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Advice/Opinions: Bicycle Map

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Chris Bessert

Chris Bessert

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  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Interests:Cartography of all kinds with specific interests in road and street maps, park and recreation maps, local/county/state government mapping, and non-motorized mapping. Modern-day history (e.g. 1900-present) of cartography is also an interest.
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Greetings,

This is my first posting here, but I've been an avid reader for quite some time.

A local bicycling coalition has asked me to update and revamp a bicycle map previously published by the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan and turned over to the Coalition due to budget cuts. I’m hoping some of you might be able to provide some opinions or advice on this project. I have been spending an inordinate amount of time online downloading PDFs of other cities’ bike maps and requesting printed copies not only for inspiration for myself, but to give the Coalition some ideas as well.

The overall size is 24” x 36” (4” x 8” folded), printed on glossy stock. The main map scale is 1:31,680 (2 inches = 1 mile) with insets on the reverse for downtown Grand Rapids (1:6000) and greater Kent County (1:150,900). You can view the existing map at: http://www.grand-rap...l?binobjid=7633

I plan on completely redoing the main and Kent County maps, while scaling the downtown map artwork down a bit to accommodate a slightly larger county map. For the main map, I plan to bump the scale out to 1:36,000 to include more of the metro area and the many connections to the suburban trails and bikeways. The 1:36,000 scale seems workable after some testing, plus it allows the map scale to be 1” = 3,000’ for measuring purposes.

As for content, the local trail and bikeways GIS data has been thoroughly updated since the last map. I plan on retaining the existing map layers—adding bus routes, bus stops and railroads—and making the bicycle shops more prominent, especially if they end up sponsoring much of the printing cost.

Since four editions of this map have published over the past decade, retaining as much “familiar content” as possible has its up side. What do any of you think? What items from the existing map make you cringe, what do you see missing, what do you think should be preserved at all costs? Also, anyone who has made any bicycling and/or non-motorized transportation maps, what kind of advice would you have to someone who is new to this specific genre, but has made many local, regional and recreational maps in the past?

Thanks in advance for any ideas you can provide.

Best Regards,
Chris
--
Christopher J. Bessert
chris.bessert@gmail.com




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