Lec 9/30/08 ?Label Pressure? Don?t label across the feature ? run label entirely on land or water instead Maintain consistent spacing: key is not to call attention to labeling Linear Features Best to label above line; it should not touch Consistency in spacing Just off-set the line Descenders should be just above Be aware of exactly following complex lines Follow general curve instead Avoid lettering collapse For long features, place multiple labels Ex: interstates with ?shield? icon No question in reader?s mind of what a feature is Don?t trust arcmap?s default label placement tool Legible from the right-hand side of the page Only exception is exactly vertical labels Areal Features When labeling large areas, it?s a good idea to visually center the label; utilize entire shape and size of the curve Slight curve may be appropriate Follow trends of areal features All uppercase can be used to differentiate between the type of feature (ex: PACIFIC OCEAN) Exaggerated spacing is useful in filling up the space with type Leading can be used to emphasize extent When areal features are small, label them as points Leader lines can be used as a last resort Geographic Data & Representation At the core of mapmaking is the question ?How do we turn geographic data into effective geographic representation?? For a given data set, how do you know what map symbols to use? Maps use geographic symbols to communicate geographic information Symbols need to be considered from two perspectives: As a map designer As a map reader: what does the map say? How do design choices influence the ?message? of the map? Basic Map Elements Titles, Subtitles Be descriptive Legend Use informative title: not ?key? Choropleth maps: run gradients from high to low to make it easy to decode Temporal Legend: used in animated maps Direction Indicator, or Graticule (can include both) Scale One should appear on the map Graphical scale bar is dangerous; it encourages the reader to pull out rules and measure distance Therefore the representative fraction is often best choice Neat line, Mapped Area, Inset Map Sources, Credits Square box surrounding map = neat line Examples of Credits: Data source: UN World Factbook Basemap adapted from Woodward 1975 Satellite Imagery from HYPERLINK "http://www.noaa.gov/landest" www.noaa.gov/landest Format in 6 pt. font, bottom of page Symbols, feature names, base info? THE MAP ITSELF Similar data shown by different symbols Symbol: something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention Elements of Good Design No perfect design solutions in cartography Design choices must be made on a map by map insets Visual hierarchy: refers to the graphical representation of the intellectual hierarchy What?s most to least important on map Emphasize important information first, rather than base information Map should be the focus over other elements Eye movement studies show that they eye begins in top left hand corner of map and travels in an arc to the right center, then lower left corner Effective visual hierarchy attracts the reader?s eye to the most important features of the map first Thematic Maps: can be considered ?graphic essays? Subject: air temp, birth rate Point: why is it made? What does the map give us that a table does not? Informative Title Ex: ?USA? is ok for reference map, but not thematic Coherent style Ex: font styles, color choices An economy of design (gets to the point) Avoid being confusing/obscure Use a legend Logical color scheme Common units Edward Tufte: ?Guru of Information Graphics? Minimal data ink: provide the information and nothing more Critically asses what map portrays and keeps what?s needed Good design strives to communicate the maximum amount of information with the least amount of ink
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