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Highway Block Range Map (Need Feedback)

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#1
SBlumberg

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Hello all!

I work for a small city in Texas as GIS Coordinator. I need to create a block range map for the highway that runs through our city. This map will be used by police dispatchers. When an accident happens on the highway, they need to include the block range for the officers to respond. I wasn't totally sure how to depict this information so please give me feedback on how you think this data should be represented. If anybody has a better idea I would love to hear it. I am looking forward to any and all comments/feedback. By the way I am using ArcGIS 9.3. Thank you!

Stuart

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#2
Esther Mandeno

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Hello Stuart,

I think some of the more experienced forum members here can help you better than I, but I'll give you my initial thoughts.

1) The block numbers are effectively portrayed. I immediately knew where to look on the map for the numbers.

2) But I have no idea where I'm at. My presumption is that you are only interested in serving the block numbers for the one road in the center, right? Is that Railroad St? Or some other street that is currently unlabeled? Oops! :o I just noticed the title. But, wouldn't an officer want to know the block numbers on all the streets? I would imagine that an officer, looking quickly at a map would first want to quickly orient themselves in relation to other streets (intersections) and then hone in on the block of interest (6105 Center St). I wonder if small, but legible block numbers on the highway and roads would be better (at a different scale). But then again, I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of the map is.

3) Oh, just an aside, though your officers may be intimately familiar with your town, I think a north arrow and scale bar would still be helpful, and maybe a locator map. Just a few ideas. :rolleyes:

Hope that helps...
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Esther Mandeno
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#3
Esther Mandeno

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Ok, my bad. I re-read your post and it's for dispatchers, not the officers. And it's just for Highway 225.

Well, it does work as it is. The numbers are very readable, though I would consider getting rid of the halo (and would still consider a north arrow, scale and locator map - maps tend to live a life of their own so it's always a good idea to include the basics because you never know where they will end up).

Cheers!
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Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#4
SBlumberg

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Thanks for the feedback, Esther.
Here are the changes I have made.

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#5
Dennis McClendon

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I'm imagining the use of this map, and I'm guessing that the dispatcher in the last few years has started getting calls from motorists with GPS devices, or from OnStar, that make reference to the "1800 block of SH 225," which the officers know as the "Pasadena Freeway near the Jack in the Box."

So I would suggest that you add the prominent visual landmarks to the map—by hand—so that the dispatcher can say "Unit 112, respond to vehicle fire in the 2200 block of the freeway, westbound lanes. Kevin, that's between the tank farm and the new refinery office building."

To be honest, I have to wonder whether a color printout of the aerial photos from Google Maps, with the block numbers written on it in red, might not be more useful to the dispatcher than a map that's divorced from real-world context.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#6
SBlumberg

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I'm imagining the use of this map, and I'm guessing that the dispatcher in the last few years has started getting calls from motorists with GPS devices, or from OnStar, that make reference to the "1800 block of SH 225," which the officers know as the "Pasadena Freeway near the Jack in the Box."

So I would suggest that you add the prominent visual landmarks to the map—by hand—so that the dispatcher can say "Unit 112, respond to vehicle fire in the 2200 block of the freeway, westbound lanes. Kevin, that's between the tank farm and the new refinery office building."

To be honest, I have to wonder whether a color printout of the aerial photos from Google Maps, with the block numbers written on it in red, might not be more useful to the dispatcher than a map that's divorced from real-world context.


Dennis, Thanks for feedback, not sure why I didn't think of an orthophoto ;) People in my city love having aerials in their maps! I have attached an updated version. Not sure how its going to look with the 1 MB limit though. Thanks again!
***Edit** Oops I need to fix that north arrow.

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#7
Esther Mandeno

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Ah, good call Dennis. The aerial makes it much more relevant.

Now, Blumberg, I still think Dennis' idea of labeling some of the features would be a good idea. Like the name of the baseball field or school or whatever that is and any other prominent landmark and then I think the map is much more usable. :)
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Esther Mandeno
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#8
SBlumberg

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Ah, good call Dennis. The aerial makes it much more relevant.

Now, Blumberg, I still think Dennis' idea of labeling some of the features would be a good idea. Like the name of the baseball field or school or whatever that is and any other prominent landmark and then I think the map is much more usable. :)


Ok, here is an update with buildings labeled. It looks much better as a PDF with higher quality (7 MB) - The labels for the buildings are a much brighter greenish blue which really stand out. In this image the green is darker and seems to blend into the aerial, but I promise it looks better in the PDF! Thanks!

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#9
Dennis McClendon

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Yes, but the only buildings labeled are public buildings, including irrelevant ones far from the freeway. You're locals. You know whose refinery that is; what brand gas station is at the interchange; whose name is on the side of the storage tanks, and where the exit signs are. And you're only mapping a small stretch of highway; you're not trying to do all of Harris County in two days. Think about what would make this map useful to the people holding it in their hands—and the people hearing calls on the radio—and not just about what you can do automagically with your GIS.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#10
Esther Mandeno

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Oh, I do not like that green on black, but that's just me. As you said, it looks better in the PDF. Did you check if it printed ok?

I'm with Dennis - more on the highway and relevant feature labels and then you are good to go! In my opinion. :)
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Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#11
SBlumberg

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Here is an update of the map:
http://dpgis02/SH 22... April 2010.pdf
Thanks.

#12
Laura Miles

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Here is an update of the map:
http://dpgis02/SH 22... April 2010.pdf
Thanks.


I can't get through on this link...

#13
SBlumberg

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Here is an update of the map:
http://dpgis02/SH 22... April 2010.pdf
Thanks.


I can't get through on this link...


Try this link
http://gis.deerparkt.....pril 2010.pdf

#14
Dennis McClendon

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Well done! I think you've made a useful tool for all concerned.

I'm sure by now you've realized that cartography was only the most minor part of this project. You could have simply made a couple of screen captures from Google Maps and added the annotations in Word or Photoshop. No matter; the usefulness of the finished product is much more important than what tool or skill was used to make it.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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