Jump to content

 
Photo

Site Plan + Aerial Imagery

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1
Professional Mapping LLC

Professional Mapping LLC

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • No Country Selected

Cartographers,

Please check out my latest blog post (see link below). It contains a map with a georeferenced site plan overlaid an aerial magery.

Your input is appreciated.

Thanks!

My Blog
Visit My Website

#2
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,881 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

First of all, I'd recommend that you attach the image to your post, rather than linking to your blog (that way you'll get more people actually looking at the map and commenting, which is what you want).

Then on to your map. I'm not impressed to be honest. The first thing I notice is that you've oriented your map to north, while the site plan was oriented to west. This means you're forcing your readers to read the most important part of your map, the site plan, at an awkward angle. In one case (Mid-Valley Road) even upside down.

The output quality of the site plan is, at least in the image you're showing, less than the original, making the legend hard, in some cases even impossible, to read.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Pete

Pete

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 151 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Inverness
  • United Kingdom

I'm with Hans I'm afraid.

Your georeferencing is certainly neat but in my experience you really have to do something with the rectified image other than simply display it with a couple of layers of data. For me, this usually means redigitising the information - or, if the developers are especially savy, requesting the shapefiles - so I can recreate the map that I need rather than the map that has been supplied.

It really doesn't help matters that the legend and annotation on the rectified image were positioned for a landscape map that you're displaying in a portrait orientation. You might want to consider Photoshopping out the legend and then re-georeferencing the image without it, then inserting the legend as a separate element on your layout. It's a little bit fiddly but it'll help make the map more readable. If you're hell-bent on using the original image then there;s not a lot you can do with the other annotation.

The only other thing I could suggest that you might want to look at is better integrating your plan with the imagery. As it is, it does look "plonked" on with no real interation with the rest of the map - something as simple as making your site plan 50% transparent so you can see the underlying imagery could help. I don't know what software you're using but you could see if you could set an alpha channel or asign the background value - the white colour: what ever value that is - a colour of "null" so you sen see the layers beneath without the need for transparency.

Give it a bash and see what happens ... :D !

#4
Charles Syrett

Charles Syrett

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 537 posts
  • Canada

From what I can tell, what you've done on this blog entry is to demonstrate a basic GIS operation -- georeferencing one map to another. It's hard to imagine who would find this interesting. GIS students and professionals won't. :rolleyes: As for potential clients -- what is your target market here? Real estate developers? If so, I have to tell you: I'm often approached by such clients with exactly the kind of graphic you've created (one map registered over another), and asked to create a better, more legible map to replace it.

If you're positioning yourself as one who creates maps professionally, you have to demonstrate more than a basic GIS operation on your blog. How about doing another blog entry, where you create a new, improved site plan, with air photo imagery in the background? And really do the work: resolve the base map discrepancies between the two sources, and create a fresh new product. I think that's what would impress your prospective clients! B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#5
Professional Mapping LLC

Professional Mapping LLC

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • No Country Selected

Good Evening, CartoTalkers ;):

I appreciate all the advice that you have given me. I've taken que on some of your recommendations. I have updated my georeferencing map sample. I've attached it to this post per the request of one of you. You're absolutely correct, if it's right there in front of you, people are more likely to take notice rather than being "clicky" and providing links. I'll get the hang of it. I'm new to forum posting and I'll remember that specific etiquette.

