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Portland Bridges

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#1
Nick Martinelli

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Hi, I gave a bunch of these away at the NACIS meeting in Portland last year, and got some nice feedback. but I would love a little more critical feedback from the community. I'm considering taking what I have learned here and applying it to an updated version (new bridges), and also new locations. I hadn't made a map for print in years and this was a fun distraction. I'll just include a link to the pdf. ~3.5 MB. I'm excited to get some feedback and also get involved in CartoTalk! Thanks.

A detail is attached, but here is the link to the full resolution version.

http://nickmartinell.../PDXBridges.pdf

Attached File  WillametteBend.png   205.52KB   85 downloads



#2
David Medeiros

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What a great idea for a map, I like it.

 

The only things I notice are the type for the bridges, and this is just personal taste, but I want them to be sans serif and bolder or blocky-er. I know these are older bridges but I think a modern looking type for those labels would look really good.

 

The other thing is the amount of unused space. Since it's not a street map you can really cover up all of the rest of the city with other information. Text blocks, enlarged architectural details form some of the bridges etc...

 

Also, your miles scale bar could stop at 2mi instead of 3, too long a lower bar. Now that I think about, maybe both scales should be shorter and have smaller break values to keep them in "scale" with the bridge lengths in the map.

 

Great work!


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#3
DaveB

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I like the serif font. I get tired of seeing san serif on everything! I think the ubiquity of san serif is a reflection of the web and "devices" - "smart" phones, tablets, etc. (But then, I'm a bit of a "fossil", I guess. I like paper products, hard copy and hardbound books, large paper maps, letterpress printing, calligraphy, and even hand-drawn and hand-lettered maps and other works of art with and on analog media.)

 

I also like how clean and uncluttered this map looks. Just because there is space is not a reason to add more "stuff", even if it might be interesting and/or useful information and detail.

 

That's my opinion anyway. :)

These differences are one reason cartography is an art as well as science/technology.


Dave Barnes
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#4
David Medeiros

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I like the serif font. I get tired of seeing san serif on everything! I think the ubiquity of san serif is a reflection of the web and "devices" - "smart" phones, tablets, etc. (But then, I'm a bit of a "fossil", I guess. I like paper products, hard copy and hardbound books, large paper maps, letterpress printing, calligraphy, and even hand-drawn and hand-lettered maps and other works of art with and on analog media.)

 

I also like how clean and uncluttered this map looks. Just because there is space is not a reason to add more "stuff", even if it might be interesting and/or useful information and detail.

 

That's my opinion anyway. :)

These differences are one reason cartography is an art as well as science/technology.

 

It's funny you mention paper maps as part of the reason you prefer serif fonts. I actually get my preference for san serif from the same place. Making road maps for CSAA we had type specs for everything and one of the base specs was sans serif for most human or cultural features, serif for most natural or geographic features (especially water). And I'd even argue there is a certain amount of "natural mapping" between serif fonts for natural features and sans for non natural, but that's certainly colored by my own experience and preferences. At any rate the preference can pre date "modern" digital mapping by quite some time.

 

I agree on not filling white space for no reason, not a good idea. But if there is information that could be added to a map to give it more value it's certainly worth evaluating. I think short histories of some of the bridges or the river itself would be a great addition here, and not just filler.


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
Nick Martinelli

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Thanks for the feedback!

It was a difficult choice for the bridge name font. I think using the italicized font may have been a mistake. The serif font would look a little more solid, and 'bridgey' simply roman, maybe addressing some of what David doesn't like about the serif font for the bridge name. I do think the serif font works with the hand sketched look of the bridges.

 

I agree, both scale bars could be dialed back at least to the width of the paragraph above them. And lightened.

 

I do like the empty space on the map. It would be great to do this 2 sided and have some more historical context on the back of the map.

 

One choice I made, which I think was done with too heavy a hand, was to show the Columbia River using a different style than the Willamette. The Columbia dips in to the Northern extent of the map, and is so dim, that it is most likely missed altogether. I wanted to highlight the Willamette, as the map is about the Willamette, but I think I turned the lights down a bit too much on the Columbia.



#6
Adam Wilbert

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I love this map. There's not much I would change. I'm looking at the PDF on screen and comparing it to the version that I got from NACIS (which is actually framed on my office wall by the way!). It seems like the secondary roads got lost in the printed version along with the Columbia, so I would probably emphasize them both a bit more.

 

I would consider adding some generous letter spacing in "Willamette River" and changing the text to blue. The color of the water also seems a bit on the purple side. Rather than introduce another color for the water, maybe think about making it a light tint of the same color blue you're already using for the text.

 

I'm not sure I fully understand the distinction between "pedestrians" and "pedestrian friendly", even though there is a note about it in the legend.


Adam Wilbert
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#7
Nick Martinelli

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Thanks Adam, those are helpful notes. The 'Willamette River' text seemed a bit off to me and I couldn't place it. I think it is mostly the spacing, and probably the color change would help too. As for the 'friendliness' index. I used a combination of recommendations for safe width by bike and ped advocacy groups. And then made my decision based on that and giving it a go on my feet if I could. I'd have to look back for specific sources, but friendly ones would most likely have at least very wide or separated paths. Thanks! 






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