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Map of Jamaica for a novel

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#1
Mapper71

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This is a map I did a few years ago for a historical novel and it's the one map in my portfolio that gets a lot of comments. I wanted to see what everyone here thought of it.

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#2
Charles Syrett

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Very nicely done. To have different tone fills for each parish, as well as in the water, in black and white – that's no mean feat! Clear, clean, elegant. The only thing I question is the road symbology. Even at the bottom of the visual hierarchy, I would like to see them show up a little more.

I'm curious – what's your background? It's very uncommon nowadays to see this kind of design sensitivity.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#3
Mapper71

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Very nicely done. To have different tone fills for each parish, as well as in the water, in black and white – that's no mean feat! Clear, clean, elegant. The only thing I question is the road symbology. Even at the bottom of the visual hierarchy, I would like to see them show up a little more.

I'm curious – what's your background? It's very uncommon nowadays to see this kind of design sensitivity.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

Thank you Charles. I graduated with a degree in geography and have worked as a cartographer ever since. Most of the maps I have worked on are for novels or ed. pub. or magazines so they require a little extra design process than say a straight-forward road map. I've just learned that using some little effects can really bring out something special in a map.

#4
David Medeiros

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Very nicely done. To have different tone fills for each parish, as well as in the water, in black and white – that's no mean feat! Clear, clean, elegant. The only thing I question is the road symbology. Even at the bottom of the visual hierarchy, I would like to see them show up a little more.

I'm curious – what's your background? It's very uncommon nowadays to see this kind of design sensitivity.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

Thank you Charles. I graduated with a degree in geography and have worked as a cartographer ever since. Most of the maps I have worked on are for novels or ed. pub. or magazines so they require a little extra design process than say a straight-forward road map. I've just learned that using some little effects can really bring out something special in a map.


Ok, first off, as a 10 year veteran of the Northern California AAA cartographic department I can tell you there is plenty of design in a run of the mill road map! A decent one anyway ;)

Second, I agree with Charles, nicely done. The contrast gradient is just right, you made the smallest area the darkest. The inner glow looks nice. Good typography. Simple and clear.

Here's what I notice that could be worked on:
1) coastal contour lines have some small artifacts in them and are spaced a bit unevenly.
2) the mountain symbols look great but seem to line up too much in places. I'd introduce a little more variety by moving them around a bit and playing with the symbol point size so you don't have a line of all the same size mountain in a row (I have the same symbol set and love it)
3) I'd increase the % gray on the mountain in the darkest area regain some of the lost contrast, if done right they will appear to the same gray as all the others.
4) I would increase the point size and letter spacing for Caribbean Sea, and I might go all caps.
5) In the legend you have the town symbol in between the line symbols. I usually try to keep points, lines and areas symbolized as groups in the legend (with points on top).

I know this map project is closed on your end, this list is more for me really, its good practice to critique others work. Good job, your attention to design shows.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
Mapper71

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Very nicely done. To have different tone fills for each parish, as well as in the water, in black and white – that's no mean feat! Clear, clean, elegant. The only thing I question is the road symbology. Even at the bottom of the visual hierarchy, I would like to see them show up a little more.

I'm curious – what's your background? It's very uncommon nowadays to see this kind of design sensitivity.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

Thank you Charles. I graduated with a degree in geography and have worked as a cartographer ever since. Most of the maps I have worked on are for novels or ed. pub. or magazines so they require a little extra design process than say a straight-forward road map. I've just learned that using some little effects can really bring out something special in a map.


Ok, first off, as a 10 year veteran of the Northern California AAA cartographic department I can tell you there is plenty of design in a run of the mill road map! A decent one anyway ;)

Second, I agree with Charles, nicely done. The contrast gradient is just right, you made the smallest area the darkest. The inner glow looks nice. Good typography. Simple and clear.

Here's what I notice that could be worked on:
1) coastal contour lines have some small artifacts in them and are spaced a bit unevenly.
2) the mountain symbols look great but seem to line up too much in places. I'd introduce a little more variety by moving them around a bit and playing with the symbol point size so you don't have a line of all the same size mountain in a row (I have the same symbol set and love it)
3) I'd increase the % gray on the mountain in the darkest area regain some of the lost contrast, if done right they will appear to the same gray as all the others.
4) I would increase the point size and letter spacing for Caribbean Sea, and I might go all caps.
5) In the legend you have the town symbol in between the line symbols. I usually try to keep points, lines and areas symbolized as groups in the legend (with points on top).

