Jump to content

 
Photo

A Thru Hike of the Pacific Crest Trail

- - - - - cartography graphic design typography map design

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1
chris henrick

chris henrick

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:cartography, graphic design, geography, urban studies, political ecology, cycling, percussion
  • United States

Hi everyone,

 

Thought I'd ask for some feed back on a map I'm creating of a friend's thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I've spent considerable time on it but am looking for advice on the following areas:

  • layout of the parts of design such as the legend, title, and images. 
  • Color
  • thoughts on the symbology
  • thoughts on the shaded relief

The map can be viewed at the following url: http://a.parsons.edu...f-v4-photos.jpg

 

thanks in advance, I appreciate your thoughts and advice.

 

regards,

 

-Chris


-Chris

#2
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,084 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

Overall, it looks very nice.  Nitpicks:

 

Maybe spell out PCT in the title.  Plenty of room to spell out mile in the date pointers.  Definitely check the spelling of Tehachapi.

 

I'm always a little taken aback by lines (like the red line of the trail) that double back on themselves because the level of generalization and the line weight aren't compatible.  In this case, there's quite a contrast with the watercourses, which have been so dramatically simplified that they sometimes don't fit into their canyons (see the Columbia north of Kennewick).

 

Some rivers are labeled River, some abbreviated R., and a few (like the Pit or Russian) have nothing.  I'd probably spell out National Park wherever I could, as at Yosemite.

 

In this context, it seems very funny to see OLYMPIA so much more prominent than Seattle.  Same with VICTORIA vs. Vancouver.  Maybe make the capital city distinction with a star rather than type size and boldness?   Indeed, the legend doesn't explain what all-caps bold means for a city name.

 

If you're finishing this in Illustrator where you have direct control, I'd remove a lot of the type halos that aren't necessary.


  • chris henrick likes this
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,089 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

Ditto most of what Dennis said. But doubly so on spelling (see 'Lamber' in the legend for your projection).

 

And I'd reverse the order of the photos to line up with the geography - or was that a test ; )

 

Overall nice map. I think there could be better hierarchy in the labels, the trail notes labels don't stand out from the other large black feature type enough. I'd set geographic feature type type to a dark greay perhaps to pull it back a bit and have only your trail notes in full black to make them pop.

 

As suggested, I'd simplify the trail line a little, but not too much. I think it's ok at this scale to have some line clumping in very tight areas of the trail, but it would help to reduce it a little.

 

Definitely remove label halos, no need for them here.

 

I'd give the Pacific Ocean label more letter spacing and make it a little bigger (maybe white on blue rather than blue on blue).

 

And I'd probably add more letter space to the state and province labels and do something to separate their style from the national labels (larger, smaller, tighter, something).

 

Set your legend box so it is evenly spaced from each frame edge.

 

Remove your title from its box and make it bigger. If you need to separate it from the map try a very light drop shadow.

 

Make sure your legend labels match the labels in the map. Some of the labels are in ALL CAPS in the map, but Title Case in the legend.

 

And add more more notes and trail details to the middle section. You must have more details for this trip than just in the southern part. Give it a story!

 

Great way to share a monumental trip by the way!

 

David


  • chris henrick likes this

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#4
AndyM

AndyM

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Location:Ottawa
  • Canada

Nice map, just one suggestion.  Since the whole trip took place in 2013, maybe leave out the year in the date stamps (except maybe the first and last), and maybe spell (or abbreviate) the month, eg 15 July, 18 Sept.    More of a personal story, and easier to count the days between.


  • chris henrick likes this

#5
chris henrick

chris henrick

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:cartography, graphic design, geography, urban studies, political ecology, cycling, percussion
  • United States

Thanks Dennis, David, and Andy those are all worthwhile points. Definitely haven't gotten around to spell checking or proofing yet as this is a rough draft. I tend to print out my work then proof it as I find it's easier to catch typo's, text crashes, etc.

 

One thing I'm debating on doing is creating a buffer of the trail to mask out everything that is not close to the trail and outside of the trail labels to lighten or knock back the background map area. It's a technique I've see on other maps that can be useful to help the main part of the map stand out, but I could possibly see this as being overkill. Any thoughts?


-Chris

#6
razornole

razornole

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 452 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ozark Plateau, Arkansas
  • Interests:Photography, Cartography, Down-river canoeing, Backpacking, Cross country biking, Geomorphology, Ornithology, Ecology, Quaternary, and last but first; drinking beer on the beach.
  • United States

This map is looking a lot better.  I think the base map looks great.

 

Agree with what most have said above.  I would like to know the final trim/print size. 

 

The title needs serious work.  Maybe try to title it Pacific Coast National Scenic Trail with a subtitle of Mike's Journey, date(s).

 

The page-layout of the photographs needs work.  They are so formal and hard/rigid as they stand.  Soften them up by varying sizes, maybe have them justified more with the route of the trail rather then the right margin.

 

Not a fan at all of the call out boxes with dates and mileage.  I think a subtle leader would look more professional.

