Review the project guidelines listed under Lab 09, and during/after map design/layout, check these ‘Tips for Success’ listed in lab 04 and reproduced here:

  • What message do I intend for this map to convey, and does it convey this message well
    • Are there any elements that should be added for context or removed to reduce clutter?
  • Are any layers missing? / Do they need to be in the Legend?
  • Are the layers in an appropriate order to not cover important information?
  • Are the labels on the map readable? Is there crowding or fonts too small to read?
  • Are the colours on the map visually appealing?
  • Do the colours follow conventions? e.g. Water is blue, vegetation / parks green, built up areas either grey or red, etc..
  • If there is hierarchy on the map, is it intuitive? Your map should draw readers towards its purpose. In general major items should either be bigger or use stronger colours compared to minor features.
  • Is the scale appropriate, and scale bar logical ? Are locator maps needed to identify the location?
  • Does the projection used make sense? (Tip: Try to define the attribute of the projection that makes it the best choice, it is good practice to always question defaults)
    • Do you need to indicate north? Is north the same direction everywhere on the map?
  • Is ancillary data present? Title, Date, Author, data attributions?
  • Does the final product match the specifications? Page size, orientation, file format (pdf).

Common map project errors to avoid

• …. nonsense scale bar divisions

• …. silly defaults e.g. striped tie – wetlands

• …redundant symbols in legend – e.g. hillshade

• Project data layers (from geographic) if needed

• Typos in name labels and ancillary info – no underscores !

• Maximise use of space for the map content

• Don’t include vector maps as background (some raster e.g. hillshade are OK)

• Don’t overdo use of text halos when not needed

• Don’t leave it all to the last week …

Categories: GEOG 205Labs