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Another County Map

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#1
DefenS

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This was just an exercise in labeling a map in illustrator. I have been working only in arcMap since in finished school in June and I wanted to get back into finishing maps in illustrator. There is no real purpose to the map. I just want to get a densely labeled map, completed in illustrator under my belt as a portfolio piece.

Any suggestions?. Please critique, labels, symbols, design, colors everything.

Any ideas for new maps.

Thank you.

Attached File  CountyRef.jpg   659.75KB   291 downloads

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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The one thing I noticed right away was the road numbers which don't really match up with the shields. That makes it look rough and unfinished.
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#3
DefenS

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The one thing I noticed right away was the road numbers which don't really match up with the shields. That makes it look rough and unfinished.


that is actually intentional.

i wanted to try something different, i lined up the bottom left corner of the text"frame" with the middle bottom of the shield... i guess it doesn't work?

#4
mika

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Map
Some labels - see for example "John Moor Medical Center-Walnut Creek Campus" - are pretty long. Breaking them into two or three lines would certainly improve their appearance. In some cases there is enough space around to do so, in other it would be a tougher exercise.

Symbols on the map loose their sharpness and blend pretty well with the background while should stand out actually (see the comment on the legend too).

Colours used are nice but they could be contrasted slightly better so they don't tend to blend that much


Legend
Symbols in the legend are slightly different than the ones used on the map - this would be the transparency I believe.

Some labels have different colours in the legend and on the map - I understand you just describe type of a symbol in the legend but the label also looks like a part of the symbol

Bart lines symbol seems to be out of the place. Like it's in the legend by an accident

You highlight highways in the legend as one thematic group but it looks like the highway reserved space encloses the other symbols too - adding another brakeline could help.

It looks like a lot, but isn't really - just a few easy to 'repair' things may impact the overall effect heavily. It's a good start to a nice map - a few more clicks and you're there :-)

Dom
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#5
James Hines

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Some of the text is slanted & not curved eg. Sacramento County

"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."


#6
Paul H

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Reservoir is spelled incorrectly throughout the map.

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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The one thing I noticed right away was the road numbers which don't really match up with the shields. That makes it look rough and unfinished.


that is actually intentional.

i wanted to try something different, i lined up the bottom left corner of the text"frame" with the middle bottom of the shield... i guess it doesn't work?


I kinda thought it was intentional, so at least I got that part right.

It's definately something different, but it doesn't work for me to be honest. I'm so used to seeing the shield with the number inside that it kinda grates on me to see it aligned differently. IMHO, if I use shields + numbers on a map I'd like them to look as much like the originals as possible.
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#8
Rick Dey

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I find it difficult to tell which label applies to which park area, especially in the Central and East County areas. It appears that you've included all the parks and only labeled some, adding to the confusion. You might want to suppress those that you aren't labeling. As Dom was saying, a bit more contrast in the colors.
I'd also consider scaling down the Hospital symbols, they are a bit overpowering, unless you want that to be the primary purpose of the map.
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#9
klacefield

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Concentrating on the map labels and ignoring what others have already noted here are some items I noticed
  • The hospital in Antioch and one in Richmond are not labeled. (I noticed this because my Aunt lives in Antioch and so of course that is where I first looked.)
  • The county labels are a bit too large for my liking. Sonoma County should not be labeled since the area of San Pablo Bay it covers is almost fully behind the legend. I would also prefer to have Solano County label a bit further away from the legend's edge.
  • The abbreviation used for Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve just does not look right to me. There is enough space to spell it out and keep it within the polygon.
  • Briones Regional Park has two labels; one that says Briones in the center of the park and one that says Briones Regional Park near Briones Reservoir.
A few more notes about the map:
First off I like the colors chosen for your labels when compared to the feature they are labeling (when the feature can be identified). The font is also easy to read. I like the angling of the BART stations labels.
Secondly, you may want to be more consistent with the data shown outside of Contra Costa County. For example, Angel Island is on the map, but is not shown as a park.
You also did a good job avoiding overlapping labels and as you continue to work with this map that will be a fun challenge.

