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Determine printing area based on map scale?

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#1
MapMedia

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Would like to hear from others who may have a useful formula for determining minimum printing area based on two factors:
1. map scale (the area mapped)
2. label density (i.e., street detail map, with points of interest, etc.).

Am thinking there may be a formula such as [Scale x Label Density Coefficient = Minimum Map Area]

#2
Dennis McClendon

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I think most of us know, based on experience, the minimum scale for which it's practical to label all features. For street maps of North American suburban and urban areas, that would be 1:30,000 in my mind. Same idea but a different way to come at it.

This varies with the territory, however. A gridded city like Denver or Chicago could probably be done at 1:35,000 if you had to, while a modern suburban area will require callouts and insets at anything tighter than 1:25,000. Some large-lot exurban areas could be done at 1:50,000.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
MapMedia

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Dennis, that makes sense to me. My rule of thumb is a scale of about 1:40,000 requires 9 sq ft of map space for the detailed labels to be legible, and by detailed I mean on average 6 pt, and smallest being 4pt. I am setting up a scale to fit map scale to minimum map size so when I get a map request I can size the printing costs on the fly.

#4
oldtoby

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Well i dont have a formula but for my companys 36x48 folding maps to get 5-6 pt type we use 1:39000/40000 scale.

#5
Paul H

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My quick on-the-phone scale formula for labeling every street and road is 1 inch = 1/2 mile (1:31,680). So when someone needs to have an area 10 miles by 15 miles mapped, I can quickly say they'll need a sheet approx. 20 inches by 30 inches. (just double the miles)

#6
natcase

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I think most of us know, based on experience, the minimum scale for which it's practical to label all features. For street maps of North American suburban and urban areas, that would be 1:30,000 in my mind. Same idea but a different way to come at it.

This varies with the territory, however. A gridded city like Denver or Chicago could probably be done at 1:35,000 if you had to, while a modern suburban area will require callouts and insets at anything tighter than 1:25,000. Some large-lot exurban areas could be done at 1:50,000.

And there's wide variation depending on your style. We just did a street map base of the Twin Cities metro area at 1:44000, including lots of points of interest, but it uses 4 pt labels and lots of callouts and was an unbelievable bear to cram it all in. And cities like Boston and Cambridge are hard to do at less than 1:12000, even with callouts, if you want to label every way, place and and mews.

Maybe this is a problem, but we don't quote for creating new map bases off the cuff... We may give a very ballpark estimate, but then I look more carefully at the area being mapped (with specs on what is the furthest N, S, E & W point the client needs to show on the map), and get a sense of density. It's a visual thing...

Nat Case
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#7
Charles Syrett

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When I look through the various maps of London (England, not Ontario or Kansas!) in my collection, the scales are all around 12,000 - 15,000. That's just the way older cities are. And I, too, never commit to price over the phone, and I always try to push for larger scales. After all, the people with the sharp eyes aren't the ones buying paper maps now! Aging boomers definitely need larger text, = larger scale. Then again, if a client insists on the smaller scale, then so be it....

Charles Syrett
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#8
Dennis McClendon

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Yes, the reason I specified North American cities in my post was the very different layout and street-naming conventions for European cities. Hans probably can't imagine working tighter than 1:20,000 in the Netherlands. On the other hand, Japanese cities have so few named streets that you could probably do them at 1:150,000, like a DeLorme Atlas!
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#9
MapMedia

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My quick on-the-phone scale formula for labeling every street and road is 1 inch = 1/2 mile (1:31,680). So when someone needs to have an area 10 miles by 15 miles mapped, I can quickly say they'll need a sheet approx. 20 inches by 30 inches. (just double the miles)


That's helpful, thanks Paul.

#10
MapMedia

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Well i dont have a formula but for my companys 36x48 folding maps to get 5-6 pt type we use 1:39000/40000 scale.


Thanks OldTody. That's about what I have found. My process for street maps is using ArcMap 10 plus Maplex and premium street data, so I am dialing in the [scale to paper size] for the different maps (street level or primary/secondary street level, etc.).

Chris




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