Jump to content

 
Photo

Generic City Street Map

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1
jamesf

jamesf

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • United States

I've attached a map of one portion of my city (Norfolk, VA). I'm making a generic street-level map but am curious as to what you might add or change about this. I think it looks pretty bad, which is why I'm here asking for help.

Some ideas I have are currently:
1. Add landmark labels
2. Add neighborhood boundaries & names
3. Some sort of border for the parcels? (The color is based on zoning regulations).

What I am, however, proud of, is the one-way arrows. I created a representation layer for them as per the tutorial below:
http://blogs.esri.co...ay-streets.aspx


Let me know what you think - the filesize is about 900Kb, if you need it smaller I can size it down, but that's a snapshot at 1:1 zoom to preserve label size.

Thanks!

Attached Files



#2
Michael Karpovage

Michael Karpovage

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Roswell, GA
  • Interests:Making beautiful, functional maps
  • United States

James,
Yes indeed it's bad, but you've come to the right place to improve the look. :)

I have alot of questions and some initial reactions first before making recommendations.

What is the purpose of this map?
Where will it be used?
Print or web or both?
Who is your intended audience?
What are the final dimensions?

If I understand correctly this is just one small section of your overall city map, correct? If so, I am assuming you already have standard items in place such as the city name, legend key explaining what the colors mean, a compass rose showing north directional? It's tough to understand this map since it may be out of context of a larger picture.

Roads: Right now the road names are tough to read being black on a darker gray and squeezed inside a narrow width. The black stroke contributes to the tough legibility of the road labels as well. One of the key factors in communicating information on maps is readability of text. Creating contrast between colors improves this. Size and placement and kerning all factor in too. But all your roads are about the same width. Hard to imagine they all are skinny little roads like that.

Sidewalks? I'm not sure what the cream color around each road is. Is that area sidewalks? If so, some of the sidewalks are actually wider than the roads. Are sidewalks really needed in this map? They are creating a vibrant effect that is coming across as distracting to the eye. I would much rather see the roads expanded out to the area of the sidewalks to give your road labels breathing room for greater readability.

Black lines within the colored areas? Don't know what they are, what they mean, if they are needed.

1. Add landmark labels (very good to consider because it helps people navigate via wayfinding)
2. Add neighborhood boundaries & names (I think names would be sufficient, not boundaries)
3. Some sort of border for the parcels? (The color is based on zoning regulations). (borders for each colored zone? no. flat color without a stroke is fine right now)

Here's a boatload of 2D city/area map examples from our portfolio to give you some ideas: http://www.mapformat...o/city_area.htm

Hope these questions/comments get you started on how we can make improvements.

Best Regards,

--
Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#3
jamesf

jamesf

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • United States

Michael,

Thanks for your comments - to answer a few:

1. The purpose is to provide in-hand navigation for visitors and/or residents of the city.
2. It'll be used while walking or prior to - i.e. in planning a trip around the neighborhood.
3. It will be printed.
4. Intended audience is both those living in Norfolk, VA and those visiting.
5. Final dimensions will be 36"x36".

I have all the extra stuff planned in (legend, north arrow, notes, titles, etc.) but am waiting on one or two more datasets for landmarks, neighborhoods, etc.

The cream is simply the background color for the map while the other colors represent various zoning areas.

Thanks for your comments - I'll check out those maps and make some changes. Much appreciated!

#4
Michael Karpovage

Michael Karpovage

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Roswell, GA
  • Interests:Making beautiful, functional maps
  • United States

Okay, since it's a printed map and quite large (assuming the whole city is shown) you'll most definitely want to deal with the road names legibility for people to easily read them as that will be their main source of navigation. Also definitely add landmarks with little icons if possible or simple a different type of label (maybe all caps in white?) to differentiate. You're challenge is going to be to keep from creating visual chaos once you start adding in all of the goodies.

Mike

--
Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#5
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,089 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

There's a lot going on there and most of it probably needs to be changed if you want this to be an appealing map for the public to use. Your best bet in my opinion is to find another map of similar context to emulate. My bias for city maps like this is towards a much lighter open feel, make a lot more use of the paper white as the background and don't fill every inch with fill color. Zero in on simple lines for streets and clear, legible text for street labels. I've attached a screen shot of the old CSAA San Francisco city map for comparison. Take particular note of the one-way arrows, you'll se that some of the arrows include slash marks at their base or tip to mark exactly where the one way designation starts or ends.

Attached Files


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#6
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,898 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

I pretty much would like to echo the earlier comments, and point out that for some map elements, such as the street names and one-way arrows, doing them manually rather than automatically (or doing them automatically but then touching them up manually) often yields better results.

Case in point: there's way too many one-way arrows along certain parts of Spotswood, Baldwin and Maury Avenues. One per block would communicate the message just as well and would give you room for an extra label (Spotswood could do with one, to clarify the situation)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#7
jamesf

jamesf

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • United States

Right on! I definitely think all those are valid points. I especially like the map that David M posted - I see half a toolbar at the very bottom that looks unfamiliar. Does anyone know what program was used on that map?

Again - your comments are much appreciated and will be put to good use!

#8
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,089 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

Right on! I definitely think all those are valid points. I especially like the map that David M posted - I see half a toolbar at the very bottom that looks unfamiliar. Does anyone know what program was used on that map?

Again - your comments are much appreciated and will be put to good use!


The tool bar you are seeing is the MAPublisher tool bar. MAPub is a GIS plugin for Adobe Illustrator. But that map was done with out the aid of GIS, all manual Illustrator work. It would be pretty hard to replicate the exact look in Arc alone but a lot of the styles, layout and design choices can be applied in Arc to good effect. I'm not suggesting to copy the map design outright but use it as a guide or template (along with any other street maps you find appealing). When you don't know where to start and there's a lot of ground to cover in terms of making changes I think simply emulating a good design is actually one of the best ways to learn about what works and what doesn't.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#9
Michael Karpovage

Michael Karpovage

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Roswell, GA
  • Interests:Making beautiful, functional maps
  • United States

There's another term for emulation.... "innovative following" ;) And that's how I too got started. But to David's point, your own distinct map design style will emerge as you look at what others have done that appeal to you. Take those influential puzzle pieces from others and apply them to your own map.

--
Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->