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#1
DefenS

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attached is a supervisorial district map i have been working on.

it depicts the 5 supervisorial districts of contra costa county and some supplementary general information.

this is basically a project to improve an existing map for the county that I made in ArcMap.

i wanted to try to finish a map in illustrator.

i would like to develop the legend a little more and add highway shields.

critiques?

thanks in advance,
brian

ps
is there a better way to smooth lines either in arcMap or illustrator so that the features are made more of curves than of numerous points (vertices)? the outlines (ie the city outlines) are very jagged when selecting in illustrator, similar to making a curve, that could have two anchor points, with about twenty five to simulate a curve...
(hope that makes sense)

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#2
Matthew Hampton

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Hi Brian,

Nice Map!

It looks as though you have already brought this into Illustrator and styled a few things...

A couple of quick things - I would take the transparency off the district numbers (I can see the highway through district 1) and just move the numbers off the other features. I feel your drop shadow/glow is a little much (perhaps reduce the blur). Also having so many things glowing and shadowed is a bit distracting. Perhaps try to keep it to just a couple of important elements. Some of your place names are a little hard to read (eg. Bayview Mountain in the NW) and might need a slight more color value. You have a nice hierarchy using both color value AND changing cases, but your mixed-case districts get washed out.

I would perform the smoothing in Illustrator by using Object-->Path-->Simplify. I usually get good results keeping the Curve Precision to ~97%. You might need to watch-out where the district boundaries are concomitant with other linear features (roads, rivers, etc.) whereby you'll get visual slivers when the smoothed lines become slightly offset. Although , your line thickness looks strong enough to offset that potential.

Good work.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#3
natcase

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Not a bad start at all. OK, I see incorporated cities, shouldn't everything else be unincorporated places? or is the white space a third class of REALLY unincorporated non-places? :) Yes, I know California local area definitions are weird...

I'm with Matthew on too much glow, especially in the county line. Think about what you want to separate out: is the county territory more "different" from surrounding territory than, say, land and water? You are already distinguishing county from non-county using different area colors. Maybe an outward glow OR a bold line, but not both.

Consider a drop shadow for the numbers that doesn't glow all the way around them, i.e. that drops a shadow only in one direction. narrowing the spread and adjusting the distance of the shadow should do the trick.

For the California inset, I want to see county lines. Maybe. Just a thought. Gives people a sense of the county not just in the context of the state as a whole, but of other counties.

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#4
DefenS

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thank you guys for the suggestions!

i will work on a revision this week and repost...

i'm gonna have to ask my boss about the unincorporated place problem..
the places that are lighteer grey do have names, but are not actual cities and the white area is just basically uninhabited, not named, and a mountain in one case..

again thanks!

#5
Rick Dey

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i'm gonna have to ask my boss about the unincorporated place problem..
the places that are lighteer grey do have names, but are not actual cities and the white area is just basically uninhabited, not named, and a mountain in one case..



Perhaps "Unincorporated Communities"
Rick Dey

#6
James Hines

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The coastlines are a little inconsistent, check the northern most white area's & add to match the other zones.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#7
BioGeoMan

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Good looking map...a few suggestions:

  • Since you have plenty of space, try to move the annotation off of the roads and municipal boundaries where possible.
  • Are you planning to label some water features?
  • I would lose the drop shadow effect on the inset map and add other counties as previously suggested.
  • The black lines that represent the boundaries of other counties need to be included in the legend or deleted from the map.
  • Do we need a scale? Maybe.

Nice work.

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#8
Dennis McClendon

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  • I would take out the "boundaries" for unincorporated places and just float the names in the general location. Unincorporated places by definition don't have boundaries. No need to use leader lines for the small unincorporateds; just let a letter or two lap into the adjacent municipalities.
  • Try using white as the stroke for incorporated places. This gives you separation between adjacent municipalities without introducing a new color value. In fact, you could have municipalities gray with white stroke, and then have districts that are transparent blue or green on top with 2 point white strokes. That would give you the county outline without it being a separate line symbol. District numbers could reverse to white or be white outlines.
  • Check your spelling on "Blackhawk."
  • I'd add highway numbers to the freeways. Just do this by hand in Illustrator so you can put them sparingly and attractively. And a label for San Francisco Bay.
  • Simplification routines run on different data at different times produce "slivers" such as the ones between Oakley and Knightsen.
  • Other California counties would help the state inset, but I wonder how many people who care about CC supervisorial districts would not know where the county is located . . .

Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#9
Esther Mandeno

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Hello Brian,

One suggestion: prior to exporting to illustrator, you can generalize or smooth the lines in ArcMap by using the Generalize or Smooth buttons on the Advanced Editing toolbar. Here's the ESRI link on the buttons explaining the whole process:
http://webhelp.esri....tures_and_edges

Might make it a little easier once you are in Illustrator, but I haven't used Illustrator in decades so I might be leading down the wrong path...
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Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein




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