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#1
dutchq

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I am new to this forum but have been a 'fan' of maps from childhood.

I have been working on a River Trail map in Illustrator. The municipalities we are working with would like us to somehow include the different type of trail surface for the route (macadam, crushed stone and dirt) as well as current and potential segments for the future. The color map already has the traditional river, streams & lakes, and roadways but we are having trouble trying to distinguish between the differences in the trail segments themselves. We do not want to go overboard with color and don't want to go crazy with dots, dashes and solid lines. Something simple.

We have it down to current trail and proposed trail but do we really need the different trail surface indicators (what should they be if so?)?

Do you have any suggestions? We are near our wits end.

Many thanks in advance.
Dutch

#2
razornole

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Hello Dutch,

I learned what the word macadam means, thanks.

My question would be who is the intended audience? If it is for trail maintenance personnel, then I would specify they type of construction material. If it is for the general public then I would argue that they would not really care. The only thing that I would consider demarcating on map is a paved vs unpaved trail. That makes a big difference to the user. A paved trail one can rollerblade, skateboard, ride a road bike, easily push a stroller/wheelchair, etc..

Hope that makes sense.

kru
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#3
Gretchen Peterson

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You could take a look at this map: The John Wayne Pioneer Trail by Matt Stevenson here: http://www.coregis.n.../portfolio.html (scroll down until you find it). You can see how he's differentiated various line features quite effectively. I think there is a lot you can do with dots, dashes, colors, widths, and double-lines (or "line casing") if the map is at a large scale. If you fool with it quite a bit you can definitely make many different line variations look good together while still being discernible.

#4
Matthew Hampton

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Hi Dutch,

Welcome to the forum.

Trail symbology can be difficult challenge on an already colorful map, but subtle nuance can be your friend with respect to line patterns, line casings (width) and color value. Using a little hierarchy theory, you can surmise that it's probably more important for the user to discern existing vs. proposed so I would utilize solid vs. dashed lines for that distinction since it is visually more pronounced than other styles. For surface type I would add a vary thin casing to paved trails, making them appear more substantial. The casing should contrast from the main trail color bringing a stronger visual presence.

For the softer surfaces I would change the width (thinner) and perhaps the value/saturation of the trail color. Keeping all the trail-types a similar color helps enforce that "type" of feature on a busy map, but changing pattern (dashed/solid), adding a casing and changing the width should give you enough subtly with which to play.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#5
Dennis McClendon

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I would try green dots on a solid background of various colors:

Posted Image

On second thought, no background at all for the dirt trails.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#6
dutchq

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I thank you all for your comments.

At the present, my supervisors have recommended that we just go with two trail colors--solid red and red dotted on white--for paved and unpaved surfaces. They wanted the trail surfaces to be mentioned on the map because they are so different--everything from dirt (with mud) to paved---and did not want anyone to get stuck or be under the impression that they could ride or skate the whole trail when they could only do a portion. This map is, as you can tell, for the general public. The particular map that I am posting is for the trail kiosks. We will also have a map for each section, and that might be the place where we can be a little more specific for trail surfaces.

I have already done the road hierarchy from wide for the major highways to narrower for the smaller streets and alleys in towns. I need these because some of the trail uses the sidewalks through town and it is always a good idea to have access roads to the trail listed on the map to make it easier for folks to find their way.

I really appreciate all the help and suggestions that I have received. If there is anything that you see on the map that is questionable or that could be done better, please let me know. I also have the full PDF if any of you are interested. Just let me know.

Many thanks.
Dutch




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