This map was a true test of the many skills that were taught in Geography 200. For this map, techniques were used from the choropleth map for one variable and the proportional symbol map for the other variable. I sorted the data for the choropleth portion using the Jenks method of natural breaks and the proportional symbols were guided with excel data and manually scaled in Illustrator. The resulting product is an effective way to display two variables on one map.
For this map, the only element imported from ArcMap was the shape file of Wisconsin. Everything else in the map was created manually in Adobe Illustrator. Also done manually were the calculations of the sizes of each circle. After obtaining data from the census bureau, the data was plugged into an excel formula which set the maximum value in the dataset at 100% and listed each other data value as a proportion of the maximum value. This information was used in the scale tool in Illustrator to accurately proportion the symbols.
While choropleth mapping can be done nearly instantaneously in ArcMap, the bulk map was created entirely in Adobe Illustrator with only the blank shape files of North Carolina. While the highlighting and coloring of each individual county was the most time consuming part of this map, the most valuable part would be learning how to manually sort and classify data in Excel
Continuing on a journey through the many uses of Adobe Illustrator, Geography 200 students were tasked to create another reference map. This particular map involved exporting an aerial map from ArcMap and importing it into Illustrator where many hours were spent with the pen tool tracing countless elements of my hometown. The process of cartographic generalization was key in creating this map in a visually pleasing, non-cluttered way.
For this map, the members of Geography 200 were provided with a Garmin eTrex GPS unit and sent to collect data (paths and points) to then download and overlay on an aerial image. Several factors made this map production challenging. The cartographer must make sure that the Datum from the GPS matches the settings in ArcMap, lest the data be transcribed incorrectly. Once the data was imported and overlaid on an aerial photo, the project was brought into Illustrator to make the aerial image slightly more transparent.
Projecting maps onto a 2D surface will always result in some form of distortion. The type and degree of distortion depends on the map projection used. This map displays the most used projections in the form of 10 GIS traces of the South American coast, each aligned at 60 degrees west. To explain all of the aspects of distortion and other factors relating to each projection, Microsoft Excel was used to create a table of information. The table was then exported as a PDF and assigned one color to each projection, making the finished informational table a double as the map’s legend.
This was the first map that the members of Geography 200 were tasked to create. Having used Adobe Illustrator only sparingly before this project, the challenge was in learning how to use a beast of an application to make a visually sound final product. From the starting point of a blank map of Africa, the task of labeling and coloring each country was the most challenging aspect of this assignment. Constantly adjusting angles, size, and transparency of each element made for a great environment to learn and master the basics of Adobe Illustrator.