A map has a visual grammar or structure that must be understood and used if the best map design is desired.Cartographic convention (e.g. forests should be green).
Map DesignA GIS map is designed in a process called the design loop.Good map design requires that map elements be placed in a balanced arrangement within the neat line.
The Design LoopCreate map layoutDraw on screen (proof plot)LookEdit macroRepeat until happyMake final plot
Graphic Editor SoftwareVectorAdobe IllustratorCorelDrawFreehandRasterPhotoshopCorelPaintFractal Paint
Map Design (2)Visual balance is affected by:the "weight" of the symbolsthe visual hierarchy of the symbols and elementsthe location of the elements with respect to eachother and the visual center of the map
Visual center5% of height5% of heightLandscapePortrait
Visual LayoutTitle HereTitle HereEye expects (1) balance and (2) alignment
Cartographic SymbolizationHue, value, chroma: relate to colorSize, texture (spacing of symbol markings): displaying quantitative data (ordinal, interval, ratio)Shape, pattern (type of symbol markings): displaying qualitative (nominal) data
Color and Map DesignCartographic convention in color usageColor is a complex visual variable and in a GIS is specified by RGB or HSI values.Red, Green, Blue are additive primaries.Magenta, Cyan and Yellow are subtractive primaries.Saturation and Intensity map better onto values than hue.
Dimensions of ColorHUESATURATIONINTENSITY
ColorHue: quality that distinguishes one color from another – red from blueDominant wavelength of lightDifferent hues for different data
ColorValue: lightness or darkness of color, black at lower end, white at higher endDarker symbols more importantChroma (saturation/intensity): richness or brilliance of a colorHigher intensity symbols – greater visual importance
Raster dataChoice of visual variables limited Shape, size do not apply due to use of cellsTexture, pattern difficult in very small cellsVisualization limited to colors or shades of colors
TextTypeface: serif or sans serifType weight: bold, regular, lightType width: condensed or extended; upright (roman) or standing (italic), uppercase or lowercaseFont: complete set of all variants of a given typeface and type sizePlacement of text (labels)Alignment of text (labels)
The look of the map is not harmonious because of the use of too many typefaces.
Dynamic labeling of major cities in the United States. The initial result
- Summer '18
- Cartography, choropleth map, map design, Isopleth Map, Hypsometric Map