Friday, January 30, 2015

GIS Cartography Lab - Map 1

This is a choropleth map of Mexico, with different shades of yellow/orange representing population. This map relied on the symbology and label functions in ArcGIS. I would like to learn how to even out the population numbers in the legend.

GIS Cartography Lab - Map 2

This is my digital elevation map (DEM) of Mexico. It uses raster data, with a range of colors that allow easy viewing of elevation. I think my choice in elevation colors turned out well. In hindsight, I think a color other than blue would have been a better option for the neighboring countries.

GIS Cartography Lab - Map 3

This is a map of Central Mexico. It is a fairly basic map that includes cities with populations of over 1 million, rivers, railroads, and federal highways. There was a lot of work involving symbology and labels on this one, which was quite nice as that is a weak spot of mine in GIS.

Map of schools in Ward 7, Washington DC

For this weeks lab, I made a map of Ward 7 in Washington DC. The purpose of this map is to convey the locations and type of schools within the area. The design process focused heavily on using Visual Hierarchy, balance, contrast, and some of the Gestalt Principals.

I tried to use subtle colors for everything, and even subtler for the features at the bottom of the Visual Hierarchy. I felt that the rose color for Ward 7 and the sand color for DC were a good match. Green and blue for the parks and water were a natural fit. I differentiated the different school types by using color coded small to large schoolhouse symbols.

Managing the empty space was a challenge. The map is in such a odd shape with diamond shaped DC jutting onto the page. I was able to mitigate some of that with my legend and vicinity map. It still feels a little bit off, but I am not entirely sure how to fix it. I think that incorporating a faded Maryland state could fill in some of the space.

While this was all done on ArcGIS, it would be fun to tool around with the map in CorelDraw.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Week 2: CorelDraw map

For this weeks lab I needed to make a map of Florida, with the imaginary goal of having it published in a children's encyclopedia. The GIS side of it was fairly straightforward for me, as it was all still fresh in my head from GIS 4043. For the map illustrating, I used CorelDrawX7. This is a new program to me, and it definitely took me a while to get my bearings and there was a fair bit of struggle. I tried to focus on keeping the map clean and easy on the eyes. I also tried to stick with consistent themes on my colors.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week 2 - Own Your Map

This weeks assignment involved making a map and Florida and Escambia Count, through the use of multiple data frames. I did have some trouble with the pan tool in layout view, one misplaced click and my map jumped around. It was interesting to learn more about changing symbols, as well as the metadata.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Map Critique - The Good


I feel that this map does a very good job with presenting information in a neat and clean format. The cartographer did well with their color choices; the transit routes, which seem to be the primary focus of this map, are marked using prominent colors. They convey the message while still being easy to look at. The topographic lines and aerial photography are subtler, yet still pop enough to do their job. I suppose that what I just mentioned could be classified under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Commandments. 

Map Critique - The Bad


Just looking at this map makes me cringe. For starters, the relative size of the map compared to the background is terrible. When I first looked at the map, it took a few moments to figure out what in the world I was actually looking at. A lot of that could be I don’t speak Dutch, but it doesn’t change the face that it hurts my eyes. It has a few 6 Commandment violations, namely: #4 Minimize Map Crap and #5 Map Layout matters. From doing a little research, it seems that this map was made as a political and social parody “cartoon”, similar to what you could find in the New York Times today.

My story map

Week 1 map

This is my map for week one. The majority of the tasks fell within my limited GIS skill-set, but I was able to learn a few things. I found it difficult to learn all the ins and outs of online learning, but I am feeling fairly confident in the process now!