Archive for June, 2013

And Now, A Picture From a Satisfied Customer

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Plating the Map

In cooking, the quality of the ingredients, the chef’s skill in putting good flavors together, and the chef’s knowledge of cooking technique and tools are all important and crucial. Even with all these elements in place, however, the chef must put effort into the presentation of the food on the plate to elicit the best reactions from the diners. If the food is sloppily presented, the diners often don’t even taste the food! Thus, the best chefs are those that put an extreme amount of effort into plating each and every order in the best way possible, no matter the cuisine.

In cartography, the quality of the data, the cartographer’s skill in putting good data together, and the cartographer’s knowledge of mapping technique and tools are all important and crucial. But the cartographer must also ensure that the presentation of that data is as readable and aesthetically pleasing as possible in order for map readers to glean the required information from the map.

Thomas Keller, the famous chef and restaurateur behind The French Laundry and Per Se, said, “You eat with your eyes—you use your eyes first, so something that looks elegant and nice also looks appetizing.” (Source: WSJ) I’ve written that, “An aesthetically pleasing map is also going to be a map that communicates elegantly.” Always challenge yourself to make the aesthetics better for maximum map-reader attention. I know my own mapping evolution has been continually strengthened by minding this one principle.

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Celebrating Three Years of Carto Blogging

This month marks the third anniversary of the blog. Thanks so much to all the readers, the commenters, the people who email me with ideas and questions, and all the great cartographers who’s work featured in the blog provides an enormous amount of inspiration for everyone.

The very first post was Top Five Cartography Workflow Options.



Via Frank Jacobs, Strange Maps Blog,