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#1
DanM

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I'm finishing up a few maps for a climbing guide that are aimed to help readers find the different rocks. This example is a detail of one of the sub-areas and is the largest scale map for the guide. For simplicity, I greatly simplified the landcover for the area into the green forested area and white open area (ala USGS quads).
I wondered what kind of feedback anyone has for the cartographic elements. One thing that I'm not completely satisfied with is the text--I put most of my effort into the terrain and did the text quickly, while getting the rust out using Illustrator. I choose to forego having a legend since the symbols seem obvious enough to the inteded user--anyone think it'd be better otherwise?

Edit: the title will get a little love too...

Thanks!

-Dan M

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#2
razornole

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Hello Dan,

Pretty interesting map. I'm usually not crazy about texture, but your's is subdued enough to have a pleasant feel.

The hiking trails (I assume) are they established or use created trails. If they are established, then they will have names or blaze colors associated with them. It might be helpful to the user to know.

I don't like the private property at all. I feel as though I have to get the landowner's permission to hike to the Berlin Wall and Serenity Spire area. The way it is now, I could confuse the grey area with private property. That brings up another point, if I'm not on private property where am I, Forest Service, BLM, National Park, State Park, etc... I think there needs to be a boundary.

How big are your fonts? A smaller font might not make it so cluttered. You have such a dark background maybe you could invert the font to say the same color as the grey area or even a white. Your leaders are awfully heavy as well (maybe a .5 line weight would work better). Any reason why Classic Cliff is the only name on a rotation short of Krishna.

I am not a fan of the white area, it appears to be a receding glacier or snow-pack field. The stream is too washed out. Doesn't appear to be a barrier at all on this map. The scale bar is way too much. I try to have them just a little bit different from the background, i.e., it is there if you need it but it doesn't jump out at you and certainly doesn't take up half the width of the map. I think a few elevation readings would be helpful as well.

Overall it is much more communicative then a lot of the guide maps that I see out there. Hope this helps,

kru
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#3
heath b

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Hi Dan,

This is a great map. As a fellow climber who has tried to navigate (and get lost) through forests using quite a few locator maps in climbing guides, I'm very pleased to see that you are taking this piece seriously.

I do have a few questions and suggestions. First, this may be a dumb question, but is this guide really going to have color maps? I don't think I've ever seen a color map in a climbing guide. You may have some contrast issues if this is printed in black and white.

Are all of the trails of the same quality on the map or are some of them merely "climbers trails"? I'd use a thinner line for any climbers trails. I also think that if you're going to use black for the crag labels that the trails should either be a different color or at least a different width than the text stroke width. Where they both overlap it gets a bit wonky. I see that there are breaks in the trail between Vanishing Point, The Greenhouse and Serenity Spire. Is this really the case?

Boulder Falls is marked with the same font as the crags. Is this also a crag name or merely a landmark? If it is a landmark, maybe it should be italicized or a different size. Also, water features (North Boulder Creek) are usually labeled with a serif font.

Addressing some of Kru's comments, if the creek can easily be forded I think that the washed out look is fine, but if it can only easily be crossed at the trail crossing, it should be better defined. I also agree that the leader lines should be thinned. The scale bar can be simplified to just 500' with an uncased line. I think that labeling private property as you did is fine, provided that there aren't any known access issues or that there are visible crags on the private property. Maybe you could just include text at the bottom of the map to "Please stay on existing trails."

While I don't climb around Boulder all that often, I'm interested in seeing the guide when it comes out.

Good work,

Heath

#4
DaveB

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It's a good start, but my first impression is it looks very fuzzy (maybe not a problem for sharp-eyed young rockclimbers! :lol: ). The private property labels aren't helpful. Either boundaries should be shown or some indication about how to avoid the private property (such as "stay on trails" text as was suggested). The fuzzy creeks also look funny, maybe they could be made sharper.
Even if this is going to be printed in color you might want toconsider whether there will be reason to reproduce it in black and white (or, if you care, whether people might want to make photocopies to take in the field).
Dave Barnes
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#5
DanM

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Wow, thanks for all the feedback! It's really nice to hear the cartographic perspective in reviewing this map as that's different than the other ones that give input (publisher, author, etc.). To address a few of the common comments:
-Yes, the guide will be in full color--a kind of nice thing for these guides are starting to do, giving more options for a map.
While B/W reproduction would be a nice inclusion, I think most users bring the entire book when they go out climbing at an area like this (the routes are shown with color annodated photos).
-Property boundaries--this has been a tough one to deal with for this particular area. Overall, I never planned to have any property boundaries for simplicity (and let the text cover issues with 'respect private property signage'). Within this 1/2 mile square area is largely forest service property, private property, city property and county property. Of the private lands shown on a cadastral map, some go well into the canyon though are old mining claims that have never had access (trespassing) issues, while others include private residences to the east and some that are only partly signed. Further, the city public lands have access restrictions that are hard to deliniate at this scale/map purpose. I'm still at a loss as to what to do (while still including a 'private property' indication), though I'm leaning towards a descriptive solution.
-As for the trails, well there are no maintained or official trails, though at least one (northernmost) is much more established/obvious--I'll think about making the other 'paths' be less strong (perhaps a dotted trail).

