A different kind of map
I've been working a bit on this map:
It's a map of a nice small rock climbing area in Switzerland that I recently visited. I've been trying to think of ways to make it more interesting but I'm kinda stuck at the moment. It just feels unfinished. Too mush white maybe?
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could improve it? Maybe a background for the table but I haven't been able to find something that I'm happy with.
The only constraint is that I would like to preserve the informational content, i.e., other climbers should be able to print it and use it if they go there.
I actually think it's perfect. A map of climbing routes is probably best left fairly schematic as you don't want to obscure the information. The only "decoration" I would suggest adding are those landmarks that could help a climber identify his/her location...things like distinctive trees or rock formations and so on. Nice map. Have some rep from a (long out of practice) fellow rock climber.
Neat! Though I'm not a big fan of the Old English/Gothic font you used. But that's just me ;)
That's cool! Makes me want to do a "trail" map of some of the places that I go off roading..hmm :)
I'd change the font as well, something more generic and easy to read...got to appeal to the masses. The only thing missing is the elevation numbers and if there are existing pitons. Also, is there a route for free-climbing? I used to free-climb in college.
I would also suggest to change the dotted line using preferably rectangle rather than square. I've done similar work and it's better, imo.
Free-climbing? Are you serious? I've been rock-climbing for many years but NEVER without rope. It's just insane, unless you're a damn good climber ;)
Originally Posted by Ascension
I see now where your nickname is coming from ... :D
Yeah. LOL. Freeclimbing (when not in a "chimney") is totally off my list of to-do items. :) Most I've ever gotten off the ground without a rope is 10'...and that was above some *very* plush undergrowth. I guess I've gone further on some "walk-ups", but only to get to somewhere, not to just climb for the heck of it.
Any good rock in MO, Ascension? I went to basic training there (Army, Ft. Leonard Wood) but, as you can probably imagine, didn't get to look around much. As I recall one of my DI's was a rock climber and mentioned climbing somewhere locally.
Holy...you went to Ft Lost in the Woods.? I was there in the winter of 86 through the spring of 87. I started basic there and transferred to Ft. Benning after I decided to change my M.O.S from combat enginner to infantry. Small world :)
Originally Posted by mearrin69
Sorry if I come across as overly critical, I'm just trying to help as this is an interesting map.
The text is REALLY bad. The texturalis blackletter is ornate and hard to read, it's pixelated and blurry, and it doesn't match the typeface of the labels on the map.
A simple neatline around it would help tie it together. Just a plain, thin, black rectangular border. No need for anything fancy.
The empty name fields in the legend give it an incomplete look. It's not clear if that means the route has no name, or if it's just not included in the map. Try putting in a placeholder like 'Unnamed' or 'N/A' and set it off from the other names by putting it in italics, or grey, or bolding all the other names.
Some indication what the fields are would help. (I assume the second number is difficulty, but you should make it clear) A description of the meaning of the particular difficulty levels would also be a good idea, or just say what scale it's on.
The routes feel a bit messy because of the square dots lined up with the page. An ordinary line or dashed line would give it a cleaner looking curve. The drop shadow isn't helping either, on the routes OR the labels. I you want to make the line more visible, put a wider white line behind it, and maybe make it a bit transparent if that is too much.
Try colour coding the routes so you can get an 'at a glance' view of difficulty. If you do so, a corresponding coloured dot by the entry in the legend would be a good idea too. Right before the difficulty number would be best.
You implied you want to distribute this to other climbers to be printed. In that case you should really try to do this as much as possible as a vector image. Your forum profile says you use Inkscape, so you should use that for the layout and text as much as you can. And you can save as a PDF for distribution to preserve it as a vector image. This will give you the best looking printout.
You should probably add a copyright notice, license information (You seem to be planning to share it so you want to let people know what they can do with it), data sources, and a 'Use at your own risk" type disclaimer about the quality of the data and the dangers of rock climbing.
A disclaimer of my own: IANAL and this is not formal legal advice.
Try looking at similar maps: Ski resorts in particular, but also mountain biking or hiking trails.
Thanks, great feedback! I will definitely change the font and play around with the routes to try to get a smoother look. It's a good idea to color them according to difficulty.
I did the text in Inkscape and imported it into GIMP but maybe it makes more sense to do it the other way around, i.e., import the background into Inkscape. Either that or just increase the resolution of the imported text so it doesn't end up looking pixelated.
Regarding legal issues, I somehow don't even want to go there. If I distribute this map it will be to people who are old enough to accept responsibility for their own actions. Writing "Climbing is dangerous" on the map seems superfluous at best. Admittedly I don't have much experience in this area but there has to be limits.