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Archive for the ‘10 Type on Maps’ Category

raisz_atlas_of_cuba_p00_title

This Atlas is more than an attempt to describe Cuba. Our aim is not only to present the setting in which the drama of Cuban life is played but to show how this life itself changes its own setting, creating new problems and new adjustments to them.

This dynamic element is usually absent from the impersonal atlases produced by governments, societies and publishing houses, which merely give a graphic report of a given moment of time. Our objective is to give a living picture of Cuban geography as far as possible in 64 pages. Our approach is as follows: 1. What are the facts?, 2. What are the essential problems?, 3. What will be their effects in the future and what may be done about them? For instance, Cuba, by reason of its close proximity to the United States become its chief source of tropical products, especially sugar. Thus the Cuban economy has become dependent on the fluctuating sugar demand, whereas a diversification of crops and industries would be advisable.

We have presented the results of our labor in graphical form. An old Chinese proverb says: “A picture says more than a thousand words.” Moreover by visual representation the most complicated problems may be brought within the understanding of the layman. Everyone should know the geography of his own country, and in the case of Cuba this need is imperative, since few countries have such clear-cut dependence on location, climate and soil Cuba’s internal problems of adjustment and interdependence with the rest of the world demand a high degree of understanding from its citizens.

- from Introduction

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In addition to many dozens of unique landform maps, Erwin Raisz produced three atlases in his lifetime, including the Atlas of Global Geography (Global Press Corp., 1944), the Atlas de Cuba (Harvard University Press, 1949) and the Atlas of Florida (University of Florida Press, 1964). Copies of the Global and Florida atlases are relatively easy to find (used or in libraries); this is not the case with the Cuba atlas, which seems to have had a relatively low print run. A series of maps, diagrams and illustrations from the Cuba atlas are included below.

The Atlas de Cuba strongly reflects Raisz’s aesthetic, combining creative illustration with his bold and cozy aesthetic of map design. Part of the appeal of Raisz’s work is its humane feel, reflecting the manual mapping tools used to create his maps. Raisz’s maps and illustrations clearly reveal the hand of a human creator.

A large format map, included in the back of the Atlas de Cuba, will be the subject of a subsequent post.

See also, at this blog, Raisz’s History of American Cartography TimelinesMap Symbols: Landforms & Terrain, and Raisz’s currently available landform maps at www.raiszmaps.com.

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El Mundo Alrededor de Cuba | The World Around Cuba (Excerpt & entire p. 5)

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Cuba Colonial | Colonial Cuba (excerpt, p. 9)

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Ciclones | Cyclones (excerpt & entire p. 14)

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Geologia | Geology (excerpt & entire pp. 18-19)

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Geomorfologia | Geomorphology (excerpt & entire pp. 20-21)

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Pesca | Fish (excerpt, p. 25)

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Vegetacion | Vegetation (excerpt & entire pp. 26-27)

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Poblacion | Population (excerpt, p. 29)

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Composition Social | Social Composition (excerpt, p. 35)

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Tourismo | Tourism (excerpt & entire pp. 38-39)

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Educacion | Education (excerpt, p. 40)

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Agricultura | Agriculture (excerpts & entire pp. 42-43)

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Azucar | Sugar (excerpt, p. 44)

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Minerales | Minerals (excerpt & entire pp. 46-47)

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Tabaco | Tobacco (excerpt, p. 49)

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Frutas | Fruit (excerpt, p. 51)

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Atlas de Cuba

Garardo Canet & Erwin Raisz

Harvard University Press

1949

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Fujimi_jusanshu_yochi_zenzu_c2 Fujimi_jusanshu_yochi_zenzu_c1

Fujimi_jusanshu_yochi_zenzu_c_legFujimi_jusanshu_yochi_zenzu_c0

Fujimi jūsanshū yochi zenzu
(Map of the thirteen provinces from which Mt. Fuji is visible)
1843  |  Edo : Yamashiroya Sahei
Source

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Kaiho_Kai_no_Kuni_ezu_c2 Kaiho_Kai_no_Kuni_ezu_c1

