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#1
razornole

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Hello all,

Not quite sure where to post this because I always consider these diagrams as maps. Since there is not an associated base map, I'll try posting it here. For those who may not of seen some of my other maps, I'm working on my thesis which examines the effects of hillslopes on hiking trail degradation in Olympic National Park, USA. I don't want to say much more because I want to know if or where confusion is found with this visualization. 3/4 of my committee members are not cartographer so this will be a good test.

Programs used to create this are AutoCAD and Illustrator.

Thanks,

kru

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#2
frax

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Looks absolutely beautiful in the coloring and the smooth flow, but I have no idea what you really want to communicate here, and I don't think it is a very effective way.

And - I would definately not call this a map. What you are doing here is an obfuscated bar chart, I think.

I think you need to go back to think really WHAT you want to communicate, and then think about HOW. I somehow have the feeling that you went the other way now... :)
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#3
razornole

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Hey frax,

Thanks for the comments, it is good to know. I'm sure I will get the same thing from my committee members, or most likely they won't understand it and will feel too stupid to ask me about it or mention it. I understand it is convoluted, but it is a thematic mapping technique. What I really want to communicate in my thesis are the various ways one can map data, and to use the maps I produce in a portfolio.

I would define a map as a graphic representation of the milieu. I would also call a bar chart a map.

Thanks for the comments,

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 agree with frax, without supporting information, it is difficult to discern what you are trying to convey with this graphic. I applaud your effort to show different ways to present spatial data, but one of the most important aspects of a map/figure/graphic is clarity and ability for the intended audience to understand what is being conveyed. I suspect that if multiple PhD committee members would be confused by this method of data presentation, then most other readers will also be confused (unless this is an intentional example of a representation that may perplex readers).

Thanks for the interesting post,
M.

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#5
ELeFevre

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Hey Kru,
This looks cool, but like Frax, I have no idea what you're trying to communicate.



#6
razornole

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Hello,

Thanks for the comments, and I agree. It is overkill and not necessary (i just think these maps are interesting to look at) . The previous page is a table with this exact information in columns and rows. This is an attempt to visualize that data. I know that I could clarify much easier with different techniques. Problem is that I have already utilized those in this thesis and want to diversify. These maps are more used and suited to map temporal phenomena. However, the energy sector uses these quite frequently showing energy type on one end and usage type on the other. That is what I am emulating here.

Thanks for the comments,
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."
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#7
dsl

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Part of visualization design is to remember audience (as I've learned from the many helpful experts on this site). I can't speak for the other posters, but personally I don't know much about the topic, so it really means nothing to me. You might consider asking an audience familiar with the topic too, to see how it is interpreted by people in the field.

Maybe seeing how I (mis)interpreted it will help in designing it for a laymen's audience....This is how I read it. Basically it shows how each hillslope's degredation contributes to each study region's degredation, or vice versa since there is nothing to indicate direction.

While I really like the overlapping flows and look of the visual...I wonder if it might be easier to read if it was a one to many (one hillslope and all the regions) instead of a many to many visualization?

Very nice work.

Cheers,
David

#8
razornole

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Hey David,

Don't worry your not the only one who doesn't know much about this topic. It really is esoteric, and after 3 years of comprehending similar things this is my first attempt at it. I usually just do flow mapping.

your interpretation was real close. There is no direction, it can go either way. Hence no arrowheads or the like. The left side just show how much degradation I found in my analysis (30,719 meters of trails were in a degraded state), which has be divided into my 5 study region where I conducted my analysis (6000m in A; 12,000m in B, etc...). The right side show how much of 30,719 m of degraded trail occurred in each hillslope unit. The middle is just like you said, the contribution.

Once you can read them than you should be able to look quickly and tell that I found very little degradation in Study region A on Hillslope Unit 5, however, a majority of my Hillslope Unit 5 degradation came from Study Region E.

The argument is that you can't quickly gather that information from rows and rows, and columns and columns of numbers. As you can tell, I believe in that.

Thanks for the comments,
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

#9
marinegirl

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Hi Kru,

I understood your graphic... I think! You have five replicate study regions and eight classifications of hillslope units, and the graphic indicates where degradation occurs, showing variation across both study region and hillslope. What I would glean from the graphic is that region E has high rates of degradation, and regions A and C have especially low rates. Hillslope units 5 and 3 have the highest degradation, and account for most of the degradation in all study regions.

What I don't understand: the 'Linear distance' legend. Linear distance from where? to where? and if shades of green indicate linear distance, what do the shades of brown indicate?

I'm guessing that the hillslope units refer to the steepness of the trail, but am unsure whether 1 or 8 is steepest. I can see logic in the median values being most degraded, but am left wondering why hillslope unit 4 does not show much degradation. Maybe this wasn't significant because there aren't many grade 4 paths? (total guesses here). Is there a way you can indicate the number of trails in each region and hillslope unit? Although the simplicity of the graphic is powerful, for academic purposes I think some idea of values would be very useful. Am I looking at 4 trails from region A, or 400?

It's an interesting way to show the data, and the graphic is elegant. However I wonder whether your intended audience would understand tabulated data more quickly. It's something nice to have in your thesis, or on a poster presentation, but if you're pushed for the number of figures in publications I think this is probably more than you need.

#10
sara.m.

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A better legend will make a big difference in this map's usefulness and readability.

One part of the legend would show lines of different thicknesses and show what amount of degredation each thickness represents; then another part of the legend would show what each colour represents. I guess you've partially done this with the "Linear Distance" box, but it needs to be clearer - as pp said why is the brown not included (is the brown gradient just used to differentiate each study area?). Also, I would just put each colour as a square or rectangle - the box corner graphic that you're using for the colours adds to the confusion.

With a beefed up legend, this could be an amazing chart!




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