Without these map based communication will fail Together visual contrast and

Without these map based communication will fail

This preview shows page 42 - 45 out of 84 pages.

understanding the relative importance of the content in the map and on the page. Without these, map-based communication will fail. Together visual contrast and legibility provide the basis for seeing the contents on the map. Figure-ground, hierarchical organization, and balance lead the
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map reader through the contents to determine the importance of things and ultimately find patterns. The five principles and their importance in cartography. It’s worth noting that these principles are not applied in isolation but instead are complementary to each other. Collectively they help cartographers create maps that successfully communicate geographic information. Visual Contrast Visual contrast which relates to how map features and page elements contrast with each other and their background. To understand this principle at work, consider your inability to see well in a dark environment. Your eyes are not receiving much reflected light so there is little visual contrast between features and you cannot easily distinguish objects from one another or from their surroundings. Add more light and you are now able to contrast features from the background. This concept of visual contrast also applies in cartography (figure 1). A well- designed map with a high degree of visual contrast can result in a crisp, clean, sharp-looking map. The higher the contrast between features, the more something will stand out, usually the feature that is darker or brighter. Conversely, a map that has low visual contrast can be used to promote a more subtle impression. Features that have less contrast will appear to belong together. Figure 1. When there is no variation in visual contrast (A), the map reader has a hard time distinguishing features from the background. For quantitative distributions (B), there must be enough contrast between tones for the reader to distinguish unique classes. For qualitative
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distributions (C),using variations of a single color hue (e.g., red) does not provide as much contrast as using a variety of hues (e.g., red, green, blue, etc.) Legibility Legibility is “the ability to be seen and understood”. Many people work to make their map contents and page elements easily seen, but it is also important that they can be understood. All map elements need to be legible, meaning that they are readable, understandable and recognisable. All need to be large enough and clear enough relative to the viewing scale and the media on which the final map will be displayed Legibility depends on good decision-making for selecting symbols that are familiar and choosing appropriate sizes so that the results are effortlessly seen and easily understood (figure 1). Geometric symbols are easier to read at smaller sizes; more complex symbols require larger amounts of space to be legible. Visual contrast and legibility are the basis for seeing. In addition to being able to distinguish features from one another and the background, the features need to be large enough to be seen and to be understood in order for your mind to decipher what you eyes are detecting. Visual
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