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#1
frax

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State of genertically modified organisms (GMOs) and policy in Africa -- this is for an upcoming UN Environment Programme publication on Africa. The information is based on what is in a survey made by the Center for Food Security, and their map. The concepts will be described in the (figure) text and it is assumed that the reader will have some overview of Africa and GMO's.

This is my first experiment with a perspective map, it doesn't really add anything to the view, and makes it a little harder to label things. I am not sure it is something that I'll use very much, but it was fun to experiment. (map production described in this thread)

Posted Image
larger map

I decided to list all the countries in groups, just to avoid labelling all the countries on the map... Those round dots in the oceans, they represent Cape Verde, Sao Tome e Principe, Mauritius, Comoros and the Seychelles.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#2
DaveB

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Nice clean-looking map, as usual.

Some minor points:
1. Decide on which way you want to spell label(l)ing (American English has it with only 2 l's; British English might have it with 3 if it's like travel(l)ing)
2. There is no heading for the third grouping/color on the righ-hand side of the legend. Is that no biosafety protocol?
3. Looks like there is an extra space after GMO in the line "Country has rejected GMO grain as food aid"
4. I don't see Algeria listed in the right side of the legend. Shouldn't it be under the first category "Biosafety protocol, ratified"?

Aside from those nit-picky things I'm not sure about the symbols for ban and rejection of GMO grain. The red stop sign says "stop" to me, but the blue circle seems more open (but maybe blue circles are a common road sign shape outside the U.S.? and mean something like stop or do not enter?). I hate to go with cliches like the red circle with a line through it, but it is a widely known symbol. (Could just be me though; maybe other people are ok with the symbols you have or maybe they mean something to your particular audience)
Dave Barnes
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#3
franciscocartographer

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Nice graphic. Very clean and attractive.
What about adding a scale? Maybe including a Lat/Long grid will improve the look and then it will be unnecessary to include a scale and north arrow.
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Francisco Jimenez, GISP
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#4
Matthew Hampton

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I like the map. In my mind the information portrayed is tri-variate (production, regulation of use, biosafetly protocol) and using colored fills, symbols, and hashing works well.

2. There is no heading for the third grouping/color on the righ-hand side of the legend. Is that no biosafety protocol?

It shows up in the smaller preview, but not in the larger image!?!

I think this graphic could be visually be a little more powerful. I think using a symbol with a slash though it might work (international symbol for NONE).

I think the hash marks for countries growing GMO food could be a different color (red?) that is more pronounced than the same color as the country borders. Also the GMO ban color could starker - perhaps using the same symbol as GMO rejections but a different color. Use the shape to denote GMO regulations and color to denote hierarchy.

I think the colors for the biosafetly protocol work well.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#5
frax

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Thanks for all very good comments - except maybe the idea of a scale bar/north arrow/lat long grid - I don't think any of those are necessary and would only add to the clutter.

For the GMO ban/aid banned I am little bit torn. I think it is strong of these developing countries to take a hard standpoint in these issues (where the Western world is only caring about financial interests, and are very soft in regards to GMOs). Declaring the country GMO free is a very bold decision (although one has to ask what it means in practice).

The publication tries to take a little bit of a positive standpoint and are looking at the future oppurtunities - and I am not so keen on a map full of ban signs...

On the (receiving GE food) aid issue though, I think that is a little bit different, I find few ways to see anything positive in that. I remember the news on TV where they were showing the grain storage in Zimbabwe where the food was just stored while the people were starving. The potential risks in handling GE foods are different and several magnitudes lower than the cultivating/breeding of GMOs.

That is why I chose a stop sign for the countries which have denied GE food aid (that food is not welcome in the country) and a blue sign and the wording GMO free for the others (note that I decided not to use the wording GMO banned)

I just looked it up though, and saw that the "GMO free" countries may, or have been, rejecting GE food in aid as well, so perhaps I should reconsider the symbolization...

Here is how the center did it in their original map:
Posted Image
Hugo Ahlenius
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#6
frax

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So how about this... ?
Posted Image
Larger
Hugo Ahlenius
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#7
Matthew Hampton

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Excellent! I like what you did and I think using icons w/out lettering inside for the "GMO ban" and "GMO rejects" makes the map easier to look at.

The only other thing I can think of for the moment is that if you wanted to maximize the size of the graphic - there might be enough room to tuck the legend items in the oceanic area between Liberia and Namibia. Although, I don't know the layout specs.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#8
DaveB

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So how about this... ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Looking good. I kind of miss the lack of text on the map (both on the symbols and the countries), but the reader can match the symbols on the map with the symbols in the legend easily and presumably the intended audience would know something about the countries (maybe?) (and it's hard to get all of the country names onto a map that size and keep them readable). On the other hand if the map ever needs to be translated into other languages only the legend needs to be touched. ANyway, I think those are minor points and a matter of taste.

Nice clean work! :D
Looking at the overall map, even in the smaller thumbnail, it's easy to pick out the different categories. And the lists tell you more (specifically, which countries come under which categories).
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#9
Martin Gamache

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I would modify the legend slightly so that the GMO class in which South africa belongs, which is now shown with the yellow stripes over green is modified to show only as yellow stripes over white. It is the yellow stripes that identify its status as a grower of GMO foods. The green background identifies it as having ratified the treaty. The way you have it shown now confuses the two data categories and the reader has to find South Africa's name in the list to figure out if it has ratified or not.

#10
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thx Martin - that is changed.

So now you all learned something, right? I bet you didn't know this about the situation on GMOs in Africa - I for sure didn't before I started with this. The US (60% out of total global GE crops, in hectares) and Argentina (20%) are the top in GE crops, followed by Canada, Brazil and China (each around 4-6%).

Did you eat any GE foods this morning? In the US or Canada labelling is not required, while it is in the EU among others.

Personally, I think there is a space for moderate genetic engineering, one just have to be very very very careful with the transgentic aspects (engineered traits spreading in the wild, to other natural organisms) and currently the GMO business is controlled tightly (and not very open and fair) by big multinationals...
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#11
DaveB

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So now you all learned something, right?

Did you eat any GE foods this morning?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The part about learning new things is one of the things that attracted me to cartography. I know I learned different things working in the PSU cart lab as a student. And not just about cartography, but about the subjects being mapped.

As for eating GE foods, given the numbers and the fact that I live in the US sounds like it's very possible, but probably un-knowable.
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#12
frax

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As for eating GE foods, given the numbers and the fact that I live in the US sounds like it's very possible, but probably un-knowable.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have a feeling, that if you eat the big brand name processed food stuff in the US, like cereals or whatever, that it is very likely that you get some GE food stuffs -- esp if it contains maize or soy (common starch or protein in processed foods).
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