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E Indonesian passages - 1st of a series

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#1
woneil

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This is the first of a series of moderately large-scale maps of particular areas of interest for my report, this one showing the ship passages through the eastern Indonesian islands between the Indian Ocean and Philippine Sea.
Attached File  E_Indonesia.jpg   432.91KB   154 downloads
The emphasis is deliberately on the maritime features. In particular, the depth shading emphasizes the critical 30m, 60n, and 150m contours.

I made the base map in Manifold 8.0 using SRTM30 PLUS 1km DEM. For some of the maps at larger scale I may use SRTM3 90m data for the land, but it makes no sense here, I believe. The elevation colors were chosen to look sort of tropical. Compositing and labeling was done in Photoshop CS3. I may find it more comfortable to do it in Manifold in the future, I suppose, but right now it seems too cumbersome, laborious, and restrictive.

Suggestions regarding clarity, legibility, and aesthics are welcomed.
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#2
mika

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It looks like you have a little shift in the hipsometric colours - there is far too many islands, at least for my eye :) So perhaps adding coastline would be beneficial in this case.

Some white labels dissapear on the land and since you improve the map in illy you could take care of the grid lines overlaping with them as well. Labels would look nicer if they followed the shape of the water bodies (straits). You could also try to differntiate them depending on the size of the feature described - it looks kind of strange to see Indian Ocean label using the same font size as Savu Sea label.

Magenta used for passages could be tuned down a bit. It's very intensive. Also labeling them is worth trying I believe.

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#3
razornole

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I think that there could be some confusion with your coastal areas or shallow sees. On my screen they don't seem white but grey, and according to your legend greys are reserved for 5000-6000 meters.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#4
BioGeoMan

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I often get into a similar situation that you have here. I am referring to the colors of the relief shading being too saturated causing the annotation and other aspects of the map to be washed out or not legible or in the case of the lat/long lines being too prevalent. While having a darker, more rich relief representation may work for some maps, I think you could get away from representing the deeper parts of the ocean with such a dark color of blue, while still retaining the emphasis on depth shading. This will allow you to label the water features without having to deal with the contrast issues of having such light colors in the shallow areas and very dark colors in the deep areas. I also agree with Kru that the shallow areas of the water features look grey instead of a light shade of blue.

I hope this makes sense :blink:

Other minor issues:

  • Why is Sarawak not capitalized?
  • Why is Brunei not italicized?
  • Brunei could also be moved off of the boundary line a bit
  • No major cities?
  • As mika noted, scale the size of the annotation based upon the relative size/importance of the features shown

Thanks,
Michael.

Michael Scisco

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Albuquerque, NM

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biogeocreations.com


#5
woneil

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Revised version.
Attached File  E_Indonesia_sm.jpg   467.32KB   68 downloads
I've dropped hillshading, using just the elevation tints. The depth intervals in particular are chosen to support my story.

I've tried to make sure that the map will be readable even if reproduced on plain paper by an ordinary ink-jet printer -- many copies of the report will be distributed electronically and I have little control over how readers may choose to print it out.

The two shipping routes between the Indian and Pacific Oceans are the key features of the map and so are made to stand out. I don't label them separately because it is customary to call routes by name of the strait(s) employed, and they are labeled.

The geographic feature names are mostly to aid the reader in orientation. Country names (Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei) are set to distinguish them from the island names but without visually dominating the map. The names of straits need to be prominent. Cities don't seem relevant enough for my purposes to meit naming.

Thanks very much for the helpful comments and suggestions. More are welcome.
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#6
razornole

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"The two shipping routes between the Indian and Pacific Oceans are the key features of the map and so are made to stand out. I don't label them separately because it is customary to call routes by name of the strait(s) employed, and they are labeled."

For me the islands/terrain are the highest in the visualization, not your routes. The colors to me are way too saturated, and the white is not helping out. The routes seem to almost disappear now.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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The terrain looks very bright in the second version B)

Have you considered keeping the land in greyscale (with hillshading) and the bathymetry in blues?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#8
woneil

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And now for a little different approach...
Attached File  Indo_straits_sm.jpg   323.31KB   80 downloads
By using a more stylized depth tinting I find I can reduce the scale without sacrifcing clarity, which permits me to show the western as well as eastern passages in one map. Actually, I feel this is really clearer than the larger-scale version. The areas of shoal and shallow water really stand out without any need to scrutinize the map carefully.

The color scheme is adapted from that used in the Times Atlas. I've toned down the land a little to de-emphsize it relative to the sea.
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#9
Esther Mandeno

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Hello woneil,

I really like the colors of your latest version however, why red and magenta for the routes? Why two different colors, do you need to distinguish between the two? The reason I ask is that it might work, with this latest color scheme, to just use black (or maybe a thick, dashed, black line). Also, the hillshading on land is a little distracting, maybe you can tone that down a bit?

Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck on your already great looking map.
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Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#10
razornole

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To me the visual aesthetics are much improved. I can more quickly and easily comprehend what you are trying to communicate. I'm not a big fan of the text crossing your shipping routes, knowing the names I am guessing are a priority but you are covering up your routes right where they are the most important. Have you tried leaders? The straits aside, there really is no excuse with covering the routes with the "A" in Indonesia, and maybe you could kern or relocate Singapore and the Phillipene Sea just a bit so they are not covering.

Overall this is a much more appealing and communicative map, great job.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#11
BioGeoMan

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Best version yet!! I do agree with Kru, however, that covering the shipping routes with annotation is not a good idea. I also like the original way you represented "INDONESIA" by adding transparency and making it look almost like a watermark. One other thing, on the bathymetry, you could get rid of the gray outline separating different depths and I think it would make the map look cleaner and less segmented.

Nice work!!

Michael Scisco

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Albuquerque, NM

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