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Land Use Classification Districts

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#1
heath b

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Hi all,

I'm working on a map for technical reference purposes only (not for public consumption) of the districts delineated for climate change modeling purposes. These districts are displayed with the underlying land use assumptions based on census tracts and the future urban and rural reserves. District boundaries are aggregations of census tracts, but the urban and rural reserves follow their own geometries. the most important data to display is the district boundaries and the land use classifications. The urban and rural reserves data is secondary, but still necessary. I want those polygons to remain subtle and not interfere with the main messaage of the map. I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions to display this data better. Thanks everybody!

Heath

Attached File  GreenSTEP_TYPE_112811_hb.png   437KB   79 downloads

#2
Gretchen Peterson

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The easiest solution would be to make two maps out of this. However, it may be possible, with a lot of tinkering to get all these different areas to look better.

The first thing would be to take away the dark green outline for the rural reserve. Second, if the number of outline colors/widths can be further reduced, definitely consider it. For example, are the census tract boundaries really important? If not, the white lines could be discarded so that we can focus mainly on the tan, green, and blue areas (without any borders because the area color change is sufficient).

The outline color for the future consideration districts might be the same or similar color to the highway lines, but I'm not sure. Maybe the highways could be eliminated?

Some other ideas might be to integrate the legend and the title a bit more by not having them in boxes - or, if the boxes are kept - taking off the outlines. I'm not sure on that but you could try it. There may be something that can be done with the UGA versus district boundaries so they aren't competing. Maybe make the UGA a bright yellow and put it on top of the district boundaries? You could make the whole thing really bold by darkening the land use colors significantly and then using bright/white/yellow colors for outlines.

If it were me I'd just toy around with all these things until the most important info really pops. I was just making a collection of National Geographic maps that I cut out of old magazines and pasted on black paper and what I'm noticing from them is that the ones that are in-line with the articles only show a few variables at a time on top of a very light reference geography. I'm not saying to do that exactly, just that perhaps looking at some inspiration pieces might help for you too!

Anyway, your map is a good start!

#3
mfarmer

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Gretchen gave great pointers. Echoing her a bit: try boundaries just for districts and the UGB. I like roads to help give scale and perspective to maps, but make sure they are distinguishable from the DFC (or any other line). Try labeling the features that delineate the district boundaries; done legibly but unobtrusively, that should make your users happier. City/Town/Place names might be a help, too.

#4
Dennis McClendon

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I think you've done pretty well given the tough assignment. What I might try would be much more closely spaced but thinner crosshatch lines: medium green for the rural reserves and a darker ocher for the urban reserves. I'd probably try to eliminate the outline for those. The UGB might want to become red or purple (and not dashed). The district lines could be thinner and the ones in Clark County could be blue-gray so they relate better.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
heath b

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Thanks everybody for your input. The next draft is attached. I've incorporated some of your ideas and it's looking better. I removed the outlines for rural reserves and have made both urban and rural reserves grey, while reducing the line width and separation between hatches for urban reserves. The Rural color has been lightened up and the Town class is changed to yellow in order to more closely align the urban aspects of Metro and Town. I also agree that the white outlines of the census tracts are distracting, but they are necessary in order to help explain why some urban areas within the Urban growth boundary have been classified as rural and why the town classes are sometimes rather large. The legend has been moved into the title bar to make room for a future text box explaining the map with caveats. I'm not sure that I'm happy with the way that looks right now and may tweak it a bit more.

As far as labeling is conceerned, this map is directed toward planners and policy makers who are very familiar with the area of concern. So we've decided that labels will only create clutter, although we agreed that the freeways help give just enough context to orient oneself within the UGB.

Thanks again for the helpful criticism!

Heath

Attached File  GreenSTEP_TYPE_113011_hb.png   302.07KB   33 downloads

#6
Dennis McClendon

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It's rare that I advise a cartographer to make something more colorful, but I think this map is getting a bit gray for easy comprehension. I think ocher or burnt orange lines for the urban reserves would be good, and I think the UGB is important enough that it should be a thin continuous line in purple or dark red.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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