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Feedback Requested: In-Progress Map of the Spokane River

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#1
raenaDIGS

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Hi everyone,

A non-profit client has requested a map of the entire Spokane River for posting on their website. Other than size ratio, the client had no input on the map's content, except to include the state boundaries and cities. This map is a first draft.

Questions:
1. Should I thin some of the populated places and mountain peaks, and make the labels of those that remain larger? In other words, is the map too detailed and the labels too small for a web-posted figure?

2. I'm strugging with label placement (and color), particularly for the Columbia River and Ferry County in the upper left corner. Ideas?

3. I use varyious shades of grey labels. Is it hard on the eye? Solutions? (I decided against placing the anno under the feather effect--the gradient of shading in the text really bothered me.)

4. Any other tips or advice is appreciated.

Thanks!

raena

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raena demaris
raena@demarisgis.com
www.demarisgis.com

#2
razornole

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Hello Raena,

To me one of the most important questions is what will this map be used for, i.e. target audience. That always helps me determine label placements, colors, and size. Currently I am not a fan of the label & markers underneath the feather mask. I would more treat it like a buffer, anything within (say a 6 mile buffer of the river) gets labeled the same, however I would still keep the feather on your terrain model.

I think that Ferry Co works as is. I may try to type it on a slightly curved path, but if I did that then I would make sure to do something similar with all my county labels. With the Columbia River, I would just break that county line and center the label in the river. I can't image the county line being that important all that I need to know is that the Columbia delineates a county border. Right now it feels crowded and an after thought.

Why are there two colors used on the Spokane River? I'm not a fan of your water bodies and streams on the legend. A majority of them are under your feather mask and a different color anyways. You could also try labeling the Spokane river and remove it from your legend as well. I notice a lot of color banding on your blue gradients.

This map looks pretty good, and is pretty easy on the eyes. Great start.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#3
David Medeiros

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Hi Raena,

I agree with the comments Kru made and would add just a few other points.

I think both the shaded relief and the water boundaries are too detailed for a map like this. I would down sample the terrain resolution, or if using Photoshop apply a median filter and maybe a #1 Gaussian filter. Use the Arc generalize tools or the simplify path tool in Illustrator to reduce the amount of detail in the river lines.

Definitely set your water bodies to a single color and label them directly on the map.

I like the feather effect but I think it cut sin too much on the cities. Was this done in Photoshop or Illustrator? It looks a little uneven in some places (around the urban areas). You may want to extend the feather buffer and make the gradient more subtle.

Green to me suggests parks or open natural areas, not urban areas. I would use another color (or a med gray fill) for the cities.

Convention for road mileage symbols is usually a little red, magenta or black diamond pointed towards the point of mileage. Not sure for river miles. I think the yellow stars are hard to see and the shape is a little distracting. If I were doing this map I would actually use a smaller magenta circle (like your town symbols) with matching magenta type and switch the town symbols to larger dark gray or white filled circles. The Mtn peaks I would change to hollow black triangles and center the label over the top with the elevation in a smaller font bellow the symbol.

I would keep all labels and point symbols on top of the fade. Only feather the terrain, hydrology and probably the urban fills.

Nice design overall, I like the feather effect. It just needs a few touch ups. Good luck!

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#4
raenaDIGS

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Thanks to you both for the feedback. River miles are usually represented by tiny little black "x"s. I'm exclusively using ESRI products at the moment, which may limit what I can do, or would change the methdology.

I understand the points that you both make and they're well taken, particularly the colors of urban areas, label placement and colors, and point symbology. I'll take the advice! Cheers,
raena demaris
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