Thanks again, I'll post up what I make for improvements later.


-Dan

#6
MapMedia

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Good start with representing the info.

Re: land rights, since it is complex you may have a friendly reminder (statement) to 'Respect Private Property' and describe what this means.

As for the design, as someone who occasionally boulders, I would like to see a more hand-drawn look, with even the boulder contours outlined, even roughly (maybe lay down a view of Google Maps to trace from).
and 2 or 3 colors: yellow tint ground and brick red lettering, as for font maybe Frutiger. just some ideas. This would make it easily to be color & grayscale friendly.

Looking forward to next version!

#7
p-dub

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Dan,

The terrain is attractive, but, I don't feel it expresses the relief of the area. The trails don't sit right on the terrain, they seem to hover above. I think some subtle contours would help a lot in both cases.

Tone down the roads, they are are too bold and distracting.

Put some time into the text! Text crossing the trail line work is a big no-no, it looks sloppy.

You said the the 'topos' (pictorial route descriptions for you non-climbers out there) will be annotated photos, so I'm guessing this isn't a Rossiter production? Bob D. maybe?

Post up the next draft!

Cheers
PW

#8
Josh

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Hi Dan,

I have spent DAYS lost in this area looking for climbs...usually finding nudists instead. Describing this area is very difficult, but I think you're off to a good start. If possible, I would find a more detailed shaded relief. The trails from the parking lot down to Boulder Creek are steep as hell (half of the time i've been lost, i end up going down some random death gully filled with poison ivy). This map doesn't convey a sense of elevation at all. Also, the river doesn't really "pop" out.

there is a trail from Boulder falls that ends at a Tyrolean traverse which is also a nice way to get to the northern climbs. the trail from 119 doesn't convey this this very well as it stops by boulder falls. i think (been a while) that you have to hike up and over universal crusher to get down to the traverse. might be helpful to note the two ways to access the canyon.

Can't wait to see the final version!

Cheers,
Josh

I'm finishing up a few maps for a climbing guide that are aimed to help readers find the different rocks. This example is a detail of one of the sub-areas and is the largest scale map for the guide. For simplicity, I greatly simplified the landcover for the area into the green forested area and white open area (ala USGS quads).
I wondered what kind of feedback anyone has for the cartographic elements. One thing that I'm not completely satisfied with is the text--I put most of my effort into the terrain and did the text quickly, while getting the rust out using Illustrator. I choose to forego having a legend since the symbols seem obvious enough to the inteded user--anyone think it'd be better otherwise?

Edit: the title will get a little love too...

Thanks!

-Dan M



#9
DanM

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Just to update the status, I have been spending time working on some other maps for the project and haven't re-visted the original posted one yet. I'll change some things up and get a new version of this map up (p-dub, yes for a color book by Bob D). Josh, I purposely left the lower access you mention unmarked as a 'trail' since that has unresolved access problems. This really is a confusing area that could use some good navigational aids.

For now, I'll add another example of one of the smaller scale overview maps to show something I think has better terrain shading/coloring. Some of the points brought up already probably carry over to this other map as well, although I think some aspects have been improved. (The text gets a little crazy in the inset map). Any comments on this other map are of course welcome.

Thanks,
Dan



Hi Dan,

I have spent DAYS lost in this area looking for climbs...usually finding nudists instead. Describing this area is very difficult, but I think you're off to a good start. If possible, I would find a more detailed shaded relief. The trails from the parking lot down to Boulder Creek are steep as hell (half of the time i've been lost, i end up going down some random death gully filled with poison ivy). This map doesn't convey a sense of elevation at all. Also, the river doesn't really "pop" out.

there is a trail from Boulder falls that ends at a Tyrolean traverse which is also a nice way to get to the northern climbs. the trail from 119 doesn't convey this this very well as it stops by boulder falls. i think (been a while) that you have to hike up and over universal crusher to get down to the traverse. might be helpful to note the two ways to access the canyon.

Can't wait to see the final version!

