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Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users



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by Cynthia A. Brewer
Esri Press, 2005, 220 pp.
ISBN: 1-58948-089-9

In this groundbreaking new book by noted cartographer and GIS expert Cynthia Brewer, the author describes in no-nonsense terms how to design powerful map layouts whether creating maps for reports, print publication, or interactive Web displays. Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users breaks down the myriad decisions about color, font, and symbology that must be made to create maps that effectively communicate the message intended by the mapmaker. Poorly designed maps are not just hard on the eyes, they can actually convey misinformation and result in poor decision making.

The author demystifies the basics of good cartography, walking the reader through layout design, scales and north arrows, projections, color selection, font choices and symbol placement. Recognizing the need for integration with other publishing and design programs, the text also covers various export options, all of which lead to the creation of publication-worthy maps. A technical appendix describes the author's popular "Color Brewer" application, an online tool designed to help people select good color schemes for maps and other graphics.

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