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Displaying Land Ownership

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#1
snowgage

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Good Afternoon...

Often when I display land-ownership I'll simply color code by landowner, add some transparency to show underlying hillshade and be done with it.. I've been enjoying creating some cool color ramps for my DEMs and am sometimes sad to see them disappear under my land ownership.

I've been working to create a fade-effect that shows landowner by color but only on the edge of each polygon. By making the color fade inwards I am hoping it is implicit that lands inward of the fade are owned by the corresponding color. I am a little bored of a standard colored line and its not always obvious which side of the line the color pertains to. Have a look at this lil sample.. What do you all think of this method? Any other examples of displaying this sort of data and trying to maintain underlying colors (i.e. aerials, hillshades)?

thanks in advance,

Josh

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#2
Esther Mandeno

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Actually, though it's not ubiquitious, the border fade is not uncommon either. I like it, though I rarely use it myself.

In your example, though, the fade appears inconsistent. What program did you use to create your map? Just curious.

I wonder, though, what is the purpose of your map? To show the hillshade or communicate who owns what? Whatever style you ultimately choose, your map should convey the information your map readers want.
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#3
snowgage

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The fade appears inconsistent but its only in the polygons that are too narrow and both sides fade together. This map was done using ARC, Photoshop and Illy..

The purpose of this map is to show important conservation areas in a 20 mile valley. It is important to see land ownership but it should be subtle. The problem in the western US is the complexity of land ownership. It gets pretty busy. I guess I could just group everything as public lands.. Hmmm...

Also, it will be on a public display and needs to be pretty..

Actually, though it's not ubiquitious, the border fade is not uncommon either. I like it, though I rarely use it myself.

In your example, though, the fade appears inconsistent. What program did you use to create your map? Just curious.

I wonder, though, what is the purpose of your map? To show the hillshade or communicate who owns what? Whatever style you ultimately choose, your map should convey the information your map readers want.



#4
Pete

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Good Afternoon...

Often when I display land-ownership I'll simply color code by landowner, add some transparency to show underlying hillshade and be done with it.. I've been enjoying creating some cool color ramps for my DEMs and am sometimes sad to see them disappear under my land ownership.


I know what you mean - I don't often use coloured DEMs for land ownership or "big polygon" maps simply because the high number of colours get hard to look at. Similarly, I find large shapes filled with solid colours a bit dull to look at.

I must admit I tend to use this sort of effect more often than not!

Attached File  NEW_management_areas_2008.gif   356.1KB   134 downloads Attached File  NEW_relief_islands.gif   480.8KB   126 downloads

If I do use a coloured DEM background what I've found works quite well is to use a relatively thin but well-defined inner glow with a white outline.

Attached File  CC_map_part.gif   147.56KB   98 downloads

#5
natcase

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Note a significant difference between Pete and Josh's areas: Pete's are irregular, and dominated by the coastline shapes, while Pete's are rectilinear and for the most part ignore the physical landscape.

I've found that this technique of the soft fade works well where Pete's situation prevails, like Canadian provinces (see below).
Posted Image
Part of the challenge in using inside glows in a rectilinear environment like Josh's is that glows soften corners (which is nice when, for example, you want to build a ramped coastline effect). For Josh's situation, consider a tinted, very transparent, thicker line built in AI: hard line, but you can keep it a consistent width. I'm attaching a not-great example from one of our maps.
Posted Image

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#6
KrafftyMan

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Pete, I really like your first two examples. What steps did you take to create that effect?

#7
Pete

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Note a significant difference between Pete and Josh's areas: Pete's are irregular, and dominated by the coastline shapes, while Pete's are rectilinear and for the most part ignore the physical landscape.


Good point Natcase - even when dealing with the same sorts of shapes the same effect looks very different. In the NHS map Argyll and Bute (the blue area) is maybe the same area as Caithness (the orange area) but because it is very edgy (high edge to area ratio - there's probably a technical mathematical expression for this!) the same effect fills in more of the area. It doesn't bother me particularly because I know that the effect is the same in each area and in this case it doesn't look "wrong".

If the same effect gave a completely solid fill in one area but not in another I'd think about reducing the thickness of the internal fade in all areas such as in the Northern Constabulary map until you reach a compromise between the thickness of the fill and how many of the smaller areas are completely coloured.

Scale is an important consideration too. Small scale maps that contain physically bigger areas are usually better suited to softer effects that take a bit more space because, for one you've got more space so you might as well fill it ;) and a more defined line offset inside the poygon effectively doubles the number of lines in your map and can be difficult to look at especially if you're including other linear features like roads.

Pete, I really like your first two examples. What steps did you take to create that effect?


Thanks KrafftyMan. Those two maps were put together in Illustrator CS2 from data exported from ArcMap. The effect in both maps was simply the inner glow effect. It depends how complex your shapes are whether or not the effect will work - not just as described above but whether or not Illustrator will be able to apply the effect to the shapes - more complicated shapes may not take the effect. There's obviously a limit but I'm not sure what it is ..!

There are a number of things you can do to get around this - simplify your outlines using the tool under object, path, simplify and then try to apply the effect. For hellish-complicated lines and huge areas you can rasterize the shape and use the live trace tool to give you a generalised outline. Different dpi rasterization and path-fitting in live trace will give different levels of accuracy so it's worth experimenting. If all else fails you can duplicate your shapes - make two copies of the shape, colour one a pale shade of the outline colour, make one with a very thick outline and blur it and use the last shape as a clipping mask on the blurred outline - it will look something like an inner glow and does well enough when Illustrator has backed you into a corner :lol: !




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