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Bike Nose Creek Commute Calgary

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This was a school assignment we did that was very open ended, simply needing to involve biking within Calgary. Ideally with my career I'd like to do tourism-like related topics. This was a small kick-at-the-can to try and do a promo poster piece as if I'd hypothetically been hired by "Bike Calgary", hence my use of their logo and the promo'y description.

As it is several months old, I look back and there are things I'm unhappy with. Such as the "Downtown Calgary" logo near the bottom left. Nor am I super happy with the scale bar, the numbers almost need a halo to separate them from the background.

Keeping in mind this is a commuter promo poster, something that would be posted in the communities along the Beddington Trail area (near the top section of the map): I'd love some feed back on how to improve any aspect of my skills presented here, or the map itself! Thank you! :)

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I think it looks very good, but there are of course always things that could be improved. One also have to see this less as a map that tries to communicate the exact route of the trail, or should it - I was thinking it was more promotional rather than informational.

I would consider smoothing the kinks in the route a bit. What are the significance of the dots by the way? The end-points of the route shouldn't be that important, should they?

Also, the red frame around is a bit distracting, if you need a frame, I would suggest a gray.

The legend - here we have maybe the #1 classic beginner cartographer mistake - heading it with the text "Legend"... Loose that! I think the legend box could be revised somewhat too, and that bike with the shadow/north arrow is cute, but takes up a lot of space/attention. The scalebar could be moved into the legend/box as well.
Hugo Ahlenius
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I'm not crazy about the font used in the main text. It seems a bit blocky/chunky to me. And the fonts used on the map, in the legend, in the logo at the top, in the "Downtown Calgary" logo, and in the main text are all different. I know you can't do much about the font in the bike logo at the top, but you could try to tie together the rest with only one or two fonts, typically a serif font and a complimentary sans serif font (or font families, with related bold/italic/narrow fonts).

Dave Barnes
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I agree with all the previous comments, especially the use of multiple fonts. The narrative and legend fonts are especially out of place with the overall theme of the effort. I like your color palette. I am not sure "private land" needs to be in the legend, I think it is assumed that if it is not green space then it isn't public (and in fact some of the green space may not be public!). Not sure if you need "roads" in the legend either. Perhaps naming other major roads besides 16th ave may be an idea so that viewers can orient themselves as you go north (or south).

Thanks for posting!


Michael Scisco

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Dennis McClendon

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You could do away with the legend altogether, unless you really feel that locals won't realize where the parks are. You should label the two pathways along the routes themselves, as you've done with Beddington Trail. The other paths probably should be substantially narrower. They're the only "positive" lines you have on the map, so they'll stand out. Unless you've displaced them very painstakingly, chances are some of them are covering up the roads they run alongside.

Indeed the kinks along the Nose Creek Pathway indicates GIS data used at a very different scale than it was digitized. Here's a place where redrawing would produce a much more pleasing line that would be more encouraging to would-be cyclists.

My biggest problem is with covering up everything east of Deerfoot Trail. Is the assumption that folks in those areas won't cross the highway to get to the trail? If so, here's the opportunity to highlight the overpasses and tunnels that cyclists can use to safely cross the superhighway.

With that done, the exhortatory paragraph can be reworded a bit (surely it doesn't take an hour if you live close in), and made a paragraph of ad copy that tucks more neatly with the Bike Calgary logo. You can pay more attention to the typeface (you've mixed five different sans-serifs) and especially line breaks.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics

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