for - but I think the bourbon marketing group has created the "Bourbon Trail/Highway" which links the distilleries for tasting tours. I don't think I'd want to be a designated driver...

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#7
natcase

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Overall a nice texture. I found the antiquing effect pretty convincing.

I want to see relief rather than (or in addition to) rivers... maybe hachures or hill symbols in keeping with the overall look and feel. Maybe instead of county names.

Look at alignment of type in labels. It took some time to see which dot "Elijah Craig" goes with.

Look at a simpler font for rivers. Those swashes are getting in the way.

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#8
Justin Procopio

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I've been taking your suggestions seriously, thanks for all the quick feedback. While I'm still considering if I want to take out some of the rivers I need to keep most, KY limestone water is key for bourbon.

Hopefully this isn't overkill from what I had before...
Changes made:

Rivers:
lines simplified
rivers and lables same color
all same size and font
used same font as counties and cities, just blue

Counties:
dashed grey line
lightened lables, caps to differentiate from cities

Added Features:
cities (two largest are 2pt larger with larger dots)
roads (light yellow line with gray edge. gray lables

Other:
simplified locater, looks more like main map
adjusted font placement in a few places
only one antique fill for whole map so it appears to be on the same sheet of paper

Where I still need help.....
Are the overlapping fonts and features ok?
Do I need to use text mask or a fade behind any labels?

Any other feedback is appreciated! Thanks

Justin

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#9
BioGeoMan

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Justin,

Good looking map. A few suggestions:

  • Are all the streams necessary. It seems they take over the space on the map and don't really add any significant information. Normally, I always try to include natural features as much as possible, but I think in this case you could do without them.
  • I would move the names of the distilleries off the roads.
  • If you decide to remove the streams, you will have more than enough room for the county annotation.
  • Consider making the road symbols more prominent.
  • Overall, I think with this particular map, less is more...my two cents.
Thanks,
Michael.

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#10
mckirk

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Justin, this map looks great!

I agree with Michael that you might want to revisit the streams. However, instead of deleting them you could just bag the labels except those identifying substantial streams (the Ohio, Kentucky, etc.). Try taking a second pass at the simplification as well. You may have yanked a few too many points with your simplification algorithm, and as a result the streams look unnaturally jagged.

Lastly, I'd suggest reducing the point size of the county labels. Currently, they look about as large as the distillery labels, and they don't really deserve to be.

Again, great work.

#11
Rick Dey

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I agree that the drainage is a little much, but rather than thinning it out why not tone it down. Take both the linework and labels to around 65%. That way you get to keep that fine KY limestone water and it won't be so overpowering. Other than that the map is looking great.
Rick Dey

#12
DaveB

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One thing that occurs to me is that there doesn't seem to be much visual hierarchy. And not much figure/ground contrast, even more so in the second version (try just comparing the 2 thumbnails or looking at the maps through squinted eyes). It's tricky when you're making an antique style with parchment background and subdued colors on line work, type, etc. The first version had more contrast, but maybe the hierarchy needs to be sorted out.
The distillery labels/symbols should pop out the most. What's the next most important feature? The rivers, or counties, or roads, or?
What's the purpose of the map? To show the distilleries, but then what? Is it a road map for people who want to visit the distilleries? Is it a reference map to place the distilleries in the context of important features (you mentioned the water was important to distilling)? Is it a decorative map (in which case simplifying the information might be called for - such as fewer or more subtle river labels)?
Just some thoughts... thinking of questions like these can help focus a map better. :)
Dave Barnes
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#13
Dennis McClendon

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  • I'd redraw the interstates (to simplify and smooth the curves). Should more highways be added so that you can see how to get to the various distilleries?
  • No map of the time would have used italics for the county names.
  • The watercourses could be a blue-gray that falls to the background more. They are also a bit kinky, rather than having sinous curves.
  • Some stream names (Eagle Creek, Kentucky River) could be attached to more graceful curves. Some stream names are interfered with by county or distillery labels.
  • You can rearrange some labels to improve things. Move Elijah Craig label above and to the right of its dot. Then Buffalo Trace can be centered above its dot, and Frankfort can move back to a horizontal line left of its dot.
  • The placename labels seem rather mechanically placed. In many cases, they would sit more comfortably partly centered above or below their dots. Often the typeforms of the name will suggest the most comfortable place for it to "ride" atop the dot.
  • Maker's Mark should have an apostrophe, not a prime mark.
  • Old Bourbon County's boundary could be dashed or dotted to help show it's an imaginary concept that no longer exists.
  • An antique map would use old-style numerals. Too much kerning in Wild Turkey's Tu.
  • "Scale of American Miles"? Or simply "Statute Miles"

Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#14
natcase

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While I'm still considering if I want to take out some of the rivers I need to keep most, KY limestone water is key for bourbon.

Consider just labeling those rives that supply water to distilleries (and the big ones like the Ohio)

Are the overlapping fonts and features ok?
Do I need to use text mask or a fade behind any labels?

No on the mask (I think), yes on type-over-type being a problem. Consider abbreviating (Cr for Creek, N for North, etc.)

Any other feedback is appreciated! Thanks

1. Look at removing the big KENTUCKY from the middle and put it along the border opposite Indiana (picking a different font, probably). Maybe add some sort of hashing on the Ohio River border to distinguish it from other river lines
2. Maker's Mark should have a hook apostrophe.

Again, nice overall look I like the larger font styles especially. What are "KENTUCKY" and "American Bourbon Distilleries"?

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com



#15
Boyd

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Wow Justin, lots of suggestions. Little overwhelmed?

You've got a good map and the reason folks are chiming in so intensely is for one reason: for the love of bourbon. Living in Kentucky myself and having just returned from a wedding on a ky goat farm where Woodford Reserve was the only spirit served, bourbon is blood. So you hit a nerve.

In addition to what other people have recommend, here are my suggestions:

1. Don't forget a legend...that could help explain your intent.

2. Perhaps you could shrink your county names and space out the lettering. Old Bourbon County has no distilleries, why include it?

3. I agree with you that streams need to be preserved. Bourbon is made in Kentucky because of its water and rock. Some streams are more important than others, so they should be indicated with labels and thicker stroke. Lesser streams maybe not so much.

4. In my opinion, if you're showing modern roads, you should use symbols more modern than you have.

The antique feeling of your map is great, and if you tighten the labeling and chisel out your symbols more, you'll have a sweet map... now I'm off to uncork my cache of sweet mellow brown.

cheers!




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