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Black and white printed maps

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#1
taiga

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Hello .. newbie here looking for general advice (links, books, concepts) for map design related to black and white maps. Also tips for maps originally designed in colour, but are printed in black and white on the standard office printer or even photocopied from the source document.

Thanks.

#2
drcartography

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Hello .. newbie here looking for general advice (links, books, concepts) for map design related to black and white maps. Also tips for maps originally designed in colour, but are printed in black and white on the standard office printer or even photocopied from the source document.

Thanks.


taiga,

If you are working in pure black and white, I'm not sure of a good resource. If, however, you are using grayscale, I recommend checking out colorbrewer.org. It has some good recommendations on what K values to use. It is particularly helpful for thematic mapping.

Lastly, I would be happy to take a look at a draft. I have some experience working in grayscale and would be glad to offer any advice I can.

Daniel
http://sites.google..../drcartography/

#3
Dennis McClendon

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Luckily, many of us have been able to move toward more colour in recent years, but for book and newspaper reproduction, b&w is still a consideration. For inspiration, there's a desktop publishing book called The Gray Book: Designing in Black & White on Your Computer from 1990, with cool examples (but no maps, specifically).

ColorBrewer did perceptive research to derive optimal colour palettes; it shows a maximum of 9 different greys. Howard T. Fisher's underappreciated 1982 book Mapping Information suggests that 5 or 6 is the limit for most people, but he was working in the era when we generally had to choose greyscale values in 5% increments. He developed a marvelous system of patterns that used a combination of density and orientation to symbolise 10 different values that could easily be identified:

Posted Image

Unfortunately, these were only marketed at the very end of the Letraset/Zip-A-Tone era of cut-and-stick film, so few people ever saw them. His patent (US Patent 4,148,507) should have expired by now, so I wish ESRI and/or Adobe would incorporate the concept.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
Gretchen Peterson

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I believe that black and white maps can communicate effectively and elegantly. In the 1990's, with the advent of newer GIS systems that allowed us to manipulate color on our maps much more easily as well as new color printers in our offices, some GIS people went a bit over-the-top in terms of color. Perhaps we will see a shift toward more subdued color or b/w simply as a backlash against that effusiveness. If you are looking for inspiration I would check out any/all of the NY Times maps and data graphics that they've published in 2009 as they always seem to do a great job with those.




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