Maps Process

February 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Use Google maps to map out route (for each mode of transport on each day) > Alter route as it finds the most efficient route, but I go different routes > zoom out three times on the zoom tool > print screen (multiple times if necessary) > place print screens in Illustrator and forge them together > begin tracing map stroke – determining mode of transport : colour / weight / transparency / texture overlayed a line

Outlined the region of West Yorkshire, with this I can my route on top, giving more of a context to my movement. I could be even more specific and create and do this for other smaller regions such as the area I live and travel to frequently (Shipley/Saltaire), Bradford, Huddersfield.

A challenge I face is how do I represent areas I’ve moved more frequently over? This means my map has a great deal of overlapping routes, routes which need to be defined as being more frequently travelled. Do I define them with different/similar strokes and colours? Changing the opacity to allow for visibly more travelled routes? I need to create some parameters so this is evident.

To tackle this efficiently in Illustrator, I must create each mode of transports routes on their own separate layers, this way I can switch between travels methods quickly and easily when designing and presenting.


colours (contrasting) & background (dark/light) colour

font & colours – I want minimal text on the maps and graphs (look at maps colours)

Simplicity -basic shapes – circles for points of interest


In my data I may need to explain that the data isn’t 100% accurate due to loss of connection, geographical location, speeds reached (e.g. on bike going fast > sometimes seen as a car + boarding slowly can be seen as walking)
A lot of walking time isn’t illustrated on my map because the movement took place within buildings, primarily at home.
COLOUR: experimented with a few different colour sets, looked upon RGB and CMYK, prefer CMYK more, colours also look more intense
Played with backdrop of lines, darker colour
Just bumped into the problem of background and opacity; the background dims the colours a lot. To overcome this, I duplicate all the routes, making them all white and turning the opacity to 100%, then putting this modified duplicated layer behind the lowered opacity.
Realised this technique didn’t at all fix the problem, because the colours are still faded with  background; I need to fully remove the background so it isn’t affecting the qualities of the opacity settings. I found to get around this obstacle I could save the Illustrator .ai file as a Photoshop .psd, this allows for the layers of lines to to overlay over one another, demonstrating my frequency of travel (for more opaque lines) without the background disturbance, which drastically reduced the saturation, which gained less of a visual impact.

Radial rings demonstrating distance = more detail

Need to show a variety of options to consider = better grade, list pros/cons of each > effectiveness > visual appeal


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