#10
DefenS

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thank you all for your help.
as you may have been able to tell i was excited to post this map and in my haste did not proofread extremely well.
thanks again for all of your suggestions.
i will be editing this map and making changes soon.
i will try to repost soon depending on how much time i get to work on it in the next couple days.

#11
DefenS

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a revision:

are the outlines around the cities okay, should I remove them?
i revised the map based on your suggestions.
the parks are east bay regional parks, that is why parks such as angel island are not shown.
is it okay to curve one county label and not the rest?

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#12
ctknoll_ngs

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a revision:

are the outlines around the cities okay, should I remove them?
i revised the map based on your suggestions.
the parks are east bay regional parks, that is why parks such as angel island are not shown.
is it okay to curve one county label and not the rest?


Nice improvement, its nice to see the hospital symbol size reduced, and font change for county labels. Unfortunately, in my opinion now, the golf course symbols now jump out at me. One possible fix for this would be to change the background color of the symbol (black) to something more in line the with the same intensity of the colors being used, with a green hue.

As for the road shields, it is an interesting idea. I am one for exploring new ideas with symbolization. I would suggest maybe creating a knock out for the road/bart line below the shield, and possible changing the font to something a little more bolder.

Good luck.

Chris

#13
klacefield

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Nice updates to the map. The outlines on the cities make it much easier to see the individual cities. I feel that the new library symbol is a good improvement and that the golf course symbol is better than the light green polygon previously used. I do agree with the previous post that the golf course symbol is now a bit to prevalent. I preferred the hospital label horizontal instead of at an angle, but that could just be me.

Two more notes:
I noticed that the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART station label overlaps with Leona Open Space label.
Since East Bay Regional Parks is an agency and Mount Diablo State Park is not maintained by them, I would think about changing the legend to better represent the data shown.

Keep up the good work.

-Kevin

#14
Rick Dey

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I agree with Kevin that the city outlines work well especially in areas such as around Briones where you have fill overlaps.

Screen the Golf Course symbol to put it in the same tonal range with the rest of the map, maybe around 60%.

Your county labels are fine, some curved and others not, since you are labeling the boundaries not the area.

As for those Highway shields, I see what you're going for and the more I look at them the more they grow on me. But there's just something in my sense of balance that just keeps saying something's out of register. I guess I'm just not sold on them.

I couple of content items I noticed due to familiarity of the area:

Waldon is an archaic reference and doesn't really exist, Mountain View and possibly Vine Hill similarly could be left out.

You have defined Highways but have a number of major roads that don't meet that definition, Pleasant Hill Rd/Taylor Bl./Willow Pass, Moraga Rd/Wy, San Pablo Dam Rd, San Pablo Bl. You may want to add a classification for those roads, same color just a slightly thinner symbolization. Or unless you want to add a few others such as Ygnacio Valley/Kirker Pass and Clayton Rds and clutter things up, maybe remove all but the actual highways.

In Brentwood/Oakley you are showing the new Highway 4 bypass most of which has yet to be built, you may want to use the existing Highway 4 alignment.

Overall it is an excellent map, great colors and balance it would be a very good general reference map for the county.
Rick Dey

#15
Dennis McClendon

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The county line dashes are too far apart for my taste. I'd make the gaps between dashes a quarter of what it is now.

Why have a darker outline for the municipalities? Does that show when parkland is within a municipality? If so, I withdraw my objection and congratulate you on an excellent solution.

I'd make the golf course labels and symbols a dark green.

For finishing touches, I'd thin out the water of the Sac'to Delta and Discovery Bay. It seems odd to have every boat slip in Discovery Bay, but not show how the big reservoirs drain. I'd also clean up the 580 through the pass, and add some non-freeway main roads.

Transparency for the title is a nice technique, but in this case it's too light. Try making it a dark transparency instead, with the title reversed to white.
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