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Greenbelt Map - Critique Please

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#1
stephenramirezzz

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Greetings everyone, this is my first post; transmitting from Austin TX!
I am putting together a map of a local greenbelt, it's an 18" x 24" map that will be printed on hop-syn and folded down to 4"X9" .

I am here to receive much needed criticism, I have developed my own cartographic style over the past few years but I just know that there will be a lot of work to be done in your eyes. I want to learn and become a better cartographer and I know that your critism will be a real value to me. It may just be hard to take at first, so be nice :(

I appreciate everyone's time and I'm ready to embrace your comments.

Only the legend/description were made in Illustrator, the rest in ArcMap.

Well, here's my initial draft of the main map: http://i.imgur.com/JLvls.jpg

My plans:
1. Move "Barton Hills Access" out from behind the line.
2. Add trailhead marker symbol to Access section of the legend.
3. Fix text of nature section to stay within boundaries.
4. Fill in correct information for climbing site info.
5. Test other basemaps (topo or other relief based basemaps).

Thanks a lot.
-Stephen Ramirez
www.birdsiview.org

#2
razornole

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Greetings everyone, this is my first post; transmitting from Austin TX!
I am putting together a map of a local greenbelt, it's an 18" x 24" map that will be printed on hop-syn and folded down to 4"X9" .

I am here to receive much needed criticism, I have developed my own cartographic style over the past few years but I just know that there will be a lot of work to be done in your eyes. I want to learn and become a better cartographer and I know that your critism will be a real value to me. It may just be hard to take at first, so be nice :(

I appreciate everyone's time and I'm ready to embrace your comments.

Only the legend/description were made in Illustrator, the rest in ArcMap.

Well, here's my initial draft of the main map: http://i.imgur.com/JLvls.jpg

My plans:
1. Move "Barton Hills Access" out from behind the line.
2. Add trailhead marker symbol to Access section of the legend.
3. Fix text of nature section to stay within boundaries.
4. Fill in correct information for climbing site info.
5. Test other basemaps (topo or other relief based basemaps).

Thanks a lot.
-Stephen Ramirez
www.birdsiview.org



Hello Stephen,

I think the simplest thing to do to improve this map would be to loose the aerial photograph and make a simple basemap. I have never seen a successful printed map made with an aerial photograph, and I've seen a lot of maps. It just adds so much clutter and junk that is not necessary to your mission statement, greenway trails.

Might not be what you wanted to hear, but I think if you start with that there will be a drastic improvement.

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
jerseysbest

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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the aerial basemaps, or the generic basemaps in general, they can be very distracting- but aerial or satellite basemaps may be needed depending on the context. Perhaps try to mute the non-area of interests?

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#4
stephenramirezzz

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Thanks for taking a look.
As I had stated, I was going to try out some other base maps. Here I used the world topo from esri online, plus a hillshade and included the park boundaries. Definitely looks WAY cleaner.
Do you all have any comments on the legend? Is the color scheming ridiculous or anything? Right now it's just a copy and paste from the original so it still has the satellite imagery peeking through the transparency. I have to wait to work on another computer to update that as well as the new trail color

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Thanks again for your time.

#5
fdb

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Hello !

I'm agree wirth Kru.

Basemap is always better than a aerial photograph.
There's too much information in an aerial photography. Basicmap is a first filter necessary to help people reading immediately the good information.

Your second maps with the mute solution is for me not a good idea.

But i like your Legend !

François.
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www.geoscript.fr

#6
stephenramirezzz

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I am not sure whether I am still restricted for being a new user or my post didn't go through.

Here is a newer version using the "World Topographic Map" from ESRI online as well as hillshading/dem with the park boundaries. I agree the basemap looks way cleaner; I like where it's heading.

http://i.imgur.com/zPiwc.jpg

I am also interested in what you think about my legend, thank you François for your comment, what do the rest of you think?
(Refer to original)

Thanks for all of the comments.

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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I am not sure whether I am still restricted for being a new user or my post didn't go through.


I've validated you now, sorry for the delay.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#8
Dennis McClendon

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Lots of haloed type. The park names should simply be reversed to white.

With parks so intensely colored, there’s no need for a stroke.

Ghosted superhighways look like they’re beneath the parks, as in the southwest corner. But the freeway ramps dominate that part of the greenway. Why not show freeways in 60% black to tie in with the residential streets.

The enlargements don’t show that much more detail, and trail access details are written out in the wording. I wonder if they’re really all that useful. The way they tie to the main map is a little clumsy. I might set the outside edges a full pica away from the neatline, and use something like a bright yellowish spring green rather than black to do the frames and linkages. Much as I hate to suggest it, a drop shadow behind the enlargements might help clarify how they work in relation to the main map.

What’s the purpose of the lat-long numbers around the outside? If you think lots of users will need GPS devices to navigate, maybe use decimal rather than dd-mm-ss.

Overly prominent scale and afterthought north arrow. Maybe put both those inconspicuously outside the neatline, or integrated as part of a title bar.

Restrooms would be a nice thing to show. Are there names or numbers for any of the trails, marked in the field, that would help them be more than just squiggles on a map?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#9
Michael Karpovage

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Stephen, I have to fully concur with Dennis McClendon's constructive criticism. He is spot on. You're getting there though. Your map is MUCH improved since your original draft. Keep it up!

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#10
stephenramirezzz

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Dennis!
I really really appreciate your feedback, and I really like most all of your suggestions. I have been urging to work on the map just so I can thank you.
I got rid of 95% of the haloing, scooted the boxes away from the edge, and change the border color with the drop shadow.
Changed the grid units to decimals, so I assume since you suggested, it's more useful this way?
Shrunk the scale bar and fit it all in with the needed logo and a title.

Not shown right now is the legend updates, I've added trailhead symbol and restroom symbol. I am contacting some folks to see about naming some of the trails but for the most part the are generally unnamed.

Here's the dilemma. The basemap was a prefab from ESRI online, so you can't make any changes to the roads or anything like that. If I wanted to still use that I would need to edit the park polygons or add just those particular roads to lay on top of the parks. OR I can just use all the real centerlines and have a 100% custom basemap. I may be able to find some building footprints and the main street names and all that; I don't think I can make it quite as pretty as the ESRI topo but I would personally feel more accomplished by not using a prefab basemap.

Here are the adjustments on the original ESRI basemap: http://i.imgur.com/T3YWB.jpg
Here are the adjustments and the start of creating my own basemap (I am in a rush so didn't get the chance to edit the insets as well) : http://i.imgur.com/T3pUO.jpg

I am eager to continue the work on this, please share your thoughts.

#11
Dennis McClendon

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Looking better in a lot of respects, but the roads and freeways are disappearing under the park and water polygons. South MoPac was still under construction way back when I was at UT, but I don't think they tunneled under Town Lake.

What are the two categories of trail (thick red and thin maroon)?

I'm not very keen on the green dropshadows; I'd just go gray. And dropshadows should all drop in the same direction.

If you're going to keep the insets, maybe reduce the main map scale about 5 to 7 percent to give yourself a little breathing room (assuming your paper size is fixed).

Why are you cramming the title box in at the bottom when you have all that empty Rollingwood area at the top?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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