Archive for the ‘Making Maps Book News’ Category

Q: How were all the example maps in Making Maps created?

A: The primary software I used to create Making Maps was Freehand on a Mac. I learned Illustrator and Freehand in versions 1.0 back in the day while working at the Cartographic Lab at UW Madison. I have always liked Freehand better than Illustrator, despite extensive work with both software packages. Many of the map projections in the book were created in GeoCart, and I used ArcGIS to create a few dozen maps. All were imported into Freehand and redesigned.

The entire book layout and design was done with Freehand – somewhat unconventional. Because the book design and layout I wanted was unusual, I decided to “mock it up” in Freehand, assuming the whole book would be reworked by a professional book designer, sorta following my ideas. In the end, this never happened, my “mock up” is what became the final book layout and design. I think I need to take a book design course, and learn more about typography (I think the typeface and text in the book is one of its weaker points) for the 2nd edition. William Meyer (at Guilford Publications) took the Freehand files, chopped them up into single pages (I did two-page layouts, as facing pages almost always were designed to relate to each other) and converted them to PDF (with surprisingly few problems) and sent them off to the printer.

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Q: What tunes did you listen to while making Making Maps?

A: iTunes was essential software for the completion of Making Maps. I have always listened to music while making maps, but have never been able to listen to music while doing other work. Curious. Various and sundry tunes wafted in the background whilst I worked on all the graphics, but a few stand out, mostly because they embody the quirky, hard to pin down qualities I tried to embody in Making Maps. A pair of CDs I have never stopped listening to – since I bought them decades ago – are the last two CDs by Talk Talk, Sprit of Eden (1988) and Laughing Stock (1991). Best known for its early 1980s start as a Duran Duran wannabe band, Talk Talk mutated into something weird and inexplicable in the late 1980s. While I revisit some of my college-era tunes occasionally, most all sound somewhat dated (and I am not old enough to get nostalgic yet). But not these two Talk Talk cds. A more recent CD that embodies the same spirit (and drummer) as Talk Talk is Bark Psychosis and their recent ///Codename:DustSucker. There is nothing similar about Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis but they are very similar. One more and I will stop: n.Lannon. Now I am not a big fan of folk music. And I am not a big fan of techno. But n.Lannon put them together on Chemical Friends and the outcome (Folktronica, I guess) is irresistible to anyone making hundreds of quirky maps.

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