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Principles-of-map-design-book

New Book: Principles of Map Design

In her recently released cartography textbook, Principles of Map Design (2010), Dr. Judith A Tyner provides a balanced discussion of the considerations regarding cartography software selection. Given that the needs of every user are unique, this is a valuable contribution for those considering which tools to use. As relatively new cartography software, we’re also thrilled to see Ortelius included in the review. Here is an excerpt from the book:

Choosing the Right Cartography Tool: How Will It Be Produced?

“The principles of design apply whether the map is drawn with pen and ink or a sophisticated computer, but one should have an idea of how the map will be made at the beginning.

Software for computer-produced maps is of four types: GIS, illustration/presentation, CADD (computer-assisted design and drafting), mapping, or some combination of these. GIS software is a powerful analytical tool with map presentation capabilities. With GIS, data can be linked to places and calculations can be made. As of this writing there are some design limitations and some types of symbol that are difficult or impossible to create using GIS. These problems will be solved at some point. By the same token, some symbols that are easy to produce with GIS cannot easily be created manually or with presentation software. Presentation or illustration software, such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, is used by graphic artists and allows for highly creative products. However, such software does not allow analysis, calculation, or linking data to locations automatically. If these capabilities are not needed, a presentation program can be a good choice. Like illustration programs, CADD doesn’t allow for analysis. There are some mapping programs, such as Microsoft MapPoint, that have limited GIS capability and allow some simple analysis and creation of maps, but do not allow much flexibility in map design and composition. Some recent mapping programs, such as Ortelius and MapPublisher, combine GIS and design (Figure 2.9). If one is using a dedicated GIS, combining it with a presentation program usually allows for the best analysis and presentation product” (p.26, emphasis added).

Principles of Map Design offers an authoritative, reader-friendly introduction of the core principles of good map design that apply regardless of the production methods or technical approach. The book addresses the crucial questions that arise at each step of map making: Who is the audience? What is the purpose of the map? Where and how will it be used?

Available through Amazon and Guilford Press.

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Drawing City-Block Style Maps

City-block style maps (sometimes referred to as “European-style”) are characterized by their use of negative space. Shapes – in the form of city blocks – define the positive space, whereas the road areas are negative space. Ortelius excels at designing modern style road maps, with connectable tracks and built-in symbols, and it also has great tools for creating city-block style maps.

Tutorial Details

Program : Ortelius 1.x+
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Combining Objects
Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes

Source Map

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In this example, we trace city blocks from this 1892 map of Odessa (Ukraine, formerly Russia), Wagner & Debe. Some cartographic sleuthing: the map is undated, but was possibly produced earlier than 1892, as the Protestant Hospital, completed in 1892, is not shown (source: North Dakota State University Library online).

When setting up our drawing file, the source map is placed on its own layer and a new layer is created, called “Blocks,” to hold our new drawing objects.

Drawing With the Irregular Polygon Tool

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Any of Ortelius’ drawing tools can be used when creating city blocks. Your choice of tool will often depend on the layout and orientation of the blocks you are drawing. The Irregular Polygon tool is an extremely flexible choice when blocks are irregular in shape and orientation. Use the Irregular Polygon tool and a color-filled style to draw individual city blocks, clicking on each corner of the shape. When your final point is placed on top of your first point, the polygon will close automatically. Making sure polygons are closed will assure proper display, particularly if blocks are outlined.

Hint: To clip blocks neatly to maps edges, temporarily disable Layer > Clip Objects To Map Layer in the main menu and draw shapes slightly beyond the map border. Enable it again when you are finished drawing your blocks.

Drawing With the Bezier Path Tool

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People are sometimes (quite pleasantly) surprised at how advanced Ortelius’ Bezier Path tool is for drawing shapes with straight lines and curves. Choose the Bezier Path tool and a color-filled style. Although you are drawing a path, it will be represented as a filled object when an area style is applied. Single-click on corner points to trace corners; click and drag curve handles to draw curves; hold the CMND or OPT modifier keys while adjusting the curve handles. Placing your last point on top of the first point automatically ends the path. Optionally, you can formally close the path by choosing Edit > Paths & Tracks > Close from the main menu. Curve handles can be further adjusted as needed.

If you are unfamiliar working with Bezier curves in Ortelius, try your hand with our hands-on exercises.

Hands-on exercise. See Ortelius File > New From Template > Exercises & Demos > 2-Paths Exercise.

Combining Objects

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When faced with situations such as this circle with an internal median area (a classic doughnut!), try drawing the circle using the Oval tool and a line symbol then clipping the area out using the Combine > Difference command. Begin this technique by drawing the positive space (the road) and then subtracting it from the background to create your negative space. This technique is described in detail below.

Draw ‘Positive Space’ In Gridded Areas

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Where city blocks are laid out in a regularly gridded pattern you can quickly create blocks using path outlines and a few Combine operations. Begin by drawing the road grid with Paths or Tracks. Note you can draw roads of varying widths. Next, draw the background shape (shown here in green) and send it backward under the roads by choosing Graphic > Send To Back from the main menu. We draw the background shape last so you can see your source map while tracing the roads ;).

Edit > Paths & Tracks > Outline

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Next, select the roads and choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Outline from the main menu to turn the roads from lines into polygons.

Combine > Union

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Combine all the new road polygons into a single object by selecting them and choosing Combine > Union from the main menu.

Create ‘Negative Space’ Combine > Difference

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With the background and foreground polygons selected, choose Combine > Difference from the main menu. The roads will be subtracted from the background polygon creating negative space. The blocks are a single object when selected.

