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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

Introduction to Cartographic Design

Richard Taketa

Associate Professor

Department of Geography

San Jose State University

basic map design
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
today s design topics
Today’s Design Topics
  • Figure-ground
  • Layout
  • Generalization
  • Symbolization
figure ground5
Figure-Ground
  • Graphic characteristics
  • Some elements as figures
  • Other elements as background
figure ground6
Figure-Ground

Can’t easily distinguish elements

figure ground7
Figure-Ground
  • How people see graphics
  • Elements
    • Contrast
    • Contour
    • Closure
    • Enclosure
  • Visual organization
contrast
Contrast

More contrast = stronger figure

contrast9
Contrast

Not just the darker element

contour
Contour

Sharper contour (edge) = stronger figure

closure
Closure

Closed element = stronger figure

enclosure
Enclosure

More enclosed = stronger figure

layout19
Layout
  • Arrangement of map elements
  • Objectives
    • Visual balance
    • Structure
generalization28
Generalization
  • Level of detail
  • Function of
    • Purpose
    • Scale
    • Graphic limits
    • Quality of data
generalization29
Generalization
  • Simplification
  • Selection
  • Classification
  • Symbolization
  • Induction
simplifying for clarity
Simplifying for Clarity

Loss of information…negligible

symbolization35
Symbolization
  • Most maps involve abstract symbols
    • Represent features of interest
    • Can’t always show them as they actually look
graphic variables
Graphic Variables
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Color
    • Hue
    • Lightness
    • Saturation
  • Orientation
  • Pattern
  • Texture
levels of measurement
Levels of Measurement
  • Nominal
  • Ordinal
  • Interval
  • Ratio
symbolization measurement
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

symbolization40
Symbolization
  • Can affect ability to see patterns
  • Complex symbolization and classifications can obscure
map design summary
Map Design Summary
  • Organize graphic information
  • Provide structure
  • Make the map legible
  • Focus the reader’s attention
contact information
Contact Information

Richard Taketa

Department of Geography

San Jose State University

One Washington Square

San Jose, CA 95192-0116

408-924-5425

rtaketa@email.sjsu.edu