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North Central New Mexico

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#1
BioGeoMan

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Hello,

I am creating a decorative wall map of North Central New Mexico (32"x36") for eventual sale to the layperson (cartographic layperson that is). I am pretty much in the middle of the work and would like to get some feedback. I am especially concerned with the representation of the Native American Reservations and Pueblos on the map indicated by the brownish transparency areas. I am not sure the color/symbology works. I have made a concerted effort to include the colors of the actual landscape of northern NM on the map, but have concerns about this particular color scheme.

Of course any other comments are welcome.

Thanks,
M.

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Michael Scisco

BioGeoCreations
Albuquerque, NM

505-603-3636
biogeocreations.com


#2
BioGeoMan

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Oh yeah...note that I have not labeled any roads or national forests, monuments, parks, or tribal areas. Nor have I created a "legend". So basically I would appreciate comments on what there is so far, not on what will be :D

Thanks,
M.

Michael Scisco

BioGeoCreations
Albuquerque, NM

505-603-3636
biogeocreations.com


#3
MapMedia

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Absolutely beautiful work! I really like the colors - reminds me of the landscape, the colors of Chaco Canyon, and the pictographs of the ancient people.
My guess is that someone who would buy a poster of NM would do so because they (a) need a reference map or (B) love the landscape and enjoy looking at a well made map that reflects their appreciation.
I will speak the those in category (B): I would make it all about the terrain -relief and elevation. To show the Native American reservation boundaries, and federal lands, I would use colored inner buffer polygons (I like to do this in Photoshop and bring a PNG in as a linked file).

While I like the scaled city symbols, I think it may be too unconventional for your market - they are not cartographers who appreciate breaking molds.

Would love to see a really zoomed in version.

I like the font - very cool!

Again - awesome job - I can relate to undertaking such a grand project of a place you know and love. Keep at it - it surely will be a feather in your cap and aid you on your way to branding you service.

-Chris

#4
François Goulet

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Love it too! :)

Is the cities footprints available? You could use it to show extent instead of population, since it's more of a land use map.

The browning areas look fine too. The green areas are national parks? I would darken the forest areas (I'm guessing that's what are the green patches here and there). I lose them a bit on the green background.

Relief could be accentuated a bit. I'm like Chris and I could look at a map like this for hours, so I'd try to make this map if it doesn't have other purpose than being pleasant looking and decorative (which it still is) as "wow" as possible.

Very good job! Makes me sad I don't have time to work on project like this!

#5
Dale Sanderson

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...I have made a concerted effort to include the colors of the actual landscape of northern NM on the map, but have concerns about this particular color scheme.


I think you've done an excellent job of capturing the colors of the actual NM landscape, and I think the brown used for the pueblos works fine. I wonder how it would look if you used only fills (no strokes) for the pueblos, nat'l forests, etc... seems like that might "soften" the map up a bit, and make it a little more organic.

I can't decide about your use of variable-size dots to indicate population. It does give a quick understanding of where the larger towns are, so maybe this is just personal preference, but I still find myself wanting to see the actual city limits. I wonder if you'd be better off simply using type size to indicate population. One problem with that method, though, would be with places like Los Alamos, which has a fairly significant population but is not an incorporated city.
Dale Sanderson
professionally: cartographics manager for Dex One
personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)

#6
P Riggs

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I liked everything except for the variable-sized city symbols. It took me a minute to decipher what they were and meant.
Since this is a decorative map, how about a pictorial symbol? See Raisz's map symbols for cities on my website. Maybe you could even use adobe houses in the symbol?
Philip Riggs
Decorative-Maps.com

#7
Clark Geomatics

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Very nice work! Just thinking out loud here - I find the city symbols quite jarring in the context of the more 'organic' / subdued feel you have given the map. Showing the less abstract notion of city limits might work better for your intended audience. If you want to emphasize the Res/Pueblo features then maybe drop the outline on the parks or increase the outline on the brown polys. Again, nice work.
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#8
BioGeoMan

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Thanks for the comments and encouragement everyone!

I noted that the most common criticism associated with the maps was the symbology used for the larger towns. Oh boy...that is my favorite part of the map! :blink: I will have to do some serious pondering as to whether I should leave them as is or change them, since there was such a consensus by you guys.

I have been working on this off and on for about 4 months, so I am really making an effort to finish it soon...too bad work gets in the way!

Thanks again and keep the comments coming!

M.

Michael Scisco

BioGeoCreations
Albuquerque, NM

505-603-3636
biogeocreations.com


#9
MapMedia

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Keep at this. The town symbols were really cool, and you may keep them - they don't ruin the map at all.

#10
P Riggs

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I agree with MapMedia... if you really like them, leave them. It's your map! I think what tripped me was the convention on most maps (such as road atlases) of having the label to the side of a circular city symbol. Like your smaller cities. But your large cities had the label directly over the city symbol. And Santa Fe is completely in the circle, while Espanola and Los Alamos are not. Maybe make labels consistently to the side?

