Chapter 2: Communication and Design

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Cartographic Convention
  3. Common Map Elements
  4. Visual Hierarchy
  5. Color
  6. Typography
  7. Label Placement

Chapter 2 Tutorials


Today everyone can be a mapmaker. However, not every mapmaker is a cartographer. Cartography is the art and science of making maps to communicate geospatial information efficiently. The difference between a lay mapmaker and a cartographer comes from an understanding of geospatial data, cartographic conventions, and in recognizing that a map’s primary role is to communicate information visually.

Chapter 2 presents the fundamental principles of cartographic design and communication. Maps are a medium for communication with a unique set of methods and techniques. Understanding how maps communicate will allow you to view maps in a new light and with a critical eye. You begin by learning the essential map elements and the visual variables of graphic communication.

 Learning Outcomes

  • Explain how maps are a medium for communication
  • List basic guidelines for cartographic design and communication
  • Describe three primary types of maps
  • Demonstrate correct use of map elements
  • Discuss techniques for establishing visual hierarchy and visual balance
  • Identify the visual variables for graphic communication
  • Express a basic understanding of typography
  • Illustrate the visualization techniques for classification
  • Critique the communication and design aspects of a published map