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#1
Bryan Krouse

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Hi all,
I am creating a folding map (18 X 20") that highlights sport activities by location at which they can be played. In addition, the map will also identify other key features. I have attached a very, very early example, and needs much work still. However, the sport activities ( identified by varying circle colors and letter to identify the sport e.g. F football, P pool, D disc golf, etc.) does not have good visual hierarchy in the map. Does anyone have some thoughts on how to improve this. Also, the resolution is poor at 72 dpi. in order to upload it. Realize that this is only a few hours of work with many to go.

Thanks,
Bryan

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#2
David Medeiros

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I'd say they actually have fine visual hierarchy, they are visually on the top level of the map (although they may be competing with the freeway a bit). I think the real issue is, are they easily decodable? For faster reference you might try pictographic symbols instead of plain symbols. Use symbols that display the activity itself instead of making the map reader remember what the letters mean or go back to a legend to decode.

On the map itself, knowing that you have a lot more work to do I won't go to far into what needs to be done but I will mention two issues that jump out at me:

1) Road hierarchy. all your surface streets go over the orange Hwy. lines. I suspect this is not actually the case but don't know. Whether they go over or under they should probably all be broken by a bridge tic symbol, right now they look like "at grade" crossings.

2) The shadow. I think your trying to highlight the city boundaries but it has an odd effect since many of the map features cross from background onto the raised city area. I think you could get away with it if you choose to show only what was inside the city limit (which would create an island effect) or if you grayed and muted the map details outside the city limit so that roads and rivers would go from muted to color at the boundary line.

I like the color choices so far, good palette. Keep us posted on your progress.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#3
Dennis McClendon

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A map like this is often a good candidate for small multiples. After all, no one wants to know where various sports are played. They want to know where a specific sport is played.

That said, I think this works fine. Dots of different colors allow someone only searching for tennis to find all the tennis facilities quickly. I would say there's no need for the dots to have outline strokes, though. I actually find letters more mnemonic and easier to differentiate than icons, especially when language is not a problem for intended users.

Yeah, the drop shadow is a little odd. Better to just have the surrounding area in tan and the main city or district in white.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
Bryan Krouse

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I'd say they actually have fine visual hierarchy, they are visually on the top level of the map (although they may be competing with the freeway a bit). I think the real issue is, are they easily decodable? For faster reference you might try pictographic symbols instead of plain symbols. Use symbols that display the activity itself instead of making the map reader remember what the letters mean or go back to a legend to decode.

On the map itself, knowing that you have a lot more work to do I won't go to far into what needs to be done but I will mention two issues that jump out at me:

1) Road hierarchy. all your surface streets go over the orange Hwy. lines. I suspect this is not actually the case but don't know. Whether they go over or under they should probably all be broken by a bridge tic symbol, right now they look like "at grade" crossings.

2) The shadow. I think your trying to highlight the city boundaries but it has an odd effect since many of the map features cross from background onto the raised city area. I think you could get away with it if you choose to show only what was inside the city limit (which would create an island effect) or if you grayed and muted the map details outside the city limit so that roads and rivers would go from muted to color at the boundary line.

I like the color choices so far, good palette. Keep us posted on your progress.


David,
Thanks for your input. I made an attempt at pictographics, but the size and quality caused a problem, so I went with circles.

As for the roads crossing the interstates, I have not worked on this yet as most do not go over the interstate. I have been playing with different ideas for a background shadow and will probably not use one. However, I do like your idea on this.

As I mentioned, I am a long ways from complete and was having some concerns with the sporting event locations not standing out, so I thought I would do a quick post.

Thanks,
Bryan

#5
Bryan Krouse

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A map like this is often a good candidate for small multiples. After all, no one wants to know where various sports are played. They want to know where a specific sport is played.

That said, I think this works fine. Dots of different colors allow someone only searching for tennis to find all the tennis facilities quickly. I would say there's no need for the dots to have outline strokes, though. I actually find letters more mnemonic and easier to differentiate than icons, especially when language is not a problem for intended users.

