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#1
pingting

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Right, this is the first map I have made. I'm still very new to the whole illustration way of thinking, so I feel like I'm sort of in the dark.

I am doing this as part of a project in my MA in Archaeological illustration. The map is meant to present the local archaeological heritage to inhabitants of a small, rural Norwegian municipality. The point is to give an idea of how many different sites there actually are, as this is generally something most people are not aware of. Since it is targeted at "everyone" with an interest in the subject, it needs to be as clear as possible with regard to map reading skills and those with poor eye sight. Based on that, I have tried to make it intuitive but also as simple as possible. I think it's OK right now, but maybe also a bit...boring?

In addition I am making three hiking maps, as an attempt to get people out and about to experience these sites. I'll upload one of those as well.

The big map will be printed on A3 sized paper, the hiking map on A5. They will also be accompanied by an overview of the different archaeological periods and photos of artefacts found in the area etc.

The maps have been made in Adobe Illustrator CS2. I didn't have access to any map programs, so they have been traced from screenshots from different (valid) online maps.

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#2
DaveB

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Interesting maps. I like the "timeline" legend!
Maybe you could add some more present day features and labels to help readers place things on the map?
Scale bar is kind of odd-looking, with labels for 1 km (is there a space between the 1 and the k?) and 5 km only and double horizontal lines up to the 4 km mark.

On the hillfort map:
The colors for the forest and builtup areas are a little hard to distinguish for me, in the sense that that edges almost blend together. The colors for the parking and information sign symbols are also a bit hard to differentiate. Could be hard for color-blind readers of the map.
I wonder if you could come up with more readily recognizable symbols (in the US I would probably go for the standard "P" in a box and "i" or "?" in a box for the two). Also, since there's only one of each you could just label them on the map and leave them out of the legend. then you would probably want to do the same on the other hiking maps. The rock art symbol in the legend doesn't appear to have an outline, but he ones on the map do. The text says the "First stretch is good for prams and wheelchairs." What part of the trail is the "first stretch"? The solid line? This should be readily determined from the map.
Maybe add some road labels so people can find their way there?
Dave Barnes
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#3
MapMedia

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Looks like fun maps to make - great start!

On the hiking map, is the intent to provide access to the archy sites? If so, streets need labels if one can view the site from the street - which is implied in the map.

Icons - you must be using a standard icon set for your field. I have mixed feelings about rock art icon - it gets more attention that others, and may imply ancient people were clowns. :rolleyes:

As for the archy site map, I love it. I think of people walking everywhere when I see this map, so maybe illustrating this in the scale bar by (a) adding miles, and (B) putting a walking person icon on the scale bar?

Yes, make a distinction from built-up and forest, but please do not use pattern fill - forest could be green, open could be yellow/white?

Also, on the timeline map, you are portraying modern roads, but is there any information on ancient roads?

Thanks for sharing this! It made my morning!

#4
Nick H

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Just trying to put myself in the position of someone who might use the map (the one with the time-line). Archaeologists think in terms of most recent at the top and oldest at the bottom, but for non-specialists it might perhaps be easier to understand a time-line that starts with the oldest at the top and the most recent at the bottom. Perhaps it would also be worth keeping the width of the time-line constant over its whole length and to use the same sized font for each period. I think that 'Medieval' would do in place of 'Middle Age' and that 'Viking' would do in place of 'Viking Age'. Perhaps 'Old Stone Age' and 'New Stone Age' might replace the terms used for the two oldest periods as well (but I'm not an archaeologist!).

I agree about labelling a few more present-day features. Is that a lake at the extreme western edge of the map? If so it ought to be filled with the same blue as the other areas of water. In the key, under 'Stray finds' change 'coincidence' to 'chance'. It's a nice map, but printed on A4 the text is very small and could do with strengthening.

The map is most certainly not boring.

Added later: oops, the time-line is the same width over its whole length. An interesting optical illusion, the result of the progressively increasing font sizes and the progressively heavier fills I guess.

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#5
raccoondreams

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A very creditable first map! I liked the colors, the icons, and the additional textual information on the right. It is very inviting.

