Map Composition

  1.  Map Element Composition
  2. Major points to keep in mind for presenting your GIS data on posters, etc
    1. make the poster flows from one element (the idea, the data) to the next (the methods, the results) by using organization, or arrows, or colors linked to a model
    2. emphasize the methods, geographic data and results by limiting the amount of writing and making these necessary parts the largest part of the poster
    3. support the geographic data with plots showing differences as needed (or if absolutely necessary and small, tables). Graphs should have a small caption and the axes should be labelled.
    4. if you use your geoprocessing model on the poster (usually not a great idea), simplify it by editing it into section that show the process used in the GIS. Considering drawing a simplified model if you want to use one.
    5. simpler is usually better (less is more). Use only what you need to get your viewer to see what you did and discovered.
    6. make sure you have a good location map
    7. use an informative title and put your names
    8. acknowledge outside help and data sources
    9. a very helpful source of information about poster design. note the templates farther down the page.
      and here’s a pdf with examples
  3. Map composition
    1. Remember to compose your scale bar and legend with logical units and clear divisions
    2. use continuous color ramps for ordinal/rational numbers, and random or selected colors for categorical data (unless, like an index, they have order)
    3. be careful of overlapping maps, they may not print well. If you plan to put other material on top of the map, send map dataframes “to the back” by right clicking on them
    4. Could your audience be colorblind?  Here’s a fun website for creating maps that differently-abled people can see.