Another Anonymous Map Critique

I’m looking at the product documentation for a major geodata company right now. The very first map in the documentation is a showcase of what their data looks like when it is all put together. You would think that this map would appear as though it came from this decade since the document is updated on a regular basis, and also since this comes from a company that ostensibly makes it’s money by selling the exact data that is shown on the map. However, it’s bad. It’s very bad.


The resolution is so low that it’s pixelated.

The labels are in a pinkish red color surrounded by massive white halos.

There’s an interestate label that is bigger than the city labels and in a generic rectangular road shield instead of the standard interstate shield that most maps are going with today.

The ferry lines are too bold and the dashes are too long for such a minor feature.

Random administrative artifacts are present, overlapping with major water bodies.

The roads are cased, which could have been nice if the map were zoomed in to a large scale. But given the medium scale of this map, the cased roads make the map appear to be like an unsolvable maze.

There is a textured and multi-colored background that goes unexplained.


Thankfully the written documentation is done at a much higher standard than the maps but I can’t help but wonder how many potential customers are turned off by this sloppiness.



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