On to the blurbs. First off, I am limited on the quality of aerial imagery that I have because for my samples, I use free ones I find on the web. Obviously, when providing a final product to a client, I will have better quality imagery as they will be financing the purchase of them. I would post past maps on my website that I have done for clients and such but due to the confidentiality of some of these projects, I am unable to do so. Secondly, I had a rough time finding site plans that I can actually use since I do not have any graphics program that can do any sort of cropping, editing, photoshopping, converting from .pdf to .jpg/.bmp, etc.. Thirdly, I will be revamping my approach to targeting clients using my blog, map samples, and website content. I will take care of that this week. I wish I could put in as much time as I want, but as a grad student, working a full-time GIS position, and currently working for 3 consistent mapping clients, it can be quite difficult. I am doing my very best. I'm hoping to have enough clients to be able to do this on a full-time basis. I would say that my GIS skills are reaching intermediate level so I apologize if I did not impress you all, especially with the vast capabilities that GIS has. Don't worry, I am working on it. I have done this for close to two years and the clients that I have landed have been in the environmental field, cultural resources consultation, and small municipalities. They have, for the most part, asked for simple maps (soil maps, zoning maps, site maps, street maps, points (locations of sites, tests, utility lines), to name a few, as seen in my website and blog. I can't say that I would be capable of doing highly intricate maps that would probably give me the highest pay due to their complexity and time consumption just yet. As I gain more experience, and most importantly, time, money, and resources, then I will arrive there. Lastly, as for my work not being "professional," I beg to differ. I can understand how my maps may not appear professional to the very advanced and seasoned GIS professional, but as I rework the approach of my company and its services, clients will see my work as sufficient and just exactly what they want. From my experience working with the clients I have had in the past and hope to get in the following days/weeks/months, simplicity is all they look for. Over half the time, the maps are being incorporated into pages and pages and pages of reports that usually had preceding text so less have been best. Also, some of the the maps have been used as quick reference so too much content tend to deter from the actual point of the map. I did take your comment in though and have updated some of the sample maps in my website with new ones that are a bit more aesthetic than the old ones. As I get more ideas, I will create them. But I guess with the new target client approach I'm hoping to deploy here in the next couple of days, they are professional enough. And anyway, when I claim to be a professional services company, that also meant that I had full respect of the clients' demands, thoroughness, punctuality, and cost-efficiency. Professional just doesn't mean "i've been in this industry for years therefore my standards are the one and only out there," per say.

Thanks everyone! I will be in touch and update on my progress. Again, I truly do appreciate the advice you have all given. It has opened my eyes and have lit a fire under my seat to get working on this and take it to a whole new level of seriousness.

Take care,

M.E.

Attached Files



#6
s hubbard

s hubbard

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:asheville, nc
  • Interests:Altitude..Archery..Alaska..Appalachia..Apothecary..Asiana
  • United States

looks alot better after the repositioning. i would covert the meters on the scale bar to feet, unless there's alot of brits in the development>> ;)
s hubbard
www.hubbardmapworks.com
2539'

#7
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,881 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Lastly, as for my work not being "professional," I beg to differ. I can understand how my maps may not appear professional to the very advanced and seasoned GIS professional, but as I rework the approach of my company and its services, clients will see my work as sufficient and just exactly what they want. From my experience working with the clients I have had in the past and hope to get in the following days/weeks/months, simplicity is all they look for. Over half the time, the maps are being incorporated into pages and pages and pages of reports that usually had preceding text so less have been best. Also, some of the the maps have been used as quick reference so too much content tend to deter from the actual point of the map. I did take your comment in though and have updated some of the sample maps in my website with new ones that are a bit more aesthetic than the old ones. As I get more ideas, I will create them. But I guess with the new target client approach I'm hoping to deploy here in the next couple of days, they are professional enough. And anyway, when I claim to be a professional services company, that also meant that I had full respect of the clients' demands, thoroughness, punctuality, and cost-efficiency. Professional just doesn't mean "i've been in this industry for years therefore my standards are the one and only out there," per say.


Even a very simple map is worth designing well, and by naming your company "Professional Mapping" you are putting the bar pretty high for yourself. If your clients are happy with what you're producing for them, then that's great, but still I would recommend trying to improve upon your design and cartography skills. Take for example the Indianapolis map from your website. Simply choosing a conformal projection so that the 5 mile circles remain circles takes zero extra effort and takes away an opportunity for confusion. Same amount of work and you'll have produced a better map.

It's a shame you took down your original map and replaced it with the Boca Palms sample, because this leaves most of our comments somewhat out of context. I do think the Boca Palms sample is of better quality than the first one, but even then I would recommend to partially redesign it (the original Boca Palms image you're working with isn't of super quality and that carries over to your map). Keep in mind we're all here to learn from eachother and to offer constructive criticism.

