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Elevation chevrons for bike map

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#1
Matthew Hampton

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I am working on an update to a regional bike map (based in GIS, styled in AI) and I have never been really satisfied with the depiction of elevation on the map. I have used shaded relief in the past but it doesn't work that well for cyclists, contours create too much noise, and I have never met an elevation "chevron" I have liked. Daniel Huffman recently described a new method on the Axis Map blog, that is provocative but it will not work on a regional scale street map (~1:200k).

I decided that I would try and design a graphically attractive and meaningful chevron symbol to be used and was going to use the convention such that a single chevron indicates a moderately steep hill, a double indicates steeper and a triple chevron for the steepest. Now I am curious about how to create them. I thought about creating contours at a certain interval and intersecting bike routes to create points and swapping symbols in AI, then I thought about rasterizing the routes and calculating slope, but that would induce error for cross-slopes.

Now I am not sure which solution to dive into, but was wondering if anyone else had arrived at a solution in GIS. I know there is going to be some manual work work involved when I start working in AI, but I want to automate as much as I can. The people I can contacted have done this iteratively, but I am sure there is a better method.

I will be using ArcGIS and Illustrator and thought someone might have already figured this out using the same tools.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#2
DaveB

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Daniel Huffman recently described a new method on the Axis Map blog

Also published in CP number 63 :)

I haven't done any such mapping myself, but I've thought about giving it a try for my local area for the unofficial routes I ride.
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#3
Sv_BG

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I've done some bike mapping, but this method is new for me too. Can you tell me, do you know the exact method Daniel Huffman used to figure the line widths? He didn't explained it in the post.

He wrote that:

Daniel Huffman
May 30, 2009 at 1:03 am
The “how” of the process is probably another post in and of itself, but I’m still not satisfied with the technique (it’s very painstaking and slow)


Cheers,
Svetoslav

#4
Nick H

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I find the map on the Axis blog unsatisfactory for the reasons put forth by the author. Presenting slope data on a road map poses interesting problems, perhaps it might be preferred to overlay the roads on a DEM rendered with simple elevation colours (rather than shaded relief). To unclutter things, it would then be possible to mask the rendered DEM to show just a strip on each side of the roads. This should give the user a good indication of where the slopes are and of their steepness.

For narrow strips it might be better if the rendered DEM was contoured.

Just a thought, needless to say I haven't tried this. It might look horrible, but it could be done very quickly.

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#5
Nicholas_C

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Have you looked into the methodology used by the Seattle DOT used to produce their map of biking routes in the Seattle area. I don't know what process they used, but from the perspective of a biker/user I've found that the chevrons work out quite well.




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