I know this map project is closed on your end, this list is more for me really, its good practice to critique others work. Good job, your attention to design shows.

Thanks for the input. Sorry to disparage road maps :) I haven't worked on a ton of them and the ones I have worked on I found rather tedious and boring. I have always been more into to ed pub./historical maps where you have more creative leeway.

#6
David Medeiros

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Thanks for the input. Sorry to disparage road maps :) I haven't worked on a ton of them and the ones I have worked on I found rather tedious and boring. I have always been more into to ed pub./historical maps where you have more creative leeway.


Nah, I was just goofing off. I mean there is a lot of design thought that goes into them initially, but once the style is set they can be very boring to update. This all depends on the group of course. CSAA (AAA of N CA) had high design standards, the rest of AAA largely does not (with the exception of ACSC). And of course now that CSAA Cartography doesn't exist anymore, neither does their level of road map quality.

Maps for one-off publication are certainly more interesting to work on since each is usually a new challenge and brings new design opportunities.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#7
Matthew Toro

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This is a map I did a few years ago for a historical novel and it's the one map in my portfolio that gets a lot of comments. I wanted to see what everyone here thought of it.


Personally, I think it's beautiful, comrade! Great job!

Matthew Toro

#8
Mapper71

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Thanks for the input. Sorry to disparage road maps :) I haven't worked on a ton of them and the ones I have worked on I found rather tedious and boring. I have always been more into to ed pub./historical maps where you have more creative leeway.


Nah, I was just goofing off. I mean there is a lot of design thought that goes into them initially, but once the style is set they can be very boring to update. This all depends on the group of course. CSAA (AAA of N CA) had high design standards, the rest of AAA largely does not (with the exception of ACSC). And of course now that CSAA Cartography doesn't exist anymore, neither does their level of road map quality.

Maps for one-off publication are certainly more interesting to work on since each is usually a new challenge and brings new design opportunities.

Can I ask, does AAA do a lot of hiring in their cartographic dept? I know you're in CA and I'm in WA, but I have often thought about inquiring about work there. I had a one year contract at Expedia working on their maps but have been only doing freelancing since May and it's not quite doing the trick. Do you use Adobe Creative Suite on the maps or it is more GIS?

#9
Jacques Gélinas

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I did not read all the reply (so sorry if I am redundant).

First, Really nice work!

I would consider revisiting the shoreline 'vignette'. It looks just a tad 'digital' ... edit David picked this up also.

Here is a discussion link here at Cartotalk on the subject cartotalk link

I would also consider sending the sail boats through a 'sketch' filter of some sort. Again to reduce the 'digital' look.

Really nice use of fonts. Could you share the name of the fonts used?

Regards,

Jacques Gélinas
cartographer
www.cartesgeo.ca


#10
Mapper71

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I did not read all the reply (so sorry if I am redundant).

First, Really nice work!

I would consider revisiting the shoreline 'vignette'. It looks just a tad 'digital' ... edit David picked this up also.

Here is a discussion link here at Cartotalk on the subject cartotalk link

I would also consider sending the sail boats through a 'sketch' filter of some sort. Again to reduce the 'digital' look.

Really nice use of fonts. Could you share the name of the fonts used?

Regards,

I used Minion in the map itself and the legend and title are in Zapfino.

#11
David Medeiros

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Can I ask, does AAA do a lot of hiring in their cartographic dept? I know you're in CA and I'm in WA, but I have often thought about inquiring about work there. I had a one year contract at Expedia working on their maps but have been only doing freelancing since May and it's not quite doing the trick. Do you use Adobe Creative Suite on the maps or it is more GIS?


Most of the current AAA maps are now produced in their national HQ in Florida by GIS. CSAA, the AAA club affiliate I worked for closed their cartographic department in 2008. It was a traditional cartographic group going back almost 100 years. When I started they were converting from scribe coat to Adobe Illustrator and made occasional use of GIS data through MAPublisher. Very high quality maps, not what you're likely to see in the coming years from AAA Northern CA.

ACSC, the southern California AAA affiliate still has a cartographic group. You could inquire with them but I know hiring is pretty slow and to be honest I don't think it will last as an independent group for many more years. Cartography of this kind is really on the decline.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#12
Dennis McClendon

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Handsome work—but did you consider having a calligrapher do the labels? Modern phototypography with perfect spacing always looks a little anachronistic to me.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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