Hard to say - it depends primarily on what the map is needed for. At first glance I like #1 and #6, but the others have some good aspects to them also. For example, if I was trying to find the University of Redlands, I'd go with #5 even though in my opinion on that map the "Redlands" city label needs some work to distinguish it from the road names.
Chris Donohue, GISP
Agree with Chris...each one shows/hides something why are the right-most 2 smaller than the rest is the first thing I noticed, followed by colour, the vanishing lakes, then the flow and ebb of the floodplain
You have so opened up a can of worms...a la 'what color is the dress'
I like fishing. But you are correct, I could have asked which map is the most fashionable?
as far as size I was trying to capture screenshots at the roughly the same scale and extent. I wasn't looking for too deep of a response.. just a casual... map X looks good to me, when compared to the others.
Yep, same here. A map must be designed for a specific audience.
My tired post cataract eyes see 1,3, and 6 as equal contrast/detail that looks the sharpest to me. But I had surgery replacement of my len's. As previously stated, the map should reflect the targeted audience
I am finding the comments in regards to the map purpose of more interest than the actual poll results, though it is a small sample, I may want to investigate an new direction for some of the work that I contributing to.
All of these maps are used for the same purpose.. perhaps they were not designed as well as they could have been for that purpose?
That could be the issue. The question would then become, which of these maps do you find suit purpose X best. The other problem you will have is that you are not asking a naïve audience. It is like soliciting an opinion on a patient amongst a group of doctors...at some level, there will be a prejudice that something is 'wrong', otherwise...why ask
I agree with Dan. This situation is sort of like when a new movie comes out, the movie critics deride it, yet it becomes widely popular with the movie-goers. The real question is who is the target audience and how can how can you then design a map that best communicates to the them (your "movie-goers"). Why will they use the map? Once you know this, you can prioritize which information to show, how to symbolize it in a form your audience will recognize, what level of detail is needed, etc. There's the whole study of Cartography that comes into play.
And that reminds me. My Cartography professor offered up a similar set of maps to our class and asked for the students opinions as to which one was best. Except one map was at first glance just totally hideous. No once chose that one. After he took our votes, he went on to explain what each of the maps were used for. And the hideous one was in retrospect actually very good once you found out its specific purpose. But to a general audience (in this case new GIS students) it was awful.
I agree with Chris and Dan!
it is indeed difficult to say. but without getting into the details of label placement, typography and audience (no color-blindness assumed), we can say with some certainty that complementary colors go well together and it appears you have done that already.
looking at a color wheel we can choose pairs of colors to symbolize both features and background/basemap:
blue/orange (brown), red/green, and yellow/violet (purple) combinations as obvious examples.
the intermediate colors also have their complements as well.
Maps 2 and then 4. Also, agreed depends on what you are analyzing!
Two and Four are both visually pleasing to the eye. However, I love maps. One of the most important pieces of information in a map are details. Namely, location, street names and highway signs. I find it easier to read #6 because the words are darker, the streets are lighter and the highway is in a different color. Far easier to read or glance at while driving to know exactly where you are or where you need to go.
I think the color contrast is the best for map 2, however Orange St. and Judson St. could be written in the same direction as Tennessee St.
Map 3 because I like the coloring and the labeling of the streets. Maps 2 and 6 were a close tie but the brightness of Map 2 makes it more difficult for my tired eyes to read. Map 6 is a good brightness but the purple coloring isn't contrasting well for me with the rest of the map.
I like 2 and 4. I like the basemap for 1, but the labels need some work compared to the other maps.
I went with #2, mainly because it didn't have the bizarrely placed "Nevada" and "Crown Jewel" labels (what?) and did have freeway/highway markers. If I didn't know the area, I wouldn't have picked up on those (except for "Nevada" overlaying the 10 in map #5. But that's as a self-admitted non-cartographer.
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