Thursday, April 3, 2008

Map Design Improvements

This is a short post this week as I've suffered my 2nd hardware failure in 2 weeks and am chasing to catch up. I did prepare this image last week:

I was looking at Stefan's quick mash up of the images from his post (again, its worth saying this is not meant as criticism of Stefan or NSDIC) and thought that it gave an oppotunity to discuss map design. There are two main characteristics of this image I want to improve:
  1. The way it appears in Google Earth is that a more detailed central image is placed over a less detailed main image, which itself appears over the background Google Earth imagery.
  2. Someone at NSDIC has labelled 'Cloud' on the image.
I have made it apparent what is going on in (1) by adding a purple square and made it clearer to the viewer the limits of (part of) the cloud (2) by adding a black lined polygon filled with a semi transparent yellow colour.

These are small things in themselves but when you're preparing elements in Google Earth its worth it to sit back and try and think what your users will see and understand when they first see your work.

Right, back to recovering from the crash.

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