The map seems to include sites around several towns - should the title reflect that? Also, fix the spelling of "Archaeological" in the title.

Enjoyed looking at this!

Regards,
Cindy

#6
razornole

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Hello Pingting,

Check your dates on the legend, some of them are cut off on the left justification. To me your title is lost. I never even knew it was there until racoondreams mentioned the misspelling. Try scooting your map down just a little and swap your title and scale bar. Also I always try to not use prepositions in the title, for example, instead of Archaeological Sites In As, try As Archaeological Sites. Have you thought about playing with the same A in As to start of the A in Archaeological? I don't know the language and that might screw everything up. Try to move the labels on your map off of the black lines. There is space to do that.

I don't like the waterbodies two different colors, makes me feel as if there is an escarpment with a waterfall above and plunge pool below.

The technical term for stray finds in America is an 'isolated find', I'm not sure if that is the case overseas. Furthermore, we don't refer to them as 'sites', like you are suggesting with your title.

Hope this helps,
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
pingting

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Interesting maps. I like the "timeline" legend!
Maybe you could add some more present day features and labels to help readers place things on the map?
Scale bar is kind of odd-looking, with labels for 1 km (is there a space between the 1 and the k?) and 5 km only and double horizontal lines up to the 4 km mark.

On the hillfort map:
The colors for the forest and builtup areas are a little hard to distinguish for me, in the sense that that edges almost blend together. The colors for the parking and information sign symbols are also a bit hard to differentiate. Could be hard for color-blind readers of the map.
I wonder if you could come up with more readily recognizable symbols (in the US I would probably go for the standard "P" in a box and "i" or "?" in a box for the two). Also, since there's only one of each you could just label them on the map and leave them out of the legend. then you would probably want to do the same on the other hiking maps. The rock art symbol in the legend doesn't appear to have an outline, but he ones on the map do. The text says the "First stretch is good for prams and wheelchairs." What part of the trail is the "first stretch"? The solid line? This should be readily determined from the map.
Maybe add some road labels so people can find their way there?


Hello DaveB, and thank you so much for the reply!

I will try to put in some more modern features - unfortunately there is not a ot of them as this is a rural municipality with no proper urban areas - and then mostly fields and forest. I have thought of putting these in, and now I will definitely give it a go!

And you are right - the label does look a bit funny. I am sure it looked better before, so I might have messed something up in Illustrator!

I was already aware of the colours in the hiking map, they did look OK on my computer, but on my printed version they are very hard to distinguish. That will definitely be taken care of!

I am not sure about the parking symbol, as most of these are not "official" parking places but mostly along roads, next to big buildings etc. Could give people the wrong idea I suppose. But I'll have a think about it! Labelling on the map is a really good idea, as well as most of your other points!

Thanks a lot for the comments! :lol:

#8
pingting

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Looks like fun maps to make - great start!

On the hiking map, is the intent to provide access to the archy sites? If so, streets need labels if one can view the site from the street - which is implied in the map.

Icons - you must be using a standard icon set for your field. I have mixed feelings about rock art icon - it gets more attention that others, and may imply ancient people were clowns. :rolleyes:

As for the archy site map, I love it. I think of people walking everywhere when I see this map, so maybe illustrating this in the scale bar by (a) adding miles, and (B) putting a walking person icon on the scale bar?

Yes, make a distinction from built-up and forest, but please do not use pattern fill - forest could be green, open could be yellow/white?

Also, on the timeline map, you are portraying modern roads, but is there any information on ancient roads?

Thanks for sharing this! It made my morning!


Wow, thank you for your comments, MapMedia! ^_^

Again, many useful comments! Street labels is a good idea, so is the colours for the different areas! There really isn't a standard icon set for archaeology (not that I am aware of anyway, which means it is not that well-known!) so I've tried to make symbols that both archaeologists and others with and interest can relate to.

There are some stubs of ancient roads, but they are not more than 10-20 meters long, which is too short to show accurately on the map unfortunately.

Oh and I like the idea of a walking person on the scale bar!