Just out of curiousity, since you mentioned not having access to photo-editing software, what applications do you have access to?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#8
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

The Indianapolis sample is particularly puzzling. Indy has a nice American orthogonal layout, on which streets named Meridian and similar section line roads go due north and south. Yet on this map they're tilted several degrees. Second, though the arterials don't appear to be compressed east-west, the "5-mile radius" circles are squeezed ovals.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#9
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,085 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

The issues mentioned above highlight a continuing trend in GIS education of ignoring the basics of cartographic layout and design. I’m willing to bet the OP is a recent GIS grad with little to no graphic or cartographic training?

Don’t take this as a critique of your skill set Malcolm, it’s a fault of the GIS education system as it currently stands that there is little “Geography” in the teaching of GIS and almost no cartography. As you are seeing from the responses there is a lot more to successful GIS map work than understanding the data and software. In basic GIS Analysis that’s fine but when making maps for public consumption, detail counts and good cartography is all about detail.

I’d suggest getting your hands on some cartography texts like “Making Maps” – John Krygier, or “Designing Better Maps” – Cynthia Brewer. Also look into some of Edward Tufte’s books on information design. Keep a folder of map examples you see online that particularly interest you and study them for ideas on form and style.

David

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#10
Charles Syrett

Charles Syrett

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 537 posts
  • Canada

Good point, David. But why should cartography be part of GIS education at all? Cartography isn't "part of" GIS, any more than GIS is "part of" cartography.

All of which leads to a question: Is cartography being taught at all nowadays? I haven't looked into this very deeply, but I can't shake the feeling that an understanding of the essential cartographic process, which used to be taught in colleges and cartographic agencies, has been all but lost. (Note to Malcolm: none of this is meant, in any way, as a criticism of what you're doing! :) )

The essential cartographic process can be defined (very briefly!) as something like this:

THE ESSENTIAL CARTOGRAPHIC PROCESS

DEFINING CLIENT REQUEST
- client (or "author") may be the cartographer or (more likely) someone else requesting a map
- define who the viewer(s) will be
- define the purpose: what is being communicated?
- define whether static or interactive
- define the medium (web? print? projector? etc.)
- define amount of base map detail desired
- define thematic information to be communicated
- define geographic area coverage
- define physical space allowed for map (e.g., pixels for web, inches for print, etc.)
- define desired "look" and "feel" (in conformity to the viewership and map purpose)
- define budget

COMPILATION AND LAYOUT
- gather best possible sources of information for base and thematic detail
- decide on map scale based on area coverage and physical space allowed
- if necessary (depending on scale), decide on map projection
- scale, project, and register all information sources together and fit to the layout

EDIT
- resolve conflicts in information sources (e.g., discrepancies in map detail)
- decide on approach to selection of detail for content
- decide on approach to generalization (e.g., digital process or direct intuitive editing)

DESIGN
- decide visual hierarchy
- decide graphic elements (colors, label styles, line and fill styles, etc.)

ARTWORK
- create the actual artwork for the map
- this can involve anything from programing to physical rendering

PROOFING
- create a draft of the finished map and show to client for approval

CORRECTION AND FINISHING
- amend content and/or style to suit client's needs

DELIVERY
- create final version and deliver in the appropriate form

Notice that, in the above outline, GIS is not mentioned. But then, neither are airbrushes or darkrooms! These are all tools and techniques. The above process, or something like it, was used by John Bartholomew in the 19th century, and is used now by many of the professionals on this forum.

But.....is it taught any more? I wonder.... :unsure:

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

The issues mentioned above highlight a continuing trend in GIS education of ignoring the basics of cartographic layout and design. I’m willing to bet the OP is a recent GIS grad with little to no graphic or cartographic training?

Don’t take this as a critique of your skill set Malcolm, it’s a fault of the GIS education system as it currently stands that there is little “Geography” in the teaching of GIS and almost no cartography. As you are seeing from the responses there is a lot more to successful GIS map work than understanding the data and software. In basic GIS Analysis that’s fine but when making maps for public consumption, detail counts and good cartography is all about detail.

