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#1
dvd mccutcheon

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Much of my work is producing maps for Travel Guides. Recently I've been thinking what does the user look for in these? What makes a travel guide map user friendly? How important are accuracy, the fonts and symbols used, the density of text, styles etc. Any thoughts?

 

Is there any market research out there which may assist?

 

Many thanks,

 

 


David McCutcheon FBCart.S
dvdmaps.co.uk


#2
MapMedia

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a good travel guide map is sexy. that may sound silly - but the map 'looks great', either in a simplistic and clever way, or a complex city map that just looks great. it engages you. it makes you want to visit it, wherever it is. If you have the skills to capture that then you will have successful maps. I believe great travel guide maps have less to do with harnessing technology (photoshop, 3D maps), but style and information architecture.



#3
Bogdanovits

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Hi David,

 

I have done few years mapping for Lonely Planet guidebooks and few books for a Hungarian publisher.

I believe the most important is the consistency in your maps.

Secondly you should define your target group and modify your keys to communicate properly with your map readers.

Third: try to fit in the book design style with your map style.

Be simple. Don't clutter your map. The traveller will buy others maps. You need to transfer only the book's information to your maps.

 

Andras

au.linkedin.com/in/bogdanovits/



#4
dvd mccutcheon

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Many thanks for sharing your thoughts

 

David


David McCutcheon FBCart.S
dvdmaps.co.uk


#5
Dennis McClendon

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With almost any reference map, I think the main design principle should be that the map looks approachable to the reader, but on closer inspection rewards the reader with rich, useful content.

 

That generally leads me to quiet, unsaturated colors except for small areas of really important foreground information.  Symbolisation should be reduced to its simplest form, which leads me to eliminate road casings and complex border styles, to simplify road shields, and even eliminate strokes around water fills.  Like information should hang together on the same visual layer, which often leads me to icons that are simple shapes reversed out of an identical circle or square. Labels for background info such as streetnames should be unobtrusive, which often leads me to use light or book weights when choosing a font.  And information should be on the map whenever possible, not requiring an intermediary step of referring to a key or numerical listing.


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#6
cartdeco

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I agree with all Dennis has said, the only thing I would add is to try and think like your users - how would they use the map in the field, what are the important or essential pieces of information they need? A friend of mine used to be a writer for Lonely Planet and gave me some useful tips about collecting data and writing for users. People navigate by landmarks, most people won't know where north, south, east or west is if they've just hopped off a train or bus in a foreign environment, so make sure landmarks are obvious on the map, say a post office, train station, cathedral, unique building, etc.


Craig Molyneux
Spatial Vision
www.spatialvision.com.au
www.svmaps.com.au
craig.molyneux@spatialvision.com.au

#7
dvd mccutcheon

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Many thanks Dennis for these thoughts on design. And Craig, I know where you are coming from. The time I spend determining where exactly is North? And is the map scale 1:10,000, or nearer 1:11,000?

Landmarks are more pertinent when it comes to navigation. But they should be tailored to the destination I think. A Post Office may not be recognisable in Tajikistan (a current project), but a park/statue/roundabout will be.

I've also been working on projects in the Middle East recently. My client (Beirut based) tells me that most streets don't have names that a local would recognise. They navigate by landmarks, whether it be a bank, supermarket, pharmacy or whatever. Worth keeping in mind.

 

Thanks again.


David McCutcheon FBCart.S
dvdmaps.co.uk






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