CV3-1 - Map design fundamentals

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Author and Citation Info: 

DiBiase, D., DeMers, M., Johnson, A., Kemp, K., Luck, A. T., Plewe, B., and Wentz, E. (2006). Map design fundamentals. The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge. Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers. (2nd Quarter 2016, first digital).

Learning Objectives: 
  • List the major factors that should be considered in preparing a map
  • Discuss how to create an intellectual and visual hierarchy on maps
  • Discuss the differences between maps that use the same data but are for different purposes and intended audiences
  • Discuss Tufte’s influence (or lack thereof) on cartographic design
  • Critique the graphic design of several maps in terms of balance, legibility, clarity, visual contrast, figure-ground organization, and hierarchal organization
  • Critique the layout of several maps, taking into account the map audience and purpose and the graphic design (visual balance, hierarchy, figure-ground), as well as the map components (north arrow, scale bar, and legend)
  • Design maps that are appropriate for users with vision limitations
  • Apply one or more Gestalt principles to achieve appropriate figure-ground for map elements
  • Prepare different map layouts using the same map components (main map area, inset maps, titles, legends, scale bars, north arrows, grids, and graticule) to produce maps with very distinctive purposes
  • Prepare different maps using the same data for different purposes and intended audiences (e.g., expert and novice hikers)
  • Describe differences in design needed for a map that is to be viewed on the Internet versus as a 5-by 7-foot poster, including a discussion of the effect of viewing distance, lighting, and media type
  • Describe the design needs of special purpose maps, such as subdivision plans, cadastral mapping, drainage plans, nautical charts, aeronautical charts, geological maps, military maps, wiremesh volume maps, and 3-D plans of urban change