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Thematic Map Design. Thematic Map: Map that represents a particular theme or topic. Population Density, Literacy Rate, Temperature, etc. >> A limited set of features is represented in order to focus attention on the thematic symbols – symbols that represent the map’s theme.

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Thematic Map Design

  • Thematic Map: Map that represents a particular theme or topic.

    • Population Density, Literacy Rate, Temperature, etc. >>

    • A limited set of features is represented in order to focus attention on the thematic symbols – symbols that represent the map’s theme.

  • Map Design: Process in which maps are conceived and created.

    • Driven by the needs of the map user.

    • Primary Goal: Creation of simple, clear maps that effectively communicate geographic information.

    • Involves the appropriate selection and implementation of Map Elements – the building blocks of map making.

  • Map Elements…


Map Elements

(Listed in the order of placement)

  • Frame Line

    • Defines the initial available space

  • Mapped Area

  • The geographic region being represented

  • Title & Subtitle

  • Title describes the map’s theme;

  • Subtitle further explains the title

  • Legend

  • Defines thematic symbols

  • Data Source

  • Describes origin of thematic data

  • Scale

  • Indicates amount of reduction, or allows the map user to take measurements

  • North Arrow

  • Indicates direction


General Rules

  • More important map elements should stand out; less important elements should not attract as much attention.

  • 2. Overall design should be well-balanced. >>

General Order of Importance

Not to be confused with the order of placement

listed on the previous slide

  • 1. Mapped Area (Them. Symb.)

  • 2. Title, Subtitle

  • 3. Legend

  • 4. Data Source

  • 5. Scale

  • 6. North Arrow

  • 7. Frame Line


Frame Line

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. A single, thin line should be used.

Edge of page

Frame Line


Mapped Area

  • 1. Should always be used - it isn’t a map without it!

  • 2. Should be as large as possible without being 'too close' to the frame line, and while leaving ample room for other map elements. >>

  • 3. Should be horizontally (side-to-side) and vertically (top-to-bottom) centered within the available space, as defined by the frame line.


Title

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. Should express the map’s theme, preferably at the beginning. >>

  • 3. Should normally be the largest type on a map.

  • 4. Should be set in Title Case. >>

  • 5. Should be succinct - unnecessary words should be omitted. >>

  • 6. Abbreviations should be avoided.

  • 7. A legible type family should be used.


Title (continued)

  • 8. Should have a plain style (avoid bold and italic). >>

  • 9. Should be limited to one line.

  • 10. The word “map” should not appear.

  • 11. Should be horizontally (side-to-side) centered within the frame line if possible.

  • 12. Should be placed toward the top of the map if possible, vertically (top-to-bottom) centered between the mapped area and the frame line.


Subtitle

  • 1. Usually contains the date and/or geographic region. >>

  • 2. Should be visibly smaller than the title (at least 2 points smaller).

  • 3. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 4. Should employ the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 5. Should be limited to one line.

  • 6. Should be horizontally centered with the title. >>

  • 7. Should be located directly below the title.


Legend

  • 1. Should always be used, unless the thematic symbols can be interpreted without it.

  • 2. Representative symbols should be placed on the left and defined on the right. >>

  • 3. Should be large enough to be used easily, but should not occupy vast areas of space. >

  • 4. Legend definitions should employ the same type family as the title.

  • 5. Should be horizontally and vertically centered within the available space.


Legend Heading

  • 1. Normally contains the unit of measure and/or enumeration unit (country, state, etc.)

  • 2. Should be smaller than the subtitle.

  • 3. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 4. Should employ the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 5. Multiple lines of type should be horizontally centered with one another. >>

  • 6. The word “Legend” should not appear.


Legend Heading

(continued)

  • 7. Should be horizontally centered with the legend. >>

  • 8. Should be placed directly above the legend.


Data Source

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. Contains the source of thematic data. Similar to a bibliographic reference, but is usually less formal. >>

  • 3. Should be among the smallest type on a map.

  • 4. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 5. Should have the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 6. Multiple lines of type should be horizontally centered with one another.


Data Source

(continued)

  • 7. The word “Source:” should appear at the beginning.

  • 8. Should be horizontally centered with the legend.

  • 9. Should be located directly below the legend.


Scale

(Representative Fraction)

  • 1. A scale should be used in most cases. >>

  • 2. Type should be among the smallest on a map.

  • 3. Should have the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 4. Should be horizontally and vertically centered within the available space, below the mapped area if possible.


Scale

(Bar Scale)

  • In addition to the previous rules:

  • 1. A bar scale is preferred to a representative fraction on most thematic maps.

  • 2. The maximum distance of a bar scale should be round and easy to work with. >>

  • 3. Bulky, complex bar scale designs should be avoided in favor of subtle, simple designs.

  • 4. Bar scales should not have excessive height.

  • 5. The bar scale should be long enough (wide enough) to be useful, but not so long as to be cumbersome. >>


North Arrow

  • 1. Should only be used if the map is not oriented with north at the top, or if the map will be used for navigation, surveying, orienteering, etc.

  • 2. Bulky and complex designs should be avoided in favor or subtle, simple designs. >>

  • 3. Should be relatively small.

Go to Slide 18




Mapped Area

  • 1. Should always be used - it isn’t a map without it!

  • 2. Should be as large as possible without being 'too close' to the frame line, and while leaving ample room for other map elements.

  • 3. Should be horizontally (side-to-side) and vertically (top-to-bottom) centered within the available space, as defined by the frame line.