Kaiho_Kai_no_Kuni_ezu_c_legKaiho_Kai_no_Kuni_ezu_c0

Kaihō Kai no Kuni ezu
(Pocket map of Kai Province)
1842  |  Kōfu, Kai Province : Murataya Kōtarō
Source

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saka_yori_Tokai_ni_itaru_kairo_no_zu_c2 saka_yori_Tokai_ni_itaru_kairo_no_zu_c1 saka_yori_Tokai_ni_itaru_kairo_no_zu_c0

 Ōsaka yori Tōkai ni itaru kairo no zu
(Tōkaidō and the sea route from Ōsaka to Edo)
1855  |  Manuscript
Source

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Shiga_kenka_Shigagun_Fujiomura_chinai_aza_hira_Kaigaya_Maegaki_jissokuzu_c2 Shiga_kenka_Shigagun_Fujiomura_chinai_aza_hira_Kaigaya_Maegaki_jissokuzu_c1

Shiga_kenka_Shigagun_Fujiomura_chinai_aza_hira_Kaigaya_Maegaki_jissokuzu_c_legShiga_kenka_Shigagun_Fujiomura_chinai_aza_hira_Kaigaya_Maegaki_jissokuzu_c0

Shiga kenka Shiga-gun Fujio-mura chinai aza Ōhira Kaigaya Maegaki jissokuzu
(Measured map of Ōhira Kaigaya Maegaki, in Fujio Village, Shiga County, Shiga Prefecture – Gunpowder Safety Map)
1870  |  Manuscript
Source

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University of British Columbia
Collection: Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era
Source & Description

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The isotherms nestle together,
The isobars tenderly twine…

cupids-weather-map-poem-1907_map

Cupid’s Weather Map

If Gladys had sent me no message,
Or the mail from Palm Beach met mishap,
Though I lacked premonition or presage
Or courage the wires to tap,
I am sure I could learn when she planned her return
From one look at the weather man’s map.

You’ll notice, no matter in what light
These loops and festoons you may view,
Wherever she moves, like a spot-light,
A zone of fair weather moves, too.
The breezes of May will be blowing her way
When our cars and our fingers are blue.

One sunshiny patch, set off clearly
In a country with rain-clouds all black,
To-day travels northward or nearly,
While a blizzard descends in its track.
Can I possibly err if from this I infer
That Gladys is on her way back?

No; the stupid old map of the weather
Tells the news in its tiniest line.
The isotherms nestle together,
The isobars tenderly twine,
While the forecast they print bears so rosy a tint
It well might be Cupid’s – or mine.

Philip Loring Allen

cupids-weather-map-poem-1907

Life, February 28, 1907, p. 49

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To understand map design, and how maps work, it is useful to see how map design concepts play out on a real map.

One of the significant updates to the 2nd edition of Making Maps was the inclusion of a map of the 1986 trans-global flight of the experimental aircraft called Voyager. This map, originally designed and created by David DiBiase and I back in 1987 for David Woodward’s map design course (and in the University of Wisconsin Cartographic Lab), is repeated thirteen times in seven of the chapters, annotated to show how the concepts and ideas in these chapters play out on the map.

The repeatedly annotated Voyager map serves as an example of map design in practice, but also a guide to “reading” a map from the perspective of map design.

Martin Dodge suggested the annotated maps be available together, for instructional purposes. A good idea! So here they are. Each individual map on this page is a 800k PNG file (click for full size).

A PDF file (8.8mb) with all thirteen higher resolution TIFF images is available here.

The Voyager map project was quite a bit of fun to create back in the day. It won a map design award, was published in the book about the Voyager flight, and printed on paper as part of a promotion for the Waukesha County, Wisconsin Airport. I cannot imagine anything much more exciting than that.

