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Yellowstone Route Map

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#1
David25

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Hi all,

I've created this map using ArcGIS 10.1 and would like you seasoned pros to take a look :)

I should stress that this map is simply for personal use, it's not supposed to be a cartographic masterpiece and it's not a commercial venture or anything. It's a map centered around Yellowstone NP and shows where my parents and I took a trip to last month. In the end, I'll be giving it them to have a look. It's just supposed to show the GPS points I took plus our route. I'm mainly looking for people to point out if the drawing order is wrong, symbology and colours etc, have I left anything major off the map, the fonts used etc. The data should be good so really this is a cartographic exercise.

I had some issues with the upload but I think the link below should work (it might take a couple of seconds to load given that there's hillshade in the map).

https://www.dropbox....llowstoneNP.pdf

Thanks to all,

David

#2
Dennis McClendon

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Well, parents are notoriously forgiving clients.

But that gold hillshading is awfully aggressive. If that were blurred a bit (so it doesn't look like wrinkled aluminum foil) and toned way back in a more natural green-gray, then the water color could also be toned down a lot. Then the labels could come to the foreground without the need for halos.

As for typefaces, I see a lot of different ones, and the main ones are rather uninspired—Times and Helvetica. Try cutting back to one serif and one sans-serif. Myriad and Minion play well together and are probably already on your system.

Try sketching your layout on paper before you sit down at the computer. Maybe show all of Yellowstone instead of covering up the corners, using the shaded relief at a very light value outside the park so you can get rid of the boundary line. Then you can move around your inset map (labeling Montana this time), and vary the size and cropping of the photos to give emphasis to the important photos and get rid of a lot of unnecessary sky or foreground in others. Cluster the photos into groups (days, maybe, or part of the park) rather than lining them up—and where are the people? Then your title can be made a little more prominent, and maybe a little more personal. "Our 2012 Yellowstone Adventure" or something.

Finally, you might consider using different—but related—color lines for the different days' travel. At the very least, maybe distinguish your outbound and homebound routes through Montana.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
David25

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Well, parents are notoriously forgiving clients.

But that gold hillshading is awfully aggressive. If that were blurred a bit (so it doesn't look like wrinkled aluminum foil) and toned way back in a more natural green-gray, then the water color could also be toned down a lot. Then the labels could come to the foreground without the need for halos.

As for typefaces, I see a lot of different ones, and the main ones are rather uninspired—Times and Helvetica. Try cutting back to one serif and one sans-serif. Myriad and Minion play well together and are probably already on your system.

Try sketching your layout on paper before you sit down at the computer. Maybe show all of Yellowstone instead of covering up the corners, using the shaded relief at a very light value outside the park so you can get rid of the boundary line. Then you can move around your inset map (labeling Montana this time), and vary the size and cropping of the photos to give emphasis to the important photos and get rid of a lot of unnecessary sky or foreground in others. Cluster the photos into groups (days, maybe, or part of the park) rather than lining them up—and where are the people? Then your title can be made a little more prominent, and maybe a little more personal. "Our 2012 Yellowstone Adventure" or something.

Finally, you might consider using different—but related—color lines for the different days' travel. At the very least, maybe distinguish your outbound and homebound routes through Montana.


Thanks for the reply. I have considered showing the routes in different ways, I wanted to somehow use arrows but haven't figured out a decent-looking way of doing it yet.

As for the text, I'm using Vijaya for anything water related and Garamond for other labels. I agree with the hillshade colour, I wanted to see if other people thought the same....and they do it seems :)

As for the photos, I was also wondering how to display them. I still think they look ok right now as a kind of border but agreed they could be displayed someway else. I might look into this more.

This type is response is good, it's what I need if I'm to ever get any better!

#4
DaveB

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I agree with Dennis. Agressive is a good way to put it. The colors really hit me when I opened the pdf. Especially the strong orange of the terrain and the strong blue of the water, and then the red for the title text.
Dave Barnes
Esri
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Map Geek

#5
Gretchen Peterson

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It's interesting because aggressive color schemes are not always bad. See, for example, MIT's New York Talk Exchange infographic.

However, it only works if there are at least a few elements with strong opposing contrast. Because of that I have always had trouble properly integrating pictures with a map. The one way that I've seen it done well is when all the pictures had a common color (green grass, for example), which was then also used generously in the map. Try that out, though it would probably mean paring down the number of pictures. I'd also take issue with the locator map, since it doesn't seem to have any figure-ground separation. If looking for a quick-fix for that, I'd just make Canada's background gray and the States' background a darker gray. David already covered some of the other things that could be changed. Good luck!

#6
Agnar Renolen

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May be that the shaded relief is abit too saturated. On the other side, it clearly portrays the landscape. It's not what I first reacted to on this map.

However, you might want to try a less agressive blue for the water, maybe add more black to the color (if you use CMYK). The hydrographical data is of far less accuracy than the terrain model; The rivers are running up in the mountains, not in the valley.

What needs improvement, in my opinion, is labelling and layout.

The green labels work poorly on the background. The text shadows/halo effect only makes legibility worse. Why not use simple black labels instad of the green ones? Also consider using a sans serif typeface for the green text.

About the layot. Try shrink the map frame and place the images outside the frame rather on top of the map. A heavy background color may lift your images into the front.

Last comment: maybe you should try simpler symbology. Many of the line styles are unnecessary complicated. Try and Remove line casing / double-line line styles.

#7
David25

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Hi all,

I have made some updates to this map, namely label placement, symbology and colour of text etc. I'm still abit clueless as to what to do with the inset map/legend if anything. Hopefully this is an improvement on the last map I posted a couple of weeks ago.

I have decided for now at least, to keep the photos where they are. I kinda like them as a border.

Let me know what you think (I think I mean it...... :))

David

https://www.dropbox....wstoneNP_V2.pdf

#8
Dennis McClendon

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Why not get rid of the legend altogether? Just letterspace the dates along the sections of road. Similarly, lose the dashed boundary for Yellowstone and just label it across the park area. Everything else should be fairly obvious.

The relief looks better, and that should allow you to get rid of the white halos. The water color is too cyan; could use a touch of magenta.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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