I’d suggest getting your hands on some cartography texts like “Making Maps” – John Krygier, or “Designing Better Maps” – Cynthia Brewer. Also look into some of Edward Tufte’s books on information design. Keep a folder of map examples you see online that particularly interest you and study them for ideas on form and style.

David



#11
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,085 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

Good point, David. But why should cartography be part of GIS education at all? Cartography isn't "part of" GIS, any more than GIS is "part of" cartography.


Sorry, I didn't mean to get us off topic but since we are...

We may not be defining "cartography" in the same sense. What you outlined is a process that's part of doing commercial cartography. What I'm referring to is cartographic design and best practices, cartography as an academic discipline or skill set, including the fundamentals of layout, font, color, symbol style. Generalization based on subject, audience and media. Understanding of visual hierarchy. Understanding of some elements of design and aesthetics. The basics of what make maps work, and how to communicate effectively with them.

When we talk about GIS as a tool for making maps and doing analysis through maps then yes, cartography is absolutely a part of GIS, or should be. Maps are foundational to GIS work. GIS on the other hand is a tool and skill set, like Illustrator or scribe coat or a transit. It's a tool, it requires experience and particular skills to use properly but is not usually a carer path or discipline onto itself.

Now a lot of GIS work does not require advanced cartographic design skills or extra software but almost all GIS work can benefit from at least some greater knowledge of map design than is currently given in GIS classes. When GIS was more closely aligned with Geography as a subject matter and was taken as part of an undergrad in Geography this wan't as much of an issue. But as standalone GIS certification has gained popularity it suffers from too many practitioners with neither the geography background or the map making skills to get the most out of the software they are using. The abundance of cart-junk on the web is a testament to this, IMO.

What does all this mean for the OP? I think it means that he should try to gain some more experience in map making and focus less on the gee whiz aspect of GIS as his skill set. If he's doing really great analytical work than sell that part of his skill set, if he's making really great maps than sell that. GIS is a tool in the mix there but is not really the primary reason anyone hires you to do work for them. Good cartography on the other hand often is.

Edited to add: It should be pointed out that clients and employers don't understand this anymore than new GIS users do. The two jobs I currently have as a cartographer are for positions that emphasized GIS skills but ultimately hired me because I demonstrated advanced cartographic experience.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#12
klacefield

klacefield

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Santa Rosa, CA
  • United States

...
Is cartography being taught at all nowadays?
...
But.....is it taught any more? I wonder.... :unsure:
...
Charles Syrett
Map Graphics


Charles, to answer your question about cartography being taught, I have to say yes. Of course I need to say this as next semester I will be teaching a cartography course using ArcGIS as the primary software product. I have created this required course for the two year GIS certificate program specifically to tackle the issues brought up within these posts. ArcGIS is being used not because I feel it is a great cartographic program, but to train GIS practitioners how to create informative maps within the environment they will be working in day in and day out.

Malcolm, sorry to have hijacked your post. I recommend working on your final layout to better showcase the work you are showing, in this case the georeferencing an image. Ask yourself who your audience is and tailor the map to them. The quality of the georeferencing is looking good, however the presentation of it could be improved.

Cheers,
Kevin
Kevin Lacefield, GIS Programmer Analyst
County of Sonoma
Information Systems Department - GIS Central

#13
s hubbard

s hubbard

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:asheville, nc
  • Interests:Altitude..Archery..Alaska..Appalachia..Apothecary..Asiana
  • United States

Good point, David. But why should cartography be part of GIS education at all? Cartography isn't "part of" GIS, any more than GIS is "part of" cartography.


Sorry, I didn't mean to get us off topic but since we are...

We may not be defining "cartography" in the same sense. What you outlined is a process that's part of doing commercial cartography. What I'm referring to is cartographic design and best practices, cartography as an academic discipline or skill set, including the fundamentals of layout, font, color, symbol style. Generalization based on subject, audience and media. Understanding of visual hierarchy. Understanding of some elements of design and aesthetics. The basics of what make maps work, and how to communicate effectively with them.

