Making Beautiful Maps: Oct 5 2011


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Presentation from Making Beautiful Maps
A Skillshare Class by Jake Levitas
At Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
Oct 5 2011

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  • The world according to Anaxinemes, 500 BC Rectangular form supported by compressed air
  • Incorporated knowledge of Indian Ocean and Far East gathered by merchants Muhammad al-Idrisi, 1154
  • Waldseemuller map, 1507 First map to use “America” Library of Congress
  • William Smith 1815 First national scale geological map, rock strata etc
  • Baron Charles Dupin, France, 1826 First known chloropleth map depicting education rates around France Mapping social data, not just geography
  • John Snow, cholera deaths in London in 1840s, published 1854. Deaths centered around one pump, pump handle removed after map and deaths ceased instantly. Mapping as a tool to solve social problems
  • Louis-Leger Vauthier, 1874, map of Paris population density by contour lines (isolines) Applying geographic visualization techniques to non-geodata
  • Mapping web service launched in 1996
  • 3d high resolution birds eye view of entire world, instantly, for free Ability to add data, get driving directions, and curate your own maps
  • Map of facebook users as expression of humanity
  • Mapping, geodata, and visualization is a ubiquitous tool for: - analysis - storytelling - communication - activism - transparency - social change
  • You can make awesome maps Hand-placed lettering of landmarks, routes, streets, rivers, etc Took hundreds of hours of work Axis Maps
  • You can incorporate into art in a more qualitative way Interplay between hard data and aesthetics, artistic mediums
  • You can use them as a canvas or material in other work
  • Basically any plain surface you see, just picture a map on it
  • Maya lin at Academy of Sciences Creates massive 3D wire sculpture inspired by topographic data of SF
  • Huge glue lam cut blocks based on topography
  • But realistically, maps can make a difference immediately on personal and work projects as way to help your community or business and take your projects one step further This is the biggest takeaway from this class – take existing design skills and incorporate mapping elements where you wouldn't have before
  • Maps have layers (cue video)
  • Raster base with vector overlays for geography and data
  • A smiley face shows the three main types of vector data (0D, 1D, 2D)
  • Raster data is a grid with values attached to it Mainly used for elevation, satellite imagery, heat mapping/interpolation, and specific types of grid-based analysis
  • Apparently we're not the first ones to have trouble parking in the city San Francisco Traffic Survey of off-street parking, 1937 Graduated circle map (size = size of lot) is popular way to show values of point data
  • Change of elevation and bike routes
  • Neighborhoods are good example of polygons Can have data attached to them or not This map made for USSF, exploring neighborhood connections with Zeum
  • Eric Fischer, tourists (red) vs locals (blue) Lines connect where one person took multiple photos within 10 minutes or 3 miles (highlights routes)
  • Closeup shows how spatial data outlines other forms
  • Points represent landmarks on map using icons Lines represent roads Polygons represent areas of park and boundaries between spaces Raster (eg elevation) could be easily added as underlay
  • Basically a set of one or more geolocated shapes with a spreadsheet of information on top of it Industry standard for spatial data
  • Making Beautiful Maps: Oct 5 2011

    1. 1. Making Beautiful Maps A Skillshare class by Jake Levitas Research Director Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (@GAFFTA) @CivicInnovation
    2. 2. Rough Outline <ul><li>Brief history of maps
    3. 3. Inspiration
    4. 4. Map components
    5. 5. Making Maps using QGIS + Illustrator </li><ul><li>1) Get the data
    6. 6. 2) Use + Analyze the data
    7. 7. 3a) Beautify the data
    8. 8. 3b) Design the map </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. What is a map anyway?
    10. 10. A map is a visual representation of an area— a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes.
    11. 11. A brief history of maps
    12. 24. What can you do with maps anyway?
    13. 35. Uhh...So, what is a map REALLY? (aka Map Components)
    14. 38. Points Lines Polygons TYPES OF SPATIAL DATA (VECTOR)
    16. 40. Map components, applied
    17. 48. Let's get to work!
    18. 49. Beautiful Maps Full Workflow <ul>a) Download SHP / other spatial data b) Open in QGIS c) Analyze + visualize + manipulate in QGIS d) Export to SVG with QGIS Print Composer e) Open in Illustrator f) Complete map design </ul>
    19. 50. SHAPEFILES ...the answer to all of life's problems
    20. 51. Shapefile components <ul><li>.shp = shape geometry
    21. 52. .dbf = attribute data (dBASE table)
    22. 53. .shx = index file
    23. 54. .prj = projection format </li></ul>+ =
    24. 55. Step 1: Cut a Hole in a Box (aka Get the Data)
    25. 57.
    26. 58.
    27. 59. Step 2: Put Your Junk in that Box (aka Use + Analyze the Data)
    28. 60. Add Data Layers + Properties (in visual order) Features + Attributes Navigation
    29. 61. One layer at a time... <ul><li>SF_Outline
    30. 62. Sfblocks – bookmark mid-Market
    31. 63. StClines – play with unique value symbology </li><ul><li>Navigation: Zoom in + out to explore symbology </li></ul><li>My_locations – creating data and attributes around mid-market
    32. 64. Census2000 </li><ul><li>unique value mosaic
    33. 65. Graduated color chloropleth – population
    34. 66. Settings-> style manager for colorbrewer ramp
    35. 67. Attribute table (% of pop – don't divide by 0)
    36. 68. Update chloropleth </li></ul><li>Adjust all layers symbology and visibility </li></ul>
    37. 69. Step 3: Open the Box (aka Beautify the Data + Design the Map)
    38. 70. Map Symbology Types <ul><li>Size (graduated symbol maps)
    39. 71. Color / Saturation (chloropleth maps)
    40. 72. Density
    41. 73. Isolines </li></ul>
    42. 74. Every good map has... <ul><li>Title
    43. 75. Legend
    44. 76. Scale Bar
    45. 77. North Arrow
    46. 78. Data Source </li></ul>
    47. 79. Setup Map Elements + Export to AI with QGIS Print Composer
    48. 80. The final touches in AI 1) Delete crap 2) Beautify the layout 3) PDF + JPG your way to fame and fortune
    49. 81. Beautiful Maps Full Workflow <ul>a) Download SHP / other spatial data b) Open in QGIS c) Analyze + visualize + manipulate in QGIS d) Export to SVG with QGIS Print Composer e) Open in Illustrator f) Complete map design </ul>
    50. 82. Review
    51. 83. Maps have changed and evolved over time Maps have layers A smiley face has 3 vector data types Mapping can be (fairly) easy (as 1-2-3?) Spatial data is everywhere ...But be prepared for problems Maps can be incorporated into anything Maps can be used for the greater good
    52. 84. Resources
    53. 85. Assistance: CartoTalk QGIS Forums ESRI Forums Data: DataSF SF GIS Google it! (GIS data, SHP) Community: GAFFTA SF Data Viz Meetup Intersection Exhibit
    54. 86. Thanks!
    55. 87. [email_address] @CivicInnovation *please* leave feedback on skillshare + facebook!