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Inverness Major Developments 2009 Map

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#1
Pete

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The Highland cartographic machine rumbles on ...

This is a work in progress. The finished article is to be peppered with some 36 locations of major developments along with rather lengthy text annotation for each site - I think the majority of the finished map is going to be covered with text so I wanted people to see the map before it gets covered up :lol: ! The previous version of the map was reasonably ugly - A0 sized and based on the OS 10k with gawdawful pink spots and text boxes about the size of large Post-It notes all over the place so it was sent my way to "tart up a bit" ... :rolleyes:

I'm happy enough with the way things have turned out so far but if anyone has any ideas I'd like to hear them.

Also, given the volume of annotation (I've got 4 A4 pages-worth of notes on my desk here!) does anyone have any fun, interesting or exciting way of annotating a map without simply dumping a whole pile of text boxes on the layout?

Attached File  part.gif   240.89KB   178 downloads Attached File  inverness_50.gif   616.73KB   167 downloads

#2
François Goulet

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Interesting stuff. There's a lot of potential.

How did you achieve the texture?

#3
Kartograph

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Looks really nice, captures some of the feel of Inverness. The houses are mor egreyish in reality, though... ;)

What kind of annotations? Strets? POIs?

Do you want it automated, or want to make the map really shine? Do you have access to any automated labeling engine?
Doing it from paper notes sounds not like it.

#4
Pete

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Interesting stuff. There's a lot of potential.

How did you achieve the texture?



Which texture in particular - this map is especially lumpy :D !

The land is all based on a solid pale green colour. I tried to apply a bit of a radial gradient from pale green around the city and coast to a pale yellow/green - the land slopes up reasonable gently towards the south west and south east - but it didn't look particualrly convincing at this scale and much of the land outside of Inverness is moors so normal relief shading wouldn't look right.

First of all there is a large tif of radar imagery multiplied with the green which shows up as the darker shading. I can upload a better example of it tomorrow but if you look in the centre of the large map you should be able to pick out the fairways of two golf courses: one is more or less in the centre - just a little up, and the other is maybe a third up from the bottom. It's not terribly clear from my examples but trust me ..!

On top of that is a layer of tree colouring, generalised and heavily blurred to suggest the areas of woodland and the surrounding areas. The blurring also help to give the impression that the woodland in more dense towards the middle of the area and more sparse at the edges - additional layer described later help to reinforce this effect. Attributes of the original data also allow you to differentiate between coniferous and nonconiferous trees with olive greens and greeny-greens respectively.

Next is a very simplified layer of the water polygons outlined heavily in grey, blurred and burnt into the layers below for the richer vegetation surrounding wet areas. Also, the single line features of small streams and burns were treated similarly albeit with a thinner outline to taper the effect a bit more realistically.

The texture for the trees was a bit of trial and error. The whole effect is based on four layers of the same tree shapes where the bottom layer covers the whole woodland area with a coarse texture and the subsequent layers are buffered inwards to cover progressively smaller areas with progressively finer texture . The good thing about assuming that trees get taller towards the centre of an area of woodland is that you don't have to apply a shadow the area to make it convincing - shadows cast by shorter vegetation at the edges would not show up at such a scale and the shadows cast by the taller trees would fall in and amongst the other vegetation

All of the polygons for roads, roadsides, gardens, houses and such like were placed on top of the other textures with only a few blending modes to integrate the shapes a bit better.

The water was shaded in my typical topleft/bottom right gradient with a bit of extra shading in the deeper areas. I may go back and add a better texture for the water rather than just an even surface.

The clouds were really useful to cover up the extensive tree textures in the bottom right of the map where the repeating texture was more obvious. This is a Photoshop file placed into Illustrator and is really simple - it's a single layer of white fill with a layer mask filled with black and white clouds. To reveal the areas you want to see through the clouds all you have to do is use a large soft eraser - any shape you like - and erase the white layer. To make the clouds "pop" all you have to do is apply a soft emboss layer effect and there you go.

I just realised that wasn't a short answer - I get a bit carried away when people take an interest in what I get up to ;) !

#5
Pete

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Looks really nice, captures some of the feel of Inverness. The houses are mor egreyish in reality, though... ;)

What kind of annotations? Strets? POIs?

Do you want it automated, or want to make the map really shine? Do you have access to any automated labeling engine?
Doing it from paper notes sounds not like it.


Thanks Kartograph!

I don't know if annotating the streets and POI's would be helpful - a lot of it would get covered up by the text boxes that have to go on. I think I could get away with adding the names for the large districts within the city to give some more context but nothing more than that - the target audience should be mostly familiar with the city so it should be alright .. .hopefully!