When we talk about GIS as a tool for making maps and doing analysis through maps then yes, cartography is absolutely a part of GIS, or should be. Maps are foundational to GIS work. GIS on the other hand is a tool and skill set, like Illustrator or scribe coat or a transit. It's a tool, it requires experience and particular skills to use properly but is not usually a carer path or discipline onto itself.

Now a lot of GIS work does not require advanced cartographic design skills or extra software but almost all GIS work can benefit from at least some greater knowledge of map design than is currently given in GIS classes. When GIS was more closely aligned with Geography as a subject matter and was taken as part of an undergrad in Geography this wan't as much of an issue. But as standalone GIS certification has gained popularity it suffers from too many practitioners with neither the geography background or the map making skills to get the most out of the software they are using. The abundance of cart-junk on the web is a testament to this, IMO.

What does all this mean for the OP? I think it means that he should try to gain some more experience in map making and focus less on the gee whiz aspect of GIS as his skill set. If he's doing really great analytical work than sell that part of his skill set, if he's making really great maps than sell that. GIS is a tool in the mix there but is not really the primary reason anyone hires you to do work for them. Good cartography on the other hand often is.

It should be pointed out that clients and employers don't understand this anymore than new GIS users do. The two jobs I currently have as a cartographer are for positions that emphasized GIS skills but ultimately hired me because I demonstrated advanced cartographic experience.

i'm gonna add my two cents too....
as a recent GIS graduate i can say the path of GIS is definitely not geared towards good, strong cartography.
i was lucky, and had a teacher who emphasized a proper layout, proper scale, and attention to detail - but most of what i've seen out there, in general, by GIS people looks awful to me. (not saying my stuff's incredible! - and i'm applying for a graduate cartography program asap) but my teacher couldn't spend alot of time on cartographics beacuse i think there is so much to cram into GIS certifications that it falls behind.
it takes a keen eye for map set-up. even more patience and determination to complete a 500+ hour map with 30+ data layers - that divides the men from the boys i think. and that's where you get a great map from GIS.
the software has it!! i love ArcMap and think it can do wonderful carotgraphy things, and i barely know much.
anyway, one of you nailed it, at least for making money...if the client likes it....everybody's happy, right?
not much ever gonna change that. but know there are folks out there wanting to be the best they can..and plan on it B)
s hubbard
www.hubbardmapworks.com
2539'

#14
Charles Syrett

Charles Syrett

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 537 posts
  • Canada

We may not be defining "cartography" in the same sense. What you outlined is a process that's part of doing commercial cartography. What I'm referring to is cartographic design and best practices, cartography as an academic discipline or skill set, including the fundamentals of layout, font, color, symbol style. Generalization based on subject, audience and media. Understanding of visual hierarchy. Understanding of some elements of design and aesthetics. The basics of what make maps work, and how to communicate effectively with them.


Yes, it's semantics. That one word, "cartography", is used to describe both theory and practice. Let's take music as a metaphor. A musicologist studies music. A musician writes and/or plays it. But in mapping, there's only one word -- "cartographer". :rolleyes:

The process I described (or something like it) really is the essential process, though, and not just for commercial cartography. The "client" may well be yourself. The point is, if it doesn't have a purpose, or something to communicate, it's not a map. And what you described, David, is also included in the process, and in fact is essential to it.

All of this may seem to some to be irritatingly trivial and nitpicky, but I'm convinced that a misunderstanding (or forgetting) of the essential process and discipline of cartography is what has always resulted in the predominance of low-quality maps (in all times and places).

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#15
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,085 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

All of this may seem to some to be irritatingly trivial and nitpicky, but I'm convinced that a misunderstanding (or forgetting) of the essential process and discipline of cartography is what has always resulted in the predominance of low-quality maps (in all times and places).


I often feel that way as well, but it's hard to avoid nitpicking when talking about cartography which involves so much detail and minutia. It's the aggregation of those small details the decide the overall quality of our work.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->