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Would-be map-maker from Virginia


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#1
woneil

woneil

    Will O'Neil

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Love of cartography runs in my blood, I guess. My dad studied geography at U. Michigan and would have made a career of it but for the Depression -- instead he wound up as a newspaper reporter. My childhood was filled with maps and atlases. Even a globe (an expensive item, in those days). I made my own career as a mathematician, always in the most strongly visual and graphically oriented parts of the field.

Now I'm setting out to write a book on the first two years (actually 7 Dec 1941 through 31 Dec 1943) of the Pacific War. I want to illustrate it with a series of maps that will (a) be visually attractive and easily understood and (b) convey a lot of the main story of what happened in a coherent way. Because they will be so integral to the book, I plan to draw them myself so they will tell the story I want to tell in the way I want it told -- just as I am writing the text myself.

Because it's intended as a trade book, printing cost will be important and will probably limit me to black-on-white, or possibly black with a spot color.

My idea is that I will have a series of maps to a common (small) scale showing the overall progress of the conflict plus inset and scrap views showing particular campaigns and events. In addition, I will need a few small scale thematic maps.

My major concern right now is to decide how I will go about executing these maps in an efficient way while producing top-quality results. I have done a little mapping with Versamap, Agis, and Manifold 4.5. At present I am fairly adept with Photoshop and am working to master Illustrator.

I'm going to post a few of my prior efforts -- none of which I'm entirely satisfied with -- to the Gallery section for criticism and suggestions, while delving into the archives of the group for tips.

It's nice to find a group of people who share my love of maps, and know more about them than I do.

Will O'Neil
Will O'Neil
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http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Hi Will, and welcome to Cartotalk.

I'm quite interested in the book you're planning to write (military history is a bit of a hobby for me) and would love to see some of your maps. Also, if you have any questions on producing maps, feel free to ask.

I've moved your post to the Introductions area, as I thought it'd fit better in here.
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#3
frax

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I haven't studied the subject very much, but isn't it that in a lot of war/battle/campaign maps you often want to incorporate the temporal aspect and that causes additional interesting/complicated problems/issues?

One of Tufte's favorites is the napolean campaign map, isn't it?
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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Hugo,

Ah, the infamous 1812 campaign map... Which is almost always used in presentations by ITC members (Menno-Jan Kraak for example).
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#5
EcoGraphic

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I would highly recommmend that you pick up a copy of this book:

Mapping it Out: Expository Cartography for the Humanities and Social Sciences by Mark Monmonier

It has a couple of excellent examples for mapping out battles in black and white. Here is one example:

[attachment=79:attachment]

Cheers,

Gillian
Gillian Auld
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