I'm not overly fussed about automated labels. The only label engine I have access to is the dreaded ArcMap destroyer of annotation! It's alright for simple labels but we're talking paragraphs of text for this one. I want to make it shine :D !

I stuck a title on the map before I left work this evening and had a bash at indicating the development areas on the map but I got stuck between hand-drawn circles around the areas or 3D map-tacs. The trouble is there is no specific boundary for the development areas so I can't really draw one.

One thought I did have would be to simply put numbered points on the map and then line up the text boxes around the margins of the map - sort of like the adverts you get on some city guide maps.

#6
DaveB

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Some interesting work there (in a good way! :D ). Nice use of clouds to hide stuff and focus on the main point of the map.

I have fond memories of a visit I made to Inverness several years ago. :)
Dave Barnes
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#7
Pete

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It's got a name!

Attached File  title.gif   916.95KB   40 downloads

#8
Pete

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Here's how the annotation is working out so far.

Attached File  annotation.gif   865.79KB   77 downloads

It's not going to set the heather alight but it's functional I suppose <_< ... I don't know it the drawing pins are going to stay yet - they may be swapped for more simple buttons, either way they're going to be numbered to match the text in the margins. The actual annotation on the map is just stuck on at the moment - it's going to need some work to integrate it better with the image.

Just for fun, I improved the water texture with waves aligned with the prevailing wind ... which you can't really see because of the clouds and annotation :rolleyes: . Curses!

#9
DaveB

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I don't care for the pins, especially all strewn about at different angles.
I'm also not fond of the "handwritten" font for the headings/labels. I find it a bit hard to read.
Sorry, but I think both of those detract from a great map.
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#10
CHART

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I really like this map except for the following comments.

IMO.
I would dish the clouds effect. - What is the purpose of showing clouds on a reference map? Clouds are for weather maps, and poor imagery.
The water. It looks like there is a 'shaded relief' effect in it. I don't have a problem with textures, but it should be more subtle and constant for the water.

As for the pins, may I suggest a 'stone' like plate. It may fit in better with the overall look of the map.

I like the use of script text, maybe try a little bolder variation.

Overall a very nice source of inspiration, thanks for sharing.

Regards,
Chart

#11
Nick H

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...we're talking paragraphs of text for this one...


Hi Pete,

Text in narrow columns is a real pain. On the whole I prefer ragged-right text to L-R justified text, because at least you don't then get odd spacing between words. I've had some success using a typesetter (XeLaTeX) for text in justified narrow columns, but it doesn't half take some fiddling to avoid over-full boxes.

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#12
MapMedia

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Brilliant design - refreshing. I thought at 1st it was LIDAR imagery Photoshopped.

I also like to script font, but as for pushpin, if you had a sketch of a pushpin, in orange or purple, would look super.
Maybe use font size classes (3-5) with one script font to layout the labels.

Very pleasing design - you should enter it into map competitions!

Chris

#13
Pete

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Thanks for all of the input - I really appreciate it :) !

I've got the benefit of a weekend away from the office and my maps so I'll probably get back to work on Monday, open the map up and think, "What on earth is this supposed to be?!". It's the cartographic equivalent of waking up on a Saturday morning next to a half-eaten kebab and only partial memories of what went on the night before ... :lol: !

I must admit I've rather gone off the drawing pins too ... it seemed like a good idea but they're just not right here are they? I had the idea of pinning a bit of paper to the map but I've gone off the idea now. CHART, what do you mean by a stone-like plate? Do you mean like a little plaque, sort of like a Scrabble tile .. something like that?

The handwritten font was to go along with the idea of development and things not being definite yet so I was wanting to make the most of that sketchy look. Granted, handwritten fonts are probably the Marmite of the mapping world but I feel they are justified. I could try and find a more legible font and see how that works out.

I like my clouds :( ;) ..! I find it a more subtle way of focussing the map rather than slapping a semi-opaque mask over the whole thing. I wouldn't use it for more formal maps but I think it works well with the semi-realistic style. I agree about the water - the Photoshop texture is 72 dpi and based on rendered clouds so you get a large texture. I'll try increasing the resolution for a more detailed effect and use it more sparingly: the waves are burnt and screened so the contrast between the shade and highlights is probably too high.

... aaaaand the text ... :rolleyes: I really don't know what was going on in my head when I though that justifying narrow columns would be a good idea!

You've certainly given me some things to think about ... I'm almost looking forward to Monday now!

#14
Pete

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Brilliant design - refreshing. I thought at 1st it was LIDAR imagery Photoshopped.


Thanks!

Actually, it's very very heavily treated OS MasterMap data ... who'd've though it?!

#15
CHART

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what do you mean by a stone-like plate? Do you mean like a little plaque, sort of like a Scrabble tile .. something like that?


Yep.
Chart




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