[MUSIC] Welcome back, everyone. Now it's time for the fun part. We're going to look at portions of existing maps and think about their use of symbology. What is good and what we think could be improved. This is a completely subjective process and you might come up with different things than I will. Many of these maps are already very good and something being improvable in our opinion may not mean it actually improves the map. But in thinking about it, we refine our ability to create good maps. As we're doing this, we'll discuss some key considerations you should keep in mind when setting up your own symbology. Sound good? Great, then let's get started. This first map is from a national park visitor's guide here in the United States. I found this map along with a couple of others presented in this video from the excellent blog Cartastrophe, which thoroughly critiques maps. You can find a link to this website in the supplemental resources for this video. In approaching these map critiques, I'm going to introduce a new map, give you time to pause the video, and think about what you think is good and what could be improved about the map, so you practice yourself. Then I'll come back on with some questions for you to look at the map further. Then pause again. And then I'll give you my thoughts on the map. I encourage you to pause the video when I tell you, so you can practice. So pause the video now, and continue once you've thought about the map. A few things to think about, if you haven't already, are the size and styles of the labels along with the colors and styles of the background. Are these appropriate for this map? Who is the audience. Pause the video again to think if you'd like. What I really like about this map is that it does an excellent job of styling features for its target audience of tourists visiting the park. It has icons indicating campgrounds. It has appropriately sized elements for resources that tourists might be interested in. And then it colors labels in an appropriate way. The color and the style of the glacier label kind of feels cold to me, and it intuitively helps project the concept of glacier onto the map. Lastly, the hill shade in the background is unobtrusive, but provides excellent context. This next map is from the New California Water Atlas and displays water rights in California throughout the state. It is a zoomable web map where you can click on locations for more information. Pause the video now and continue once you've thought about the map. A few things to think about, if you haven't already, are how the data integrates with the background, the colors for the data, and the map display scale. Pause the video again to think, if you'd like. Overall, I think this is a good map, though I have a few thoughts for improvement. I really like the use of different sizes and colors to convey information quickly to the viewer. In the interactive version it's really nice to click on these locations and bring up additional information. Honestly, I'd probably make a much worse map if I tried to display the same data. A few of the colors in the legend are hard to distinguish from each other but they clearly thought about intuitive colors for the map. While the data appears small initially given that this is made to be a state-wide representation for California, the display scale still makes sense. My biggest question with this map though, is whether or not the data would be better served by an unobtrusive basemap behind the data. I think the satellite imagery makes it difficult to see and I think it's better suited to a gray basemap that provides basic context instead. It could be that the authors tried this and it didn't work for other reasons. Next up is a map from a group supporting startups. Pause the video now and think about the map, and then resume it when you are ready. Something to think about, if you haven't already, is what the colors on the map mean. Pause the video again to think, if you'd like. I've seen a lot of the presentation that this map comes from. And I think they have a lot of quality content but I'm not sure that this information lends itself well to a map. Four of the six locations are in California and five of the six are on the West Coast of the United States. But they choose to show the entire United States anyway. It could be that they are doing this to emphasize the question of, where is your garage at? And encouraging you to start a business at home, even if you are in these other states. Another thing to think about is the choice of colors. The colors don't seem to have a clear meaning behind them and seem to be only for illustration purposes. Even though this makes the map very pretty, it's more confusing to the viewer like me, who spends the time to figure out what the colors mean. It's not wrong to have this information in map form, but I always wonder if a map is the best way for this organization to make its point. This next map comes from my own office, and I think it's pretty good overall. It details different land uses across a large study area in California. Pause the video now and resume when you're ready. Things to think about, if you haven't already, are the choice of background and the colors on the map. Pause the video again to think, if you'd like. This is another one of those instances where I'm not certain if there's a better way to handle these things, but I always wonder anyway. While I like the bright colors that focus in on the data in this map, the map still feels very gray and almost metallic to me. And I wonder if the base map could fade to the background a little more. More importantly, while I think it would be hard to determine better colors for this map I always wonder if the resolution of the data is too fine for this map. Would we be better off with a larger cell size that shows broad trends, since it's hard to pick out the specific pixel values here and determine the actual individual values. Or does the map do a fine job with the overall trends already and the detail is useful? Honestly, I'm not sure and this illustrates the subjectivity of cartography in general. The final map we're going to look at in this video is a map that's automatically generated by a website illustrating the locations of people with the name David Wilkens. Pause the video now and resume when you're ready. If you haven't already, think about the distribution of the name and the colors chosen. Pause the video again to think, if you'd like. The first thing I notice, that probably isn't intuitive for those of you from other countries, is that this map roughly tracks the population of the United States. A potentially more useful map, depending on the audience, might be how many people have this name per 100,000 residents, what's called a normalized map. That would show trends better. The other thing that I notice is the choice of colors and groupings which appear to use groups of equal size. The consequence of this is that there are few observations, just a handful in a couple of the groups, and then most of the observations are in the rest of the groups. A better distribution of the observations across the groups would allow you to visually see where David Wilkins lives a little better. Another thing is the blue to green to red color ramp can make things more confusing I think. Is green more or less people than blue? Given that this map was generated automatically, it does a lot of things right too. It's not full of distracting information, and it has appropriately sized labels and inset boxes for detail areas. I encourage you to check out the full review of this map on Cartastrophe if you're interested. One last thing on how to improve your own maps before we end this video. Continue critiquing maps even if they're better than your own. You'll learn both from what they did right and what you think they could improve. Ask people for feedback and critiques of your own maps. And make sure to listen and not be defensive when people give you honest feedback. And then pay attention to maps you see in public and ask yourself what their objective is and if they achieve it. I also want to point you to some resources. One is called ColorBrewer, and it's an excellent website for developing color ramps for your maps, and for making your maps accessible to a broader audience. The other resource is the Esri Mapping Center, where they have techniques and information to help you develop better maps in ArcGIS. Google searches for both of them will bring them right up, and they're also in the supplemental resources for this lesson. Now that we're getting more comfortable with symbology and design decisions in our map making, in the next lesson we're going to be discussing more advanced symbology so I hope you'll join me for that discussion.