Back to Slide 5


Title

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. Should express the map’s theme, preferably at the beginning.

  • 3. Should normally be the largest type on a map.

  • 4. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 5. Should be succinct - unnecessary words should be omitted.

  • 6. Abbreviations should be avoided.

  • 7. A legible type family should be used.

Back to Slide21


Title (continued)

  • 8. Should have a plain style (avoid bold and italic).

  • 9. Should be limited to one line.

  • 10. The word “map” should not appear.

  • 11. Should be horizontally (side-to-side) centered within the frame line if possible.

  • 12. Should be placed toward the top of the map if possible, vertically (top-to-bottom) centered between the mapped area and the frame line.

Back to Slide 6

Back to Slide7


Subtitle

  • 1. Usually contains the date and/or geographic region.

  • 2. Should be visibly smaller than the title (at least 2 points smaller).

  • 3. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 4. Should employ the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 5. Should be limited to one line.

  • 6. Should be horizontally centered with the title.

  • 7. Should be located directly below the title.

Back to Slide 8


Subtitle

  • 1. Usually contains the date and/or geographic region.

  • 2. Should be visibly smaller than the title (at least 2 points smaller).

  • 3. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 4. Should employ the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 5. Should be limited to one line.

  • 6. Should be horizontally centered with the title.

  • 7. Should be located directly below the title.

Back to Slide 8


Legend

  • 1. Should always be used, unless the thematic symbols can be interpreted without it.

  • 2. Representative symbols should be placed on the left and defined on the right.

  • 3. Should be large enough to be used easily, but should not occupy vast areas of space.

  • 4. Legend definitions should employ the same type family as the title.

  • 5. Should be horizontally and vertically centered within the available space.

Back to Slide 9


Legend

  • 1. Should always be used, unless the thematic symbols can be interpreted without it.

  • 2. Representative symbols should be placed on the left and defined on the right.

  • 3. Should be large enough to be used easily, but should not occupy vast areas of space.

  • 4. Legend definitions should employ the same type family as the title.

  • 5. Should be horizontally and vertically centered within the available space.

Back to Slide 9


Legend Heading

(continued)

  • 7. Should be horizontally centered with the legend.

  • 8. Should be placed directly above the legend.

Back to Slide 11


Scale

(Bar Scale)

  • In addition to the previous rules:

  • 1. A bar scale is preferred to a representative fraction on most thematic maps.

  • 2. The maximum distance of a bar scale should be round and easy to work with.

  • 3. Bulky, complex bar scale designs should be avoided in favor of subtle, simple designs.

  • 4. Bar scales should not have excessive height.

  • 5. The bar scale should be long enough (wide enough) to be useful, but not so long as to be cumbersome.

Back to Slide 15


Data Source

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. Contains the source of thematic data. Similar to a bibliographic reference, but is usually less formal.

  • 3. Should be among the smallest type on a map.

  • 4. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 5. Should have the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 6. Multiple lines of type should be horizontally centered with one another.

Back to Slide 12


Scale

(Representative Fraction)

  • 1. A scale should be used in most cases.

  • 2. Type should be among the smallest on a map.

  • 3. Should have the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 4. Should be horizontally and vertically centered within the available space, below the mapped area if possible.

Back to Slide 14


Scale

(Bar Scale)

  • In addition to the previous rules:

  • 1. A bar scale is preferred to a representative fraction on most thematic maps.

  • 2. The maximum distance of a bar scale should be round and easy to work with.

  • 3. Bulky, complex bar scale designs should be avoided in favor of subtle, simple designs.

  • 4. Bar scales should not have excessive height.

  • 5. The bar scale should be long enough (wide enough) to be useful, but not so long as to be cumbersome.

Back to Slide 15


North Arrow

  • 1. Should only be used if the map is not oriented with north at the top, or if the map will be used for navigation, surveying, orienteering, etc.

  • 2. Bulky and complex designs should be avoided in favor of subtle, simple designs.

  • 3. Should be relatively small.

Back to Slide 16


Title

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. Should express the map’s theme, preferably at the beginning.

  • 3. Should normally be the largest type on a map.

  • 4. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 5. Should be succinct - unnecessary words should be omitted.

  • 6. Abbreviations should be avoided.

  • 7. A legible type family should be used.

Back to Slide 6


General Rules

  • More important map elements should stand out; less important elements should not attract as much attention.

  • 2. Overall design should be well-balanced.

General Order of Importance

Not to be confused with the order of placement

listed on the previous slide

  • 1. Mapped Area (Them. Symb.)

  • 2. Title, Subtitle

  • 3. Legend

  • 4. Data Source

  • 5. Scale

  • 6. North Arrow

  • 7. Frame Line

Back to Slide 3


Legend Heading

  • 1. Normally contains the unit of measure and/or enumeration unit (country, state, etc.)

  • 2. Should be smaller than the subtitle.

  • 3. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 4. Should employ the same typeface (type family and type style) as the title.

  • 5. Multiple lines of type should be horizontally centered with one another.

  • 6. The word “Legend” should not appear.

Back to Slide10


Title

  • 1. Should always be used.

  • 2. Should express the map’s theme, preferably at the beginning.

  • 3. Should normally be the largest type on a map.

  • 4. Should be set in Title Case.

  • 5. Should be succinct - unnecessary words should be omitted.

  • 6. Abbreviations should be avoided.

  • 7. A legible type family should be used.

Back to Slide 6


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