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If you are creating a map, either by using a Geographical Information System (GIS) such as ArcGIS, or another method, such as Adobe Illustrator, it's important to think about what your finished map looks like. You can create a map easily using GIS, but the default values are not necessarily going to give you an attractive and usable map.
There are a number of resources available to help you, both in print and online.
Map design for specific purposes
Making Maps: a visual guide to map design for GIS. Third Edition by
Call Number: 526.8-KRY
Publication Date: 2016
How to make a map -- What's your map for? -- Mappable data -- Map making tools -- Geographic framework -- The big picture of map design -- The inner workings of map design -- Map generalization and classification -- Map symbolization -- Map symbol abstraction -- Words on maps -- Color on maps.
GIS Cartography : a guide to effective map design. 2nd ed. by
Call Number: 526.8-PET
Publication Date: 2014
Introduction -- Creative inspiration -- Layout design -- Fonts -- Color -- Features -- Static maps -- Projections -- Zoom-level design -- Appendix A. Layout sketches -- Appendix B. Map examples -- Appendix C. Color swatches.
Web Cartography : map design for interactive and mobile devices by
Call Number: 536.8-MUE
Publication Date: 2014
1. Introduction -- 2. Human-Map Interactivity -- 3. Map Elements -- 4. Map Composition and Layout -- 5. Color -- 6. Typography -- 7. Core Visual Variables -- 8. Symbolization -- 9. Thematic Visualization -- 10. Animation -- 11. Sound and Touch -- 12. Web Map Production -- Further Reading and Resources.
Thematic Cartography and Geographic Visualization. 2nd ed. by
Call Number: LARGE--F 526.8-SLO
Publication Date: 2005
History of U.S. academic cartography -- Statistical and graphical foundation -- Principles of symbolization -- Data classification -- Scale and generalization -- The earth and its coordinate system -- Elements of map projections -- Selecting an appropriate map projection -- Principles of color -- Elements of cartographic design -- Map reproduction -- Choropleth mapping -- Isarithmic mapping -- Symbolizing topography -- Proportional symbol mapping -- Dot and dasymetric mapping -- Bivariate and multivariate mapping -- Additional techniques -- Map animation -- Data exploration -- Electronic atlases and multimedia -- Visualizing uncertainty -- Virtual and mixed environments -- Ongoing developments.
Cartography: a compendium of design thinking for mapmakers by
Call Number: LARGE--F 526-FIE
Publication Date: 2018
Themes covered: Foundations -- Visual grammar -- Graphical design -- Maths for mapmakers -- Working with data -- Colour -- Typography -- Map types -- Mapping features -- mapping themes -- Composition -- Exemplar maps.
Cartography: an introduction, 2nd ed. by
Call Number: 526.8-DAR
Publication Date: 2017
Produced by the British Cartographic Society. A practical guide to making better maps, covering the fundamentals of what actually works in map design. Includes data gathering, map datums, co-ordinate systems, how maps are made and map design explaining the difference between designing maps for print and maps for the web. Fully updated with major new sections on thematic mapping and the world view, co-ordinate systems, map projections and geographical information systems (GIS).
How to make maps: an introduction to theory and practice of cartography by
Call Number: 526.8-ANT
Publication Date: 2021
Introduction -- Mapping concepts -- The language of maps -- Cartographic design -- Coordinate systems and projections -- Text and typography -- Color in cartography -- 3D, animated, and Web cartography -- Scholarly research in cartography -- Data in mapping -- GIS and graphics software -- Examples from the field -- Appendix 1. Map gallery, "maps from the wild" -- Appendix 2. Sources of spatial data -- Appendix 3. Eleven guidelines for constructing and critiquing maps -- Appendix 4. Professional cartography societies
How to Lie with Maps by
Call Number: 526.8-MON
Publication Date: 2018
Introduction -- Elements of the map -- Map generalization: little white lies and lots of them -- Blunders that mislead -- Color: attraction and distraction -- Maps that advertise -- Development maps (or, how to seduce the town board) -- Maps for political propaganda -- Maps, defense, and disinformation: fool thine enemy -- Large-scale mapping, culture, and the national interest -- Data maps: a thicket of thorny choices -- Image maps: picture that -- Prohibitive cartography: maps that say "no!" -- Fast maps: animated, interactive, or mobile -- Epilogue
Designing Better Maps. 2nd ed. by
Call Number: 526.8-BRE
Publication Date: 2016.
Planning maps -- Basemap basics -- Explaining maps -- Publishing and sharing maps -- Type basics -- Labeling maps -- Color basics -- Color on maps -- Customizing symbols.
These days we are more likely to use maps online - on a mobile or tablet, or as a print out, than as a folded printed map. Some might say that this way they only get the bit of the map they're interested in; others would say that the larger map gives them more context, so as to understand the bigger picture. In the past, when a printed map was the only option, the covers became very important - like a book, they gave a clue to the content. They would have pictures of hikers, cyclists or motorists enjoying the countryside, usually with an open map in front of them. Older maps are now often collected as much for the covers as for the map itself. Below are some links to works and web pages about map covers.
Map cover art: a pictorial history of Ordnance Survey cover illustrations by
Call Number: 741.640942-BRO
Publication Date: 1991