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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm mapping oil concessions in Algeria in greyscale. There's 4 major groups (4 oil companies), each with 2 or 3 sets of regions:

Company A, granted and demanded concessions

Company B, granted and 2 kinds of demanded concessions

Company C, proposed and demanded concessions

Company D, proposed and demanded concessions

 

Attached File  Map-8-(Algerian-Oil-concessions)-v1.png   14.05KB   19 downloads

 

Option 1 - Followed the reference map (drafted in the early 1950s by the looks of it) in terms of area styles, albeit in greyscale rather than the original color.

 

Attached File  Map-8-(Algerian-Oil-concessions)-v2.png   17.77KB   8 downloads

 

Option 2 - An alternative approach, ignoring the fact that one company has 2 different kinds of demanded concessions. Companies are distinguished by the direction of the hatching, the distinction between granted/proposed and demanded is in the intensity.

 

I'm not happy with either to be honest. Option 1 uses different styles for the demand, which I find kinda clunky. But option 2 turns into something like dazzle camouflage and I don't find it pleasant to look at.

 

Any suggestions on how I can improve this (while still staying in greyscale)?


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
Charles Syrett

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Option 1 requires too much "work" of the reader to distinguish the tones. Option 2 is difficult, not just because of the dazzle camouflage effect you mention, but also because the hatching patterns themselves conflict with the straight-line edges of the areas. Perhaps you could try different kinds of patterns, such as stippling, arrays of randomly spaced small circles, that sort of thing. (The caution here would be to avoid making it look too "geological".)

Charles Syrett
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http://www.mapgraphics.com



#3
Melita Kennedy

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Do you have to go all solids or all hatching? Although using a mix may imply that the hatching means some sort of "incomplete" status.

 

I would use at one, at most two angled hatching with solid tones and try to not have the two hatchings contiguous.

 

Possibly also widen the boundaries between companies, but not two leases owned by the same company.

 

Melita



#4
Bogdanovits

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I would use in Option 1 dashed lines for the borders.

 

Andras



#5
l.jegou

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You could try to enhance the visual difference in option 2 by variating the grain a bit more (the width of the individual sign that compose the texture/pattern).



#6
koen onestopmap

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Maybe use symbols (simplified company logo perhaps) for the oil company's, and 3 variations of grey for granted, demanded and proposed? That way the map may not be too cluttered.


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#7
Dennis McClendon

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Looks like the areas are large enough that a symbol in the middle—company logo, asterisk, square, whatever—could represent the status overlay or some category of the data.  Unless it's really for a multilingual audience, I think actual words on the map are less work for readers.  Could you simply put the italic word granted inside the territories?


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#8
woneil

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All gray shades, shades tailored for best contrast in whatever medium it will appear in. To enhance the visual contrast between shades separate blocks with contrasting borders—black, white, or black with white hairlines. Unless you're dealing with a very low dynamic range display medium, this will give you immediate visual recognition of areas together with a neat and integrated appearance.


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#9
Hans van der Maarel

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Decided to go with this option in the end, thanks for the suggestion Koen. Also added the borders of Spanish Morocco and Tangier as the map focuses on the early 1950s (and now that I'm writing this... wasn't Tangier part of Spanish Morocco after WW2?)

 

Attached File  Map-8-(Algerian-Oil-concessions)-v3.png   50.94KB   6 downloads

 

I must admit that while I like the challenge of working in greyscale and I welcome any project that makes me push my boundaries this was one of the most difficult ones I've ever had to do in terms of design.


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Red Geographics
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