Cheers,
Josh

I'm finishing up a few maps for a climbing guide that are aimed to help readers find the different rocks. This example is a detail of one of the sub-areas and is the largest scale map for the guide. For simplicity, I greatly simplified the landcover for the area into the green forested area and white open area (ala USGS quads).
I wondered what kind of feedback anyone has for the cartographic elements. One thing that I'm not completely satisfied with is the text--I put most of my effort into the terrain and did the text quickly, while getting the rust out using Illustrator. I choose to forego having a legend since the symbols seem obvious enough to the inteded user--anyone think it'd be better otherwise?

Edit: the title will get a little love too...

Thanks!

-Dan M

Attached Files



#10
Matthew Hampton

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Nice relief DanM! I like the 'rocky' hues. Are the 6.o, 7.0, etc. mile markers from something? Page numbers? I find the decimal value a little awkward - but it might have a more implicit reference in context. Scale bar on the inset?

The configuration of the roads warrants an even smaller-scale inset (maybe no relief?). Currently it's a little confusing based on the "To..." references in the margins. Two roads lead "To 119," and the middle road is Hwy 119. Somewhere off the map is a crucial intersection that should perhaps be conveyed somewhere.

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#11
p-dub

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Awesome Dan!
Very attractive, I really like the hill shading and general design.

Good choice on leaving out the Boulder Falls access, it has long been climber access, but technically "illegal". At least it was for the 14 years I lived and climbed in Boulder. I recently read on a climber's forum that a "hiker" fell and died at that access point.

I assume the mile markers are from the intersection of Broadway (36) and Canyon (119), and I'm sure if not from there that the "trip" point is well defined within the text, i.e. "All mileage starts at X." Bob D. is known for good guides, great routes and is a good fella. If only using whole mile counts maybe use "6 mi." or some such instead of "6.0".

I would say loose the scale bar. You are using mileage markers and this really is a driving map not a hiking map. If you must have a scale bar, maybe use a much smaller one, on the scale of meters or hundreds of feet, for scale from the road to the crags. A more subdued north arrow integrated with that smaller scale bar would look nice inside the inset. Think about only mile marking major parking and prominent crags. Maybe mile mark selected pullouts in the main map but indicate exact mileage where one enters and exits the inset?

Looking closer, the scale bar and the mileage points seem a bit off. Mileposts 12.0 and 11.0 look a heck of a lot closer together than 11.0 and 10.0, and seem to be less than one mile in comparison with the scale bar even accounting for road curvature. Maybe this is due to text constraints? Or maybe the "self similarity and fractal dimension" of line-work on maps (i.e. was the map used to calculate these mileages or another method)?

I can see what Mr. Hampton is speaking about concerning the roads. I don’t find it bothersome because I am intimately familiar with the area, however, unfamiliar visitors might. My suggestion would be omitting Magnolia Rd., unless the guide includes Gross Reservoir or other crags up that a way, and indicate the mileage back the Sugarloaf Rd. intersection with 119 on the main map.

This map is labeled “Upper Boulder Canyon” so I assume there will also be a map of Lower Boulder Canyon including the Elephant Buttresses, and … what else is down there? Could one smaller scale map, maybe with several insets, be more effective?

The text on this map is better than the previous, IMO. But still needs work, especially, like you said, on the inset. There is too much going on for some of the points. Granted, there has been a lot of development in the area since I moved away five years ago, but I think the major crags and classic climbs should be emphasized. Bell Buttress, Animal World, Happy Hour, Cob, Easter, Boulder Falls, etc. should be emphasized with prominent text with “lesser” crags having a diminished font or text point.

Could you rank the crags, in terms of climbs with number of stared routes, using text to create a visual hierarchy ? I believe this would reduce clutter and serve as a navigational aid. Choose the main areas with the best routes to highlight and include other areas as map space permits.

Concerning map space, the text is too dense it takes over the figure and leaves too much ground for the eye. Spreading the text throughout the map space will unfortunately cover the quality terrain you've rendered, but may be necessary. Get creative with leaders.

Hey Dan, can you tell that I’m totally jealous of your project? ;) Overall, I would say it is well above par for a climbing guide map as is. Think about what this map really needs to convey; there are many classic climbs in the canyon and only a few major parking/pullout areas relative to those climbs. Keep submitting updates!

I will be moving back to the area soon and it would be cool to meet you and do some cragging. Shoot me an e-mail if you like: patrickwild at g mail.

Yard hard,
PW

Edited for clarification. Yah, I was PUI. Honestly, I only had a few with dinner...

#12
razornole

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I think that a key would be key. Too much text, makes my head spin.

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




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