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Best practices for labelling trails?

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#1
erik

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What do you consider the best typographic / cartographic practices for the annotation of trails on a hiking map?

i.e. all caps vs. initial caps
roman vs, bold or italics?

What is an example that you would hold up as the best that you have ever seen with respect to trail labels?

--erik

#2
David Medeiros

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What do you consider the best typographic / cartographic practices for the annotation of trails on a hiking map?

i.e. all caps vs. initial caps
roman vs, bold or italics?

What is an example that you would hold up as the best that you have ever seen with respect to trail labels?

--erik


Hi Erik,

You can click through the thumbnails on the link below to see hoe I did it for my Kokee Trail map. Basically I choose italic all-caps with a little extra letter spacing. They are thre same as my roads except for the caps and italic. This may not work in well in all cases but seemed best for my map where many of the trails are direct extensions of the roads. This meant I needed the trail label to be easily distinguishable from nearby road type but to also feel like it was of the same family of features. I used a different color for the trail mileage labels to keep them on a separate visual plane from the trail names and make them easier to find at a glance.

http://www.sonic.net...okeeGeoPDF.html

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#3
Dennis McClendon

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I use the same size and typeface as streetnames, also U&lc, with no letterspacing but curving to follow the feature. Those are all matters of personal preference rather than rigorous analysis. However, I make them the same dark green as used for trails, because I think it aids the visual hierarchy to have labels in the same (or related) colors as the features themselves, whenever possible.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
razornole

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For me it would depend on the situation. If it is a map of a specific trail I would want the trail and everything associated with it (including labels) to be highest in the VH. A map of a multi-trail system with different use types then I would focus on the use type with color and/or texture (same with the labels). Finally if I had map where the trails were just one of many different features mapped (such as a city map with roads, parks, and various multi-trail systems), then I would make all the trails and their labels a certain color.

Hope that helps,
kru
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#5
David Medeiros

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While I typically adhere to the label color follows feature color rule I'm going to add a dissenting opinion in this case. I think it can sometimes be beneficial to alter the type style for trail labels while keeping the color the same as road labels. With trail labels in the same color as the trail symbol you can get an effect where the trail system appears "fuller", more complex or more dense than it is and it can be harder for the reader to ignore the label once they have the name in mind. With symbols in a brighter color but type in black the map reader can focus on the trail system by itself if they want to and zero in on the trail name when they need to. Another rational for this is that most hikers only need to know the name of the trail they are on or looking for once but want to refer to the trail alignment many times. Separate colors for type and line make separating them visually easier. I don't think this works in all cases and depends mostly on the scale of the map, the complexity of the system and if you have only a single trail type or a variety of trail uses that need to be easily distinguished in both line and type symbology.

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#6
erik

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Thanks for all your replies.

The context I am looking at focuses on the trail network inside a park. Roads have to be shown to allow the grasping of the trailhead entrances, but there's too many roads relative to the trails so their visual impact really needs to be lower on the totem pole.

In surveying a small mountain of maps from my files, I found there were a few popular approaches, and the three things all studied park maps had in common was the use of black as the color of the trail label, a sans-serif font, and avoiding all lower case. The maps were split in the use of italics, as well as all-caps vs. initial caps. Only a few used bold instead of a medium or book weight. I acknowledge that I've seen at least one outlier park map that used white for the trails and trail labels against a very dark background, but that map is not in my collection.

erik

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