 

kru


  • chris henrick likes this
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#7
Craig Jr

Craig Jr

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cold Spring, NY
  • United States

Overall it is a good looking map and being a backpacker it makes me want to hit the trail. One suggestion as commented above is I would put the photos in order as they appear along the trail. Southern CA at the bottom and Canada at the top and the rest in order between the two. The pictures are awesome but may be too large and taking away from the subject of the map? It might also be interesting to subtly throw on some Latitude lines to show scale as to the length of the hike.

 

Looks good!

 

Craig


  • Mike Boruta and chris henrick like this

#8
chris henrick

chris henrick

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:cartography, graphic design, geography, urban studies, political ecology, cycling, percussion
  • United States

Thanks Kru and Craig, I appreciate your thoughts.

 

The final size is 18" x 31" with a 1.5" margin on each side. Kru I like your idea of justifying the photos more to the route rather than the right side of the page, I agree it doesn't look great as is. As far as the call outs go, I'd like the date and mileage information to stand out the most. Any suggestions on achieving that without call out boxes? I'm aware I could make the type bigger / bolder / a different font etc. so elaborating on this would be helpful.

 

Craig, lat lon lines might be good, though I think anyone who's familiar with that part of North America and the miles covered would grasp how great a distance it is. Still might be another nice touch though.

 

*I'm also adding a blurb about the PCT in the Legend, will be in the same box on the right side of the symbology. 

 

One final issue I'm looking into is that when I overlay the national forests and national park fills onto the hillshade the terrain doesn't stand out as nicely as areas where these fills are not present such as in the Olympic Peninsula. Any suggestions on how to achieve a better composite of the two layers? Right now my method is setting the polygon opacity to ~55% in illustrator. Would it make more sense to composite them in Photoshop instead? (I currently don't have access to Avenza's Geographic Imager, just MAPublisher).


-Chris

#9
razornole

razornole

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 452 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ozark Plateau, Arkansas
  • Interests:Photography, Cartography, Down-river canoeing, Backpacking, Cross country biking, Geomorphology, Ornithology, Ecology, Quaternary, and last but first; drinking beer on the beach.
  • United States

Hey Chris,

 

My fix for the terrain models is to make several of them using the clipping mask in ArcMap.  I've attached a sample of the map that I am working on.  To generate it I actually used four terrain models; green for National Forest, purple for private in holdings, tan for fields, and a master underneath to give the fields blurred effect.  All of this was done in photoshop of course once I exported my rasters from Arc.

 

In your map you would only need two.  One for the forest and one for everything else.  Then I would just use lines to delineate your National Parks (similar to my Fern Gully Special Interest Area).

 

My only thing with the call outs are that they looked like a comic strip.  Leader, box, slight drop shadow, or something like that.

 

Good luck,

kru

Attached Files


  • chris henrick likes this
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#10
chris henrick

chris henrick

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:cartography, graphic design, geography, urban studies, political ecology, cycling, percussion
  • United States

neat trick kru, thanks for the tip! Look forward to trying that out.

 

Guess I'm used to the callout boxes as we used them a lot at Avalon Travel Publishing (Moon Handbooks, Rick Steve's). 


-Chris

#11
razornole

razornole

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 452 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ozark Plateau, Arkansas
  • Interests:Photography, Cartography, Down-river canoeing, Backpacking, Cross country biking, Geomorphology, Ornithology, Ecology, Quaternary, and last but first; drinking beer on the beach.
  • United States

I'm familiar with those products, just not the cartographic styles as I have never used them. 

 

Take my comments for what they are worth, everyone has an opinion.  Mine is just that.  If you like the call outs then keep them.  Don't think that you want your style to look exactly my like mine.

 

kru


  • chris henrick likes this
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#12
Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

Nice map Chris!

 

Compositing polygons in a hillshade in AI that don't reduce the intensity is really simple.  Transparency definitely reduces intensity, so I use the 'multiply' layer blending mode (a lot).  

 

The callout boxes can be made a bit more graphically elegant (but still stand out) by changing the fill/stroke of text boxes and reversing the type.  Using a white/black box with black text works great for b/w, but the contrast is a bit crude on an elegant map.  Maybe pick-up the background color and darken the value 30% and use white text.  If you want to give the text box a darker stroke make it a bit thinner.

 

I am very curious about what the Trail Magic was?  I think "trail event" sounds a little better than "trail happening" to my ears.


  • chris henrick likes this

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#13
chris henrick

chris henrick

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:cartography, graphic design, geography, urban studies, political ecology, cycling, percussion
  • United States

thanks Matthew!

 

Using the multiply effect sounds like a great technique as does reversing the color for the call out boxes. I always forget about light text on a dark background as a design option.

 

I think "Trail Magic" is a term used on the PCT when something awesome happens, typically when a "Trail Angel" helps you out or maybe you come across a bear box full of a previous hikers left over provisions. I agree with changing "happening" to "event", sometimes my brain has a hard time thesaurus-izing!


-Chris





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cartography, graphic design, typography, map design

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->