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Proofreading Techniques

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#1
Speerdm

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Hi Guys,

I´m still pretty new to cartography and like a lot of you, much of my skillset is self taught. However, I think I could really benefit in hearing some techniques in proofreading maps.

My specific problem is that when I think my map is complete and its been exported, I always seem to find a minor detail that really bothers me and I end up re-exporting. Is this a common problem? What are some things I can do to be more efficient? Sorry if this topic is a repeat or overly broad. Perhaps a good book is all I need. any recommendations??

Dave

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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My specific problem is that when I think my map is complete and its been exported, I always seem to find a minor detail that really bothers me and I end up re-exporting. Is this a common problem? What are some things I can do to be more efficient? Sorry if this topic is a repeat or overly broad. Perhaps a good book is all I need. any recommendations??


It's a common problem and there's not much you can do about it. Whenever possible I try and involve other people in proofreading maps. If you've spent a long time working on it, you're quite likely to miss those small details that somebody with a fresh point of view will spot right away.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#3
Nicholas_C

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One thing I've found that's helpful is to take a break and get a brief change of environment prior to doing the (hopefully) final proofread. Get a cup of coffee, go for a short walk or something to that effect. Then when you come back you have a slightly refreshed eye for finding those small mistakes that you just can't see no matter how hard you try when you've been looking at the same image for too long.

#4
razornole

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Post your map on CartoTalk. I'm always amazed at the mistakes that are caught.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#5
natcase

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Post your map on CartoTalk. I'm always amazed at the mistakes that are caught.


Corollary: have multiple sets of eyes lined up. If possible, have lists of things to check. Not mental lists—an actual checklist. Like flying an airplane, you're less likely to crash if you've actually gone down the checklist. That's why they call it preflighting I suppose.

But that's different than proofreading. Sorry. The two are really similar, but proofing is more amorphous in terms of what to look for. So back to my first advice: have multple sets of eyes look it over (preferably eyes that are familiar with the area or subject and will catch typos).

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#6
ELeFevre

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IMO every map review should begin with a data/information review. It doesn't matter how a label is placed if the information on the map is wrong. If you're creating thematic maps make sure you're using the correct classifications and pulling from the correct columns and attributes. Double check your information against the source data and make sure mistakes weren't made somewhere along the way. If you have an older edition of the same map or a similar map compare features and look for weirdness.

On the visual side I start by looking for big picture inconsistencies and problems that show up from two or three feet away. Look for title misspellings, bad color usage, document flow, white space usage, et cetera. If everything checks out I move to the feature or layer level and finish by tweaking things like labels.

Finally, have someone else review and actually use the map!



#7
DaveB

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Having a second set of eyes look it over is invaluable.
I've read that proofreaders for printed material like books will go from back to front, last word first, forcing themselves to read each word. It's all too easy for us to fill in missing words and other mistakes when we read front to back normally.

Oh, yeah, even before having someone else look at it I'll print out my maps to look them over and mark them up. I catch things that way that I've missed on-screen. Best if you can print it as close as possible to final printed specs (size, resolution, colors, etc.).

And finally, send the maps out into the public. You might be surprised at what they catch! :P (but seriuosly, mistakes will get past your best efforts from time to time. I doubt anyone can catch them all. So we live and learn.)
Dave Barnes
Esri
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