Synopses & Reviews
With legions of professionals around the world now applying powerful GIS software to the task of making meaningful maps, it's no surprise that there has been an explosion of poorly designed maps showing up everywhere. Most of us aren't trained in cartography, but here is a book to help out.
In this groundbreaking new book by noted cartographer and GIS expert Cynthia Brewer, she describes in no-nonsense terms how to design powerful map layouts whether creating maps for reports, print publication, or interactive Web displays. Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users breaks down the myriad decisions about color, font, and symbology that must be made to create maps that effectively communicate the message intended by the mapmaker. Poorly designed maps are not just hard on the eyes, they can actually convey misinformation and result in poor decision making.
Brewer demystifies the basics of good cartography, walking the reader through layout design, scales and north arrows, projections, color selection, font choices and symbol placement. Recognizing the need for integration with other publishing and design programs, the text also covers various export options, all of which lead to the creation of publication-worthy maps. A technical appendix describes the author's popular "Color Brewer" application, an online tool designed to help people select good color schemes for maps and other graphics.
Describing how to build balanced map layouts suited to varied mapping goals, this guide focuses on export options that suit different media and can be edited in other applications. The wide range of text characteristics needed for expert map design as well as how to improve map readability with type effects such as character spacing, leading, callouts, shadows, and halos is detailed. Tips are included for using font tools in the Windows operating system, such as creating special characters in map text, as is information on using text characteristics to indicate feature locations, categories, and hierarchies on maps. How cartographic conventions guide placement of labels for point, line, and area features are also explained.
About the Author
Arthur H. Robinson authored and coauthored many influential books and articles, including Elements of Cartography, The Nature of Maps, and Early Thematic Mapping in the History of Cartography. Robinson was the first editor of The American Cartographer. In 1981, Robinson was awarded the Dr. Carl M. Mannerfelt Medal by the International Cartographic Association in recognition of his outstanding scholarly contribution to the theory and development of cartography and in recognition of his leadership in cartographic education and research.