Introduction to cartographic design
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Introduction to Cartographic Design. Richard Taketa Associate Professor Department of Geography San Jose State University. Basic Map Design. Visual organization Improve legibility Focus attention Maps do not have a natural sequence Design can guide the map reader

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Introduction to cartographic design l.jpg

Introduction to Cartographic Design

Richard Taketa

Associate Professor

Department of Geography

San Jose State University


Basic map design l.jpg
Basic Map Design

  • Visual organization

    • Improve legibility

    • Focus attention

  • Maps do not have a natural sequence

    • Design can guide the map reader

  • Make the reader’s job easier


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Today’s Design Topics

  • Figure-ground

  • Layout

  • Generalization

  • Symbolization



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Figure-Ground

  • Graphic characteristics

  • Some elements as figures

  • Other elements as background


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Figure-Ground

Can’t easily distinguish elements


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Figure-Ground

  • How people see graphics

  • Elements

    • Contrast

    • Contour

    • Closure

    • Enclosure

  • Visual organization


Contrast l.jpg
Contrast

More contrast = stronger figure


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Contrast

Not just the darker element


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Contour

Sharper contour (edge) = stronger figure


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Closure

Closed element = stronger figure


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Enclosure

More enclosed = stronger figure








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Layout

  • Arrangement of map elements

  • Objectives

    • Visual balance

    • Structure










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Generalization

  • Level of detail

  • Function of

    • Purpose

    • Scale

    • Graphic limits

    • Quality of data


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Generalization

  • Simplification

  • Selection

  • Classification

  • Symbolization

  • Induction




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Simplifying for Clarity

Loss of information…negligible




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Symbolization

  • Most maps involve abstract symbols

    • Represent features of interest

    • Can’t always show them as they actually look


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Graphic Variables

  • Shape

  • Size

  • Color

    • Hue

    • Lightness

    • Saturation

  • Orientation

  • Pattern

  • Texture


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Levels of Measurement

  • Nominal

  • Ordinal

  • Interval

  • Ratio


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Symbolization & Measurement

Nominal Ordinal Interval/Ratio

x

x x

x -

x x

x

x

x

x

Shape

Size

Color

Hue

Lightness

Saturation

Orientation

Pattern

Texture



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Symbolization

  • Can affect ability to see patterns

  • Complex symbolization and classifications can obscure


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Map Design Summary

  • Organize graphic information

  • Provide structure

  • Make the map legible

  • Focus the reader’s attention



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Contact Information

Richard Taketa

Department of Geography

San Jose State University

One Washington Square

San Jose, CA 95192-0116

408-924-5425

[email protected]


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