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The second map in the series prefaces the initial chapter in Making Maps 2nd edition, and poses a series of questions that will be addressed in future chapters (and annotated Voyager maps):

Chapter 2, What’s Your Map For?, sets the context of the map (and of its re-creation for the book) and how such context shapes the design of the map:

Chapter 6, The Big Picture of Map Design, repeats the Voyager map five times, focusing on the key map design concepts covered in the chapter. This is where the map flips orientation south up (a controversial design choice, according to some reviewers: good! Think about why such a choice is controversial, and if it should be [or ask your students to do so]):

South is now up (so the story reads from left to right):


Annotations about map pieces including title, scale, explanatory text, legend, directional indicator, border, sources, credits, and insets & locator maps:

Annotations about visual arrangement including path, visual center, balance, symmetry, sight-lines, and grids:

Annotations about graphical excellence, based on Edward Tufte’s ideas, including complexity, detail, design variation & data variation, context, revision, non-data ink, data-ink ratio, explanatory text, editing, chartjunk & map crap, redundancy, and multivariate data:

Chapter 7, The Inner Workings of Map Design, reveals the Voyager map with no visual differences (a confusing mess of lines and type):

The map with visual differences is then annotated, with regard to key methods for establishing visual differences, including detail, edges, texture, layering, shape, size, closure, proximity, simplicity, direction, familiarity, and color:

Chapter 8, Map Generalization and Classification, annotates the Voyager map in terms of the generalization concepts of selection, dimension change, simplification, smoothing, displacement, and enhancement:

Chapter 9, Map Symbolization, annotates the map in terms of the visual variables: shape, size, color hue, color value, color intensity, and texture:

Chapter 10, Words on Maps, annotates the Voyager map with regards to typographic variables including typeface, type form, type weight, and type size:

I have a few ideas for additional annotated Voyager maps (such as a full color map) which I hope to cobble together in the future. If you have any other ideas for variations that might be useful or interesting, let me know.

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Click map for larger version; full version (7.3 mb PDF) here

The beauty of words on maps is often not evident, embedded, as they are, in an array of other symbols. A “word map” of South America (above), published by the Geographical Press in 1935, consists entirely of hand-lettered words. The map is supposed to show the labeled landforms of South America; this copy was erroneously printed without the landforms. The map is another find from the dusty old Departmental archives here at Ohio Wesleyan.

The South America word map is not that dissimilar from the word map poetry of Howard Horowitz: below, Manhattan:

A few examples of “word maps” or “typographic maps” have recently popped up on the internets.

National Geographic’s What’s in a Surname (below) interactive map of the dominant surnames in different parts of the US (upper Midwest, and Southwest) reveal structure (the form of the US is evident) as well as meaning (variations in ethnicity across the US).

Axis Maps Typographic Map series works in much the same way, but at a different scale and in a bit more complex manner:

Chicago Typographic Map (Axis Maps)

 

Boston Typographic Map (Axis Maps)

The Axis Typographic Maps use typography as line and area map symbols, providing a nuanced exposition of the geography of these places, the grid of Chicago or the meandering roads of Boston. Again, both meaning and structure are generated by words alone.

But back to the old South America map…

The South American map follows the typical “rules” about type placement, worked out in practice throughout the last few hundred years, and now embedded in cartography texts and in automatic text placement algorithms in GIS software. These rules will, in most cases, make the map easier to read and understand. On the excerpts of the South America map below

  • City names are mixed caps/lower case, roman, and horizontal
  • Country names are upper case, horizontal, and spread out to define the areas
  • Natural features are in the more flowing italics form; if referring to a point, they are horizontal, if they refer to linear or area features (rivers, regions) they are curved to fit the feature.

In practice, placement is complicated, as words cross other words, wrap around each other, and (on most maps) vie for space with other map symbols. The South America map has some neat examples of the art of placing words on maps:

The size of the words varies – suggesting large areas, or places of more importance.

Below find a few pages from the new (2nd) edition of Making Maps (2011) on type as a map symbol. These pages show how typography can be used to express both qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the data they stand for on a map. Typographic guidelines on these pages include typeface (font), type size, type weight, and form (including italics, roman, color, case, and spacing).

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 5 (detail 1, close-up)

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Found while cleaning out an old map cabinet: oceans of just about nothing, punctuated by signs of a minimal landscape. Soiled, creased, tears, dusty. Thumb-print and fading pencil marks, from someone who stared at this map a long time ago.

