Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When you're sitting in class taking a lab quiz is when you remember all the things you don't know how to do.

Pete had showed us the best way to snap an annotation to a wiggly line. It was one of the drawing tools. He made it look easy, but I couldn't find it last night. This is me taking note so I find it in the future.

That's all I can think to put in my journal for now. I didn't think to put my map in the journal last night. Journal wasn't exactly one of my big priorities at the time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Utter Nerdiness (and a projections assignment)

so i downloaded the wrong data last week, that's why my map looked funny. but it was the data he told us to download, so it's not my fault.

nice to know that all my troubles this summer and all the gis angst could have been alleviated by one simple tool in arc toolbox and a little bit of understanding of projections.

... so my latest cartographic daydream is all the nifty data i have access to on city of Asheville.

fire stations

... See when I was a kid, SimCity came out. My all-time favorite computer game ever. Yeah, these were the days before World of Warcraft. My brother bought it with his allowance, and I reaped the benefits, and spent many hours poring over maps of Asheville, wishing I could figure out how to reproduce Asheville using SimCity. But the zoning mystified me, and I didn't really know how to tell the difference between commercial and industry, so I shelved that dream.

And now, holy s--t, as an adult I realize all these layers are fully downloadable, complete with coordinates. I could totally do it with accurate zoning, accurate roads, the whole 9 yards.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Projections, Transit maps

map from projections project
I've been reading a book about the graphic design of urban rail and subway system maps. There was a gas shortage so all the libraries were closed one weekend, so I had to go to the bookstore, and I saw it and thought wow, how interesting.

Anyway, it's totally counterintuitive. The less accurate and topographical these maps become, the clearer. The book talks about 45 degree angles a lot. all the angles in a particular subway schematic might be only 45 degrees or 90 degrees. This is of course very different from the actual angles in real life.

I particularly like the Chicago one. Here's a copy.
incidentally, when I googled chicago mta, I found a link to the image which was left by its own designer. wow! His words are here on cartotalk: