Module 4: Cartographic DesignModule 4’s lab was the culmination of cartographic design content. Student’s learned about the Gestalt Principles of perceptual organization, focusing on the concepts of visual hierarchy, contrast, figure ground distinction, and map balance. The assignment involved creating a map of schools in Ward 7 of Washington D.C. Design concepts were to be utilized to place Ward 7 schools at the top of the map’s hierarchy, while relegating base information, such as roads, to the background.
The spotlight this week goes to Billy Heiden! There were many aesthetically pleasing maps to choose from, however, Billy’s attention to design concept details set his map apart from the rest. Contrast and figure ground is implemented by making Ward 7 the lightest shade in the map, thus appearing closer to the reader and establishing the desired visual hierarchy. The color scheme allows background information to be seen but not overpower, again pulling the eyes to Ward 7 and the schools. The correct level of detail is provided for each region of the map. In Ward 7, he included finer detail with the DC Streets layer, moving out to the greater D.C. area, only primary transportation routes are included so as not to pull the eye away from Ward 7 and overcrowd the map with superfluous information. Intuitive symbology is applied so that the legend only needs to contain the School layer. The extent of the map is clearly indicated in the Locator Inset. Map Balance is achieved by carefully taking advantage of empty map space, ensuring not to bunch elements together or place them in too small of an area. See Billy's blog post for more details about this assignment. Great work Billy!