Details from a topographic map of Egypt in 6 sheets, published by The Survey of Egypt in 1910, scale 1:1,000,000.

Click on any map for a larger version of the scan.

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 5 (detail 1)

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 1 (detail 1)

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 1 (detail 2)

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Note the type leaking over the map border (Mediterranean, Lake Borollos, Gharbia)

The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 1 (detail 3 – close-up)

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Note the type leaking over the map border (Mediterranean, Lake Borollos, Gharbia)

The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 1 (detail 3)

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 3 (detail 1 – close-up)

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 3 (detail 1)

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 5 (detail 2)

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The Survey of Egypt, 1910, 1:1,000,000, Sheet 6 (detail 1)

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I was moving some piles of junk in a storage room and came across a 1934 U.S. Public Works Administration book on Mississippi Valley public works projects (Report of the Mississippi Valley Committee of the Public Works Administration, October 1, 1934). The book is full of maps and other information graphics influenced by Otto Neurath, Gerd Arntz, and Marie Reidemeister’s picture language, isotype.

I always thought isotype had a great look to it.  Its context, in Vienna Circle logical positivism, is a bit wonky, and the idea that symbols – if designed carefully enough – could be “universally communicable” across all cultural and social differences, is merely the dream of those born with a peculiar neurology.  Nevertheless, the isotype “look” is cool in a retro sort of way, and it has certainly influenced the current spare design ethos in cartography.

Some annotated examples of the isotype “language” from a 1937 article by Neurath:

isotype_lang1 sotype_lang2 sotype_lang3

The Gerd Arntz Web Archive is a spectacular collection of thousands of isotype symbols designed by Arntz. All seem to be free to use. (symbols are copyrighted by Pictoright – thanks to Jonathan Hunt for pointing this out). The site also has a breif biography of Arntz.

gmdh02_00158_0 gmdh02_00094_0gmdh02_00045

In casting about the internets, I was gladdened to find someone had scanned the isotype classic, Atlas of Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft (1930, 14+mb PDF).  As far as I know the atlas was printed (on sheets) in limited numbers and has never been easy to find.  Sybilla Nikolow discusses the atlas in her article “Society and Economy: An Atlas in Otto Neurath’s Pictorial Statistics from 1930.” (PDF)

A sampling of maps and graphs from the Atlas follows, and a few more useful isotype resources can be found way at the end.

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isotype02

isotype03

isotype04

isotype05

isotype06

isotype07

isotype08

isotype09

isotype10

isotype11

isotype12

isotype13

isotype14

isotype15

isotype16

isotype17

isotype18

isotype19

isotype20

isotype21

isotype22

isotype23

isotype24

isotype25

isotype26

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A few interesting isotype resources:

The Isotype Institute documents the history of isotype and has much useful information.

A snazzy discussion of isotype done up by mixing isotype and text is Modern Hieroglyphics. (PDF)

Ellen Lupton reviews the history and significance of isotype in her article “Reading Isotype.” (PDF)

isotype

Neurath and the Vienna Method of Picture Statistics (PDF). A chapter out of an e-book called Speaking of Graphics An Essay on Graphicacy in Science, Technology and Business by Paul J. Lewi. Seems like a nice overview of the history of isotype and its characteristics.

The DADA Companion has much information on design and art related to isotype. Search for “isotype” or “Neurath.”

A new book to be published in April of 2009 is called The Transformer: Principles of Making Isotype Charts by Marie Neurath and Robin Kinross.

Austin Kleon’s blog on graphic design has a nice posting on isotype, comics, and information graphics design. Search the blog for other isotype references.

The web magazine Mute has a feature called The Dutch Are Weeping in Four Universal Pictorial Languages At Least that reviews a series of contemporary exhibits that focus on isotype and related ideas. One exhibit called After Neurath has a significant amount of information and links.

The New York Times summarized 2007 US and Coalition member deaths in Iraq in a isotype-esque chart (click for larger version):

iraq_2007_deaths

Stroom De Haag writes (in the online magazine Archined) about Neurath as the “grandfather of open source.”

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