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UPDATE 12/9 : Critiques Need Carto Class Final

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#1
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So I'm wrapping up my first cartography class at CSULB and thought I would post a draft of my map here to see what tips you may have for me so....
fire away!

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#2
jrat

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I would go easy on the Halos. You probably do not need them. Also on your large map I would use labels on the map for LA County, pacific ocean and the surrounding counties and drop them from the legend. You don't need them in the legend if f your map clearly conveys them also the green line in the legend is hard to see against your background. I don't understand what the box on the bottom row second from the left is trying to convey. Good luck

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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I agree to what Jrat says, especially on the halos. In fact... I think they make the text harder to read in this particular case. Lose them and make the text a bit bigger (you have enough room for that) and I think that'll make a world of difference.

  • I'm confused by the legend: what variable exactly is being mapped from "very low" to "very high"? Is "very high" good (implied by your main map title: communities reporting good health) or bad (implied by its red color)?
  • Does your main map title accurately describe its subject? "Communities reporting..." implies it's a binary thing, either it's a community reporting good health, or it isn't. Yet there is a color ramp being used.
  • Doublecheck the spelling of the text on the bottom left, I count 4 spelling/grammar mistakes: sumed (2x), catorgies and a than instead of then... some comma's here and there wouldn't hurt either.

Hope this helps.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#4
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I would go easy on the Halos. You probably do not need them. Also on your large map I would use labels on the map for LA County, pacific ocean and the surrounding counties and drop them from the legend. You don't need them in the legend if f your map clearly conveys them also the green line in the legend is hard to see against your background. I don't understand what the box on the bottom row second from the left is trying to convey. Good luck

Halo points noted.
I was planning on adding some labels in the large map as well as some explanatory text below the legend detailing the process. The bottom row second box is trying to say that 6 maps were re-classed and totaled and the output is the Poor reported health map. I didnt want to put more maps on so I tried to devise a symbol that could represent the process and would fit in the space alloted.
Thanks for the comments!

#5
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I agree to what Jrat says, especially on the halos. In fact... I think they make the text harder to read in this particular case. Lose them and make the text a bit bigger (you have enough room for that) and I think that'll make a world of difference.

  • I'm confused by the legend: what variable exactly is being mapped from "very low" to "very high"? Is "very high" good (implied by your main map title: communities reporting good health) or bad (implied by its red color)?
  • Does your main map title accurately describe its subject? "Communities reporting..." implies it's a binary thing, either it's a community reporting good health, or it isn't. Yet there is a color ramp being used.
  • Doublecheck the spelling of the text on the bottom left, I count 4 spelling/grammar mistakes: sumed (2x), catorgies and a than instead of then... some comma's here and there wouldn't hurt either.

Hope this helps.

For the legend I was trying to come up with a way to represent all the maps included without having to have multiple legends for each map. I though that it would be too much clutter. By having a title for each map I assumed that it would clarify the color choice. Perhaps changing the color scheme on the main map and including the changes in the legend would help?

The title is a working title, I wanted to have a place holder for layout purposes. I want to recognize that air pollution and health risk are being mapped but also include that this project was an exploratory study to determine potential sites for future study. As for the binary thing, 6 variables from the health survey were weighted and summed to produce the poor reported health map. They were re classed into 4 classes for the small maps to make it easier to read in this layout.

As for the spelling, I know I am a notoriously bad speller and a final check of all spelling will be done.

Thanks for the comments!

#6
Dennis McClendon

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The main thing that's missing is any context as to where the red areas are located. There are no placenames, no LA city limits, no freeways, no mountain ranges, nothing. In context, the data start to mean something:

Posted Image
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#7
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ok I made a few changes, I been working on this all day today and I need to step away from it for awhile.

here it is as of tonight, its not due until tuesday and I still need to find an appropriate title and insert some explanatory text below the legend.

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#8
David Medeiros

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Your second example is getting better. I think you still have some layout and design issues to look at though.

1) the vertical labels along side your small map blocks is hard to read. It would be better to label the block directly, inside each block with horizontal text. At the very least the vertical text should face into the blocks, not away as they do now.

2) I'm not a fan of complex frame and map arrangements, all the extra lines created by numerous frames adds to visual complexity. On top of that you have rectangular maps inside frames with rounded corners and two shades of green for each outer frame. I would look to simplify these arrangements; use fewer frames overall; mask the maps so they have the same corner radius as the outer frames; get rid of the black inner frame on the main map.

3) you have one legend inside the main map and two under it. The red legend goes with the small maps but is under the main map (move it over to the small maps). Label LA county in the map itself and get rid of that legend.

3) for such small maps you could use a much simpler scale, just s single bar from 0 - 10mi and 0 - 50mi would be fine. You have the small map scale under the main map, move it over.

4) I'm not exactly sure what the "primary" and "secondary" sites refer to (sites for future study I guess?). There seems to be a disconnect between the language of the main map title (optimal sites...) and that legend. The site legend colors seem reversed, darker colors usually imply a greater value (as with the small maps) or higher order. I know you're going for brighter means more there, but it reads as less visually.

5) the coastal boundary data is too detailed for maps of this scale and size. Small coastal details become crowded, increasing visual complexity, especially around Long Beach. You can generalize layers in Arc or you might look for a less detailed dataset.

For the overall design I think you made a great effort. You came up with an interesting way to visualize the analysis process. With a few upgrades this would be right at home in any student poster contest. Good luck!

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#9
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Thanks for the tips David,

Well I think I'm about done.

Thank you to everyone who delt the great advise!

And please feel free to dish out more....

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