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CV-29 - Design and Aesthetics

Design and aesthetics are fundamental to cartographic practice. Developing students’ skills in design and aesthetics is a critical part of cartography education, yet design is also one of the most difficult part of the cartographic process. The cartographic design process of planning, creating, critiquing, and revising maps provides a method for making maps with intentional design decisions, utilizing an understanding of aesthetics to promote clarity and cohesion to attract the user and facilitate an emotional response. In this entry, cartographic design and the cartographic design process are reviewed, and the concepts of aesthetics, style, and taste are explained in the context of cartographic design.

CV-34 - Map Icon Design

The use of map icons is an efficient way to condense a map object into a concise expression of geospatial data. Like all cartographic design, map icon design merges artistic and scientific elements into symbolic representations intended to be readily legible to map readers. This entry reviews the types of map icons and elements of icon design, including the ways in which the visual variables are used in map icon communication. As communicative devices, icons are imbued with cultural meanings and can oftentimes lead to the preservation of stereotypes. This review concludes with an examination of icons’ perpetuation of – and challenge to – cultural stereotypes.

CV-30 - Map Production and Management

Map production describes the experience of managing the many aspects and details of map creation. Often the map product is created for someone else—a client, supervisor, or instructor. Describing the intention of the map and evaluating available resources ahead of the project can help the cartographer define content requirements, stay on task, and ultimately meet deadlines. The project management life cycle involves clear communication between the cartographer and client, with resolutions to common questions best addressed at the beginning of the project. The process then iteratively cycles through phases that include research and production, followed by quality control, and concludes with file preparation and delivery.

CV-10 - Typography

The selection of appropriate type on maps, far from an arbitrary design decision, is an integral part of establishing the content and tone of the map. Typefaces have personalities, which contribute to the rhetorical message of the map. It is important to understand how to assess typefaces for their personalities, but also to understand which typefaces may be more or less legible in a labeling context. Beyond the choice of typeface, effective map labels will have a visual hierarchy and allow the user to easily associate labels to their features and feature types. The cartographer must understand and modify typographic visual variables to support both the hierarchy and label-feature associations.