#9
pingting

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Just trying to put myself in the position of someone who might use the map (the one with the time-line). Archaeologists think in terms of most recent at the top and oldest at the bottom, but for non-specialists it might perhaps be easier to understand a time-line that starts with the oldest at the top and the most recent at the bottom. Perhaps it would also be worth keeping the width of the time-line constant over its whole length and to use the same sized font for each period. I think that 'Medieval' would do in place of 'Middle Age' and that 'Viking' would do in place of 'Viking Age'. Perhaps 'Old Stone Age' and 'New Stone Age' might replace the terms used for the two oldest periods as well (but I'm not an archaeologist!).

I agree about labelling a few more present-day features. Is that a lake at the extreme western edge of the map? If so it ought to be filled with the same blue as the other areas of water. In the key, under 'Stray finds' change 'coincidence' to 'chance'. It's a nice map, but printed on A4 the text is very small and could do with strengthening.

The map is most certainly not boring.

Added later: oops, the time-line is the same width over its whole length. An interesting optical illusion, the result of the progressively increasing font sizes and the progressively heavier fills I guess.

Regards, N.


Thank you very much for the comments Nick H! Very appreciated!

You might be onto something about the time-line direction, and I will investigate this a bit more. I think you have a good point about the period names too! (and it's good getting a comment from a non-archaeologist, as that is the kind of people I am making this map for!)

I'll try to change the water colour on the western edge to see if it looks better! It certainly needs to be changed anyways, as on the printed map it is difficult to distinguish between the lake and the background. And thank you for the language advice, always good to know!

The map will be printed on A3, so I suppose that would make the text easier to read? I will be showing the printed map to people to get feedback, so I guess I will find out then. :)

#10
pingting

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A very creditable first map! I liked the colors, the icons, and the additional textual information on the right. It is very inviting.

The map seems to include sites around several towns - should the title reflect that? Also, fix the spelling of "Archaeological" in the title.

Enjoyed looking at this!

Regards,
Cindy


Oh dear, I just realised I've been working on a map with a HUGE spelling error in the title for about two months. Haha! Thank you so very extremely much for pointing it out! I might have handed it in that way! :rolleyes:

They are not really towns, but smaller village areas within a municipality (Ås). I might try to make this clearer in the title!

Thank you very much for your comments! :D

#11
pingting

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Hello Pingting,

Check your dates on the legend, some of them are cut off on the left justification. To me your title is lost. I never even knew it was there until racoondreams mentioned the misspelling. Try scooting your map down just a little and swap your title and scale bar. Also I always try to not use prepositions in the title, for example, instead of Archaeological Sites In As, try As Archaeological Sites. Have you thought about playing with the same A in As to start of the A in Archaeological? I don't know the language and that might screw everything up. Try to move the labels on your map off of the black lines. There is space to do that.

I don't like the waterbodies two different colors, makes me feel as if there is an escarpment with a waterfall above and plunge pool below.

The technical term for stray finds in America is an 'isolated find', I'm not sure if that is the case overseas. Furthermore, we don't refer to them as 'sites', like you are suggesting with your title.

Hope this helps,
kru


Hello razornole, thank you for your comments! :)

You are indeed right about the numbers being cut off, another little Illustrator mishap I suppose!

I will try moving the map and swapping the title and scale bar to see what it looks like! Good idea!

And using the same A in the title is a really good idea, but it won't work as Ås is spelled with an A with a circle above it (old-fashioned Norwegian letters... :rolleyes: )

I'll also try to make the water the same colour or more similar colours to see how that looks. And I'll check out the term in English, your suggestion might be more correct!

#12
pingting

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Icons - you must be using a standard icon set for your field. I have mixed feelings about rock art icon - it gets more attention that others, and may imply ancient people were clowns. :rolleyes:


Hehehe, I forgot to mention this one! That comment made me laugh! :P
I'll try to look at it, but I am really not sure what to substitute it with. The symbol is supposed to resemble cup marks (little, round "holes") which are usually painted red in Norway. But maybe darkening the colour a bit could do the trick!




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