Yeah, the drop shadow is a little odd. Better to just have the surrounding area in tan and the main city or district in white.


I agree with multiples, but not sure if this is a possibility. I will remove the drop shadow and outline stroke.

Thanks,
Bryan

#6
Kathi

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I noticed that the river has some kind of lines in it, especially towards the Nortwestern corner of the map. Are those islands? If so, make sure they're not showing in blue.

I realize there's still lots of work going to go into this map, but right now I somehow feel an imbalance between the very detailed water features outside the city limits and the absence of most other details. Is it really true that there are no roads whatsoever except the highway? Maybe deleting a number of the smallest water features would help, I don't know.
Cheers,

Kathi

#7
Bryan Krouse

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Kathi,
Thanks for the input. Yes, I will be removing much of the water features except the main river running through town. Also, the outline of the river will be removed as well....I have yet to spend time on this.

I need to figure out how to draw attention to the sport fields, while marked, do not draw any attention like they need to. Also, I would like to label them for further/easier clarification, but not sure on this.

Thanks,
Bryan

#8
Dennis McClendon

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One way to make your foreground symbols more prominent is to desaturate and gray your background colors. So the difference between parks and other ground and even water need not be extremely pronounced. I might keep the freeways fairly strong just because they're big landmarks for the Boise area. Another way to simplify the background information is to remove any casings or outlines unless absolutely necessary.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#9
MapMedia

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There is visual jousting between school and sport icons. Schools could become rectangular pastel/muted areas with fainter labeling - leaving the bold colors and symbols to the sport locations.
Dropping the dropshadow may help as well.

Alternatively - having 6 maps on the paper, a map for each sport. Visually, I am curious of this would be faster for the reader to get the info they want.

#10
David Medeiros

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Alternatively - having 6 maps on the paper, a map for each sport. Visually, I am curious of this would be faster for the reader to get the info they want.


I can't see that it would and besides you're likely to have a lot of readers who want to see all sports for a given location together.

Small multiples work better where the information is comparative and the background can be fairly simple.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#11
Bryan Krouse

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All your comments have been great. I have attached an updated map that includes most of your comments. As before, it is a very much work in progress. However, I would appreciate your input.

Bryan

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#12
Bryan Krouse

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Hi all,
I am creating a folding map (18 X 20") that highlights sport activities by location at which they can be played. In addition, the map will also identify other key features. I have attached a very, very early example, and needs much work still. However, the sport activities ( identified by varying circle colors and letter to identify the sport e.g. F football, P pool, D disc golf, etc.) does not have good visual hierarchy in the map. Does anyone have some thoughts on how to improve this. Also, the resolution is poor at 72 dpi. in order to upload it. Realize that this is only a few hours of work with many to go.

Thanks,
Bryan



#13
Dennis McClendon

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This is looking pretty good to me. I like the shoulder-to-shoulder grouping for multiple sports. I might use a thicker line weight rather than double lines for the arterials, but tastes differ. I also would draw in the runways and label the airport, the capitol building, BSU, and Boise Towne Plaza. Add names for the arterials, shields to 84 and 184, and put some names for adjacent towns like M E R I D I A N etc. I'm intrigued that you took the time to discern overpasses from underpasses.

One thing that's tricky when using different colors is getting them to all have the same visual "presence." The ocher F's drop back quite a bit compared to the russet T's. And there's something in bright green (skateboarding?) that appears (at least in RGB) to be an entirely different species. You might try a violet instead of one of those. If you gray rather than darkening your golf courses, you could use deep green (C100 M0 Y100 K20) for one of the sports as well as park names.

I sometimes use C10 M0 Y30 K0 for parks
and C12 M3 Y12 K0 for golf

A deep ocher (I call it cinnamon) that I use pretty often is C0 M40 Y100 K20
Try adding some black to your water. Pure cyan feels kind of alien here.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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