Combine > Break Apart

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If further editing is desired, select the blocks object and choose Combine > Break Apart from the main menu. Each block is now its own individual shape object. Optionally, even further refinement is achieved by selecting a block and converting it from a shape to a path (chose Graphic > Convert To Path from the main menu). Each individual corner node can then be moved and edited. Path objects can be converted back to shape objects at any time.

Working with all blocks as a single object is the most efficient way to re-color and symbolize the map. Once you are satisfied with the layout of the blocks, select all and choose Combine > Append to combine all blocks into a single object again.

Add Text

Unlike road features drawn with the Track tool, roads in a city-block style map are not objects – they are negative space. Use the Text Box and Text On Path tools to add label text for roads. To label city blocks and other features, right click the objects and choose Add Label.

Some differences between maps with roads as primary feature vs. blocks as primary feature…
neither “right or wrong” it just depends on the style you’re looking for > both use in large scale (local scale) mapping good for showing neighborhoods, towns, small cities;

some applications of city block style > tourism maps, land use planning maps, location maps, campus maps, pedistrian maps, etc.

Differences (pros/cons)
1. blocks can be easily attributed, e.g., land use/land cover or districts, and new styles applied; can add style components such as shadows to enhance look; because they are negative space and not repersented with objects, street text must be placed with Text tool rather than labeling function associated with point, line, and polygon features;
blocks as focus can result in a more organic looking map with irregular shaped blocks and streets – show nooks and cranies, etc., tends to feature the city blocks as the most prominent feature so good for applications where this is important
2. road maps (with tracks) are more easily labeled using tracks; similar look can be had using cased line styles and connector tracks (show example) though result is more regular spacing; can have background ploygons behind road network to show land use or districts; tends to feature road network as most prominant feature so good for transportation/navigation purposes

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Using the techniques described above, you can create your own fully editable European-style city block map. With Ortelius’ slick style swapping, the look of your map is easily updated to create unique versions of this classic map style.

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Map Points of Interest with Smart Sequence Markers

When you need to map points of interest with numbered placemarkers, look no further than Ortelius’ smart Sequence Markers. These symbols save time and sanity. Place Sequence Markers just like any other symbol and they’ll automatically number themselves 1,2,3… (we should call them magic).

Our customers have been finding Sequence Markers really useful, and with their suggestions we’ve made Sequence Markers even better. This tutorial demonstrates some of the advanced (and super easy) Sequence Marker features.

Placing Sequence Markers

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Use Sequence Markers over your own custom maps, aerial photographs, even scanned maps and drawings.

Like all symbols, quickly find Sequence Markers in the Symbols palette by typing “sequence” into the palette’s search bar. Note, you won’t see any numbers when viewing the markers in the palette. Choose a marker and place it using the Symbol Stamp tool. Markers automatically number themselves 1, 2, 3… in the order in which they are placed.

Instantly Re-Order the Sequence

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Wow. Sometimes you change your mind pretty fast. Shouldn’t you be able to change the order of Sequence Markers just as quickly? Ortelius provides several ways to re-order sequence numbers to fit the way you work best.

Delete re-orders the sequence
After placing a series of Sequence Markers, if a marker in the series is deleted the remaining markers will automatically renumber so there are no gaps in the sequence.

Grouping re-orders sequence
Grouping two or more markers in the sequence will automatically renumber the grouped markers, placing the grouped markers at the end of the sequence.

Use Object Inspector to re-order sequence
Change a the sequence of a marker from the Object Inspector – Features pane. Select a marker and use the up and down arrows under “Sequence” to edit the selected marker’s sequence number.

Edit > Symbols > Sequence to re-order sequence
Changes to the sequence can be made by selecting a marker and choosing options from Edit > Symbols > Sequence in the main menu. Options include “Move to start,” “Move to end,” “Move backward,” and “Move forward.”

Note, as with any symbol you can also change the scale of sequence markers from the Object Inspector – Features pane.

On-the-Fly Sequence Type

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Need numeric, roman numerals, alphabetic? No problem.

Sequence markers can be switched to different types, such as numeric (1,2,3…), alphabetical (A,B,C…), roman numeral (I, II, III…), just choose the type in the Object Inspector – Features pane when a sequence marker is selected. Alternatively, choose Edit > Symbol > Sequence > and choose the type. Changing the marker type applies to all markers in the active sequence.

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Make a Dot Screen Pattern Map Style

Ortelius is loaded with styles and symbols. You can also create your own. Here we show how to create a dot screen pattern.

Start With a Basic Shape

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Draw a basic shape, such as a rectangle, using a basic fill style. Open the Style Inspector – Expert pane and use the action menu (looks like a gear) to Clone Style.

Add a “Hatch” Fill Style Component

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Note that in this example the units of measurement are shown in millimeters. The units of measurement are set in the Drawing Setup, and displayed based on your settings in View > Display Units (points, drawing units, or map units) in the main menu.

Change Hatch Settings for Repeating Dot Pattern

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Adjusting the “Density” setting will automatically generate a dot pattern. Changing “Line width” with a dot pattern will adjust the dot diameter. Changing the “Angle” will adjust the orientation of the pattern.

The density of the pattern is controlled by the “Density” setting. Alternatively, this can be fine-tuned by changing the “Spacing” setting to adjust the pattern spacing in one direction along a line. Then adjust the other direction by changing the “Dash” settings. Choose “Other” from the Dash setting and adjust the spacing of the dash pattern.

Name and Save Your Pattern to the Symbol Library

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If you would like to save your new style for future use, name your new style and add it to the Library. When you click “Add Style To Library” you will be presented with the option to assign it to an appropriate category(s), such as “My Styles & Symbols.”