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Asians in America Map

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#1
kartografiken

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Hi! I am an undergraduate student taking a class in cartography. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how I could improve this map. For instance, should I make the water blue? This is one of my first projects ever, and we have to redo the map again with improvements.

Thanks!

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#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Hi! I am an undergraduate student taking a class in cartography. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how I could improve this map. For instance, should I make the water blue? This is one of my first projects ever, and we have to redo the map again with improvements.


Whether or not the water should be blue is up to you. It won't make a difference for the actual message of the map. There are some other possible improvements though.

First of all, there's a couple of white counties. Based on the legend I assume it's counties with 0% Asian population. The other option would have been counties without any data, but that's unlikely. Still, it would be a good idea to mention that in the legend.

Then there's the north arrow and scale bar. Since you've chosen a conic projection, the direction of north and the scale are going to vary by the position on the map. To be precise, at the location you've put it, the north arrow is not pointing north :rolleyes: So it would be better to remove them, they serve little purpose on a thematic map anyway.

Finally, I notice you've used 2 different fonts on the map. A serif for the title and source attribution, but a sans-serif for the legend and scalebar. Try to be consistent here and choose either one.

Hope this helps.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#3
EOSGIS

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Hello,
Well, if your client or you dont have a defined color scheme for the map, in a map like this one where the main information to communicate is the little number of counties that have a high number of asians I will use a range of colors from cold to hot (light blue to red, os so) with a clear separation betewen them in the legend scale, so the map reader can see at first glace which counties have the highest population.
I mean, cartography can communicate the statistics clearly so the map reader can answer the question at first glance. Thre questions arrise in this statistical map:
a) Counties with no Asians
B) Countis with a mean quantity
c) Which states has more asians?
So perhaps you may leave white the zero asians populated (white or very light color). Arrange the intemediate classes with a middle tone or color range and a third clearly distinguised class.
If the main thing is to communicate the inverse ( zero asians counties) , just invert the prepared legend.
In the map you've made, my three quesstions are not answered at first look of the map. Expcept for the zero category, which fill all the map. If I want to answer the thid one, I have to search for them trying to differentiate them.
Just try to communicate with the map... ask yourself or your client what to communicate-
Best regards
Fernando J Sánchez Menéndez
EOSGIS S.L.
http://www.carto-grafia.com

Hi! I am an undergraduate student taking a class in cartography. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how I could improve this map. For instance, should I make the water blue? This is one of my first projects ever, and we have to redo the map again with improvements.

Thanks!



#4
James Hines

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Towards Ontario that's a really bad mapping job. It looks as though you used the international border rather then the shoreline of the lakes to show the land of Ontario. Another thing you might want a name change from Asians in America to Asians in the United States, because it's a bit of an insult to every other nation that exist on the American continents.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#5
s hubbard

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maybe change the title to "Continental U.S." since you're not showing Alaska or Hawaii (which i'm sure have the highest concentrations of Asian-Americans.)
s hubbard
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#6
razornole

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That's pretty good for a first map. As Hans mentioned the first thing to loose is the scale bar and north arrow.

You don't need the date twice, it is currently in the title and the source.

To shorten your subtitle, try... Per County, 2000. Wait a minute, you have told me that twice along with Asians. Don't repeat your title in your legend. Please don't make me read that it is a legend, I already know that. Try something like Asians in the US, 2000... and in the legend say something like Percent(age) or (%) per County.

This map screams for an idiographic range grade. The arbitrary range grade that you currently have muddles the map. I would also try to limit the ranges to a maximum of 5 classes. I can not tell the difference between your two most dense categories.

Crop the map closer to the southern extent of the US. I don't need to see the Yucatan.

You might want to consider inverting your county borders for the darker fills.

Hope this helps,

kru
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#7
David Medeiros

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I think for a first map of this type it’s not too bad. You’ve managed to avoid the very common island effect by including the continent in gray beyond the US border. I prefer this projection to Mercator or geographic for a US thematic map but as Hans mentioned the N arrow and scale bar are not needed and will not be accurate for the entire map.

I disagree a little with Hans on his font suggestion. I actually think it’s ok to have both serif and sans serif on a map, as long as they are applied appropriately and consistently. Map titles are often much larger than map labels or marginalia type and can benefit from a change in font style. In your maps case if you do decide to keep two fonts make sure your smaller type are all the same, right now the source note does not match the legend or scale type. Alternatively you could use one font for all of you type but pick a heavier weight for the title.

You should change the northern US border to represent the physical edge of the great lakes more accurately.

I think adding a blue ocean would compete with the map itself for attention and look strange since you decided to use a gray fill for land. You could increase the gray land density a bit and add the water as a lighter shade of gray (something like 20% land, 10% water… remember to do the lakes as well). This will also have the effect of differentiating the empty space of water with the empty space of “no data” on land.

Remove the word “Legend” from the legend. Instead title the legend to reveal what the data are.

Move the source note to a more discrete location like the lower right corner or include in the legend.

Increase the state boundary line width by ¼ to ½ point to help outline the states from the counties.

Balance your legend; pull it out of the bottom corner such that the white space on its bottom and left are even.

Color scheme is ok but you could increase the gradient a little to help pop the higher concentrations (start at a lighter shade of purple and skip every other color?).

HTH,
Dave

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#8
kartografiken

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Thanks for your help, everyone!




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