I really like your colors!
Philip Riggs
Decorative-Maps.com

#11
Dennis McClendon

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I also find the big circles rather jarring. The representation of terrain is so painstaking and the representation of towns looks cartoonish by comparison. They also cover up the underlying terrain.

Also, something odd is going on with boundary simplification, as along the southwestern boundary of Santa Clara Pueblo. New Mexico landholdings are nearly always based on section lines and should be crisp orthogonal lines, not bowing curves.

Finally, you might consider respecting the Hispanic heritage of the placenames by including diacriticals. Using the accent on Santa Fé might be a judgment call, but I'm troubled to see Espanola rather than Española.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#12
BioGeoMan

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Thanks for your comments Dennis. I have since added diacriticals to all placenames, canyons, rivers, and other landforms. You are correct that most land ownership boundary lines follow PLSS, however there are boundaries that follow old land grants that were granted prior to the institution of PLSS and that some of the Pueblos and Reservation have boundaries unique to certain portions of the old land grant boundaries. In this case, I am not sure that the Santa Clara Pueblo follows a boundary different from PLSS, but I will definitely look into it.

I am also still leaning towards the use of the circles to represent larger towns/villages <_<

Thanks for the input everyone!

Michael Scisco

BioGeoCreations
Albuquerque, NM

505-603-3636
biogeocreations.com


#13
Dennis McClendon

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You might consider just a yellow circle without the fill for towns. Look at how Auto Club of Southern California does it on their county or regional maps. But now that I study it more, I see that many of the town circles are not really in the right position. White Rock should be at the first bend south of the highway; Los Alamos should be all north of the highway off toward North Mesa; Española should be straddling the river and all north of the truck bypass; Pojoaque is at the highway junction; Agua Fria should nestle into the west side of Santa Fé—you show it where La Cienega should be, and where's the new Bypass Route? (This is a part of the world where I've done a lot of mapping and fieldchecking). Same thing for the highways: they seem overly generalized from a 1:1m dataset, so they don't fall into the terrain properly.

Santa Clara Pueblo does follow section lines—but they're apparently all wonky in that particular mountain range.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#14
BioGeoMan

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Thanks for your comments and corrections Dennis!

You will be happy to know that I have replaced that horrid road layer that I placed in my original post...it was from a national dataset. Please take a look at an updated version that I have included below.

I think I need to clarify the purpose of this map for review by expert cartographers. This map is for "decorative" purposes. While I do agree that the centralized positioning of some of the communities is up for argument (CBD vs. geographic center vs. government center), the way I have represented these areas is not intended to be exact. For example: Los Alamos actually encompasses from where it is shown on the map, up a bit to the north (as you mentioned) and extends all the way to the eastern boundary of Los Alamos County. White Rock is not only on the south side of the first curve on the highway, but it extends down past Pajarito Canyon to the Rio Grande. Initially, I intended to include the "exact" boundaries of all the municipalities, but decided against it for aesthetic reasons. This is not intended to be a reference map, but I do believe that someone can find towns, villages, streams, mountains, valleys, canyons, major roads in general and have a relatively pleasant visual experience exploring the North Central NM area through reading the map.

Some may believe that I am sacrificing accuracy for design, and in effect, I am. However, since the utility of this map is primarily for decorative purposes and not being used as a reference piece, I feel comfortable with its level of detail and accuracy, especially at the scale I have chosen.

Concerning the large circles that represent larger towns. I really liked your point about how they look cartoonish in comparison to the detail of the topography. It made me look at them differently. I do not however wish to use symbology that someone has already employed on this particular map...my intention was to come up with something that was original and while it is apparent that not everyone agrees with the representation I have chosen, I think that there is some aesthetic merit to the symbology (which may work for this type of map).

A couple of comments concerning your comments :P :
  • Agua Fria is shown in the correct location. The diagonal road is Cerrillos and while the circle that represents the village is a bit on the north side of the actual geographic area of the village along the river, it is in the general area of the village's actual location.
  • La Cienega is also shown in the correct location. It is located about 6 miles SW of Santa Fe right off of I-25 and just NE of Cerrillos Hills (I was just out there last week).
  • I still need to add the 599 Bypass.

Thanks again for your review, the more critiques the better!

M.

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Michael Scisco

BioGeoCreations
Albuquerque, NM

505-603-3636
biogeocreations.com


#15
P Riggs

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Some may believe that I am sacrificing accuracy for design, and in effect, I am. However, since the utility of this map is primarily for decorative purposes and not being used as a reference piece, I feel comfortable with its level of detail and accuracy, especially at the scale I have chosen.


I agree with you! Needed accuracy depends on the map's purpose.
Philip Riggs
Decorative-Maps.com




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