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GIS Cartography: A Guide to Effective Map Design Hardcover – 8 Apr 2009

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press (8 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420082132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420082135
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,818,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Gretchen Peterson is a certified GIS professional (GISP) and the founder and principal of PetersonGIS. Her work focuses on analysis of geographic data to solve natural resources management issues. In the course of this work, she has made innumerable maps and map- related products that present results elegantly and informatively. She is based near Seattle, Washington.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The content of the book is satisfactory, however, it is disappointing that this edition is in black and white. All the maps and figures included on it are in B/W, even when discussing about chromatic contrasts and common colors used in thematic maps. This should be mentioned in the description of the book!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for designing maps 15 Nov. 2009
By Robert W. Plummer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many people think that making a map is easy - just press a few buttons and it is done.
This book does an excellent job in explaining many of the concepts and principles involved in map design. The book contains a lot of information on what the cartographer must think about when creating a map; core elements include layout design, fonts, colors, features, and media involved in presenting the map. The overriding message is that a good map takes a lot of work and effort.
I highly recommend this book for anyone making maps- regardless whether they are novices or experienced cartographers and for anyone who is asking someone to make a map for them. I have been making maps for over 20 years; this book is a wonderful addition to my current collection of books on cartography.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and Clear Steps to Map Design 22 Jun. 2010
By Emelie A. Healy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
After reading Gretchen's book, just as she explained in her forward, I wished I had had this book in front of me 8 years ago. It's simple steps and honest, frank tone give the reader just the right amount of guidance to create effective, clear, good-looking maps. Personally, I liked Gretchen's approach to looking for inspiration in the everyday - finding color, style and layout inspiration through nontraditional cartographic arenas. The most useful aspect of her book, though, is the simple and clear instructions in which she lays out the steps and provides useful tools to creating a map that is powerful, concise and easy to understand.

Whether you are deep into your GIS career or a day-one graduate, I think there is quite a lot to be learned from "GIS Cartography".
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Cartography Guide 6 Jun. 2009
By Timothy Hales - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The first thing that stood out to me was the openness and personable presentation of the author in the introduction. As I read through this book I did not see it as a textbook, but I saw it as if I was sitting across the table from Gretchen discussing keys to GIS cartography. She presents each area in a detailed manor as one speaking from experience.

I liked how the book did not focus on a single software package, but provides ideas that could be applied across the board. The examples and topics are presented in a more up to date application. This allows for the incorporation of new media like PowerPoint slides and web maps. Although this book was written with the early career professional in mind, it has a lot of good stuff for everyone no matter the career level.

A few areas that really stood out to me included the challenge of learning to be creative with map design. Observing art and other non map designs help stimulate the creative juices. There is also an excellent detailed layout design checklist. Each element is discussed extensively throughout the chapter. Another helpful area was map fonts. Learning when to use certain fonts, understanding map viewing distance and its correlation to the font size, and understanding the importance of text direction are some of the topics discussed in the font chapter.

I highly recommend this book. It is a great reference book for the beginning cartographer to the seasoned professional. I keep it within arms reach on my desk.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books yet on cartographic design for GIS users 2 July 2009
By Geographer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is the best book yet for designing cartographically accurate and intelligible maps as a GIS user. I have been a cartography educator at the University of Minnesota and UW-River Falls. Most books dwell on how to use ArcGIS. This one doesn't. This one uses layperson English to explain to people already familiar with GIS software of any type how to design maps that look good. Exactly what is needed in this day and age of GIS users making unintelligible and counter-productive maps! The best book I have read in years for students. I highly recommend it for practicing GIS users who know they are making crappy maps, as well as for instructors in smaller academic programs that are expanding their GIS offerings at the expense of courses in cartographic design.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Making Maps 29 May 2009
By Dusty Robinson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The introduction contains a great summary of the purpose of this book. "Many of us enter the GIS profession without so much as one hour of design instruction in our formal educations. This book seeks to fill that void by providing a reference that can be thumbed through time and again as your create your maps."

I have been working in the civil engineering consulting world for the last 11 years. I have certainly created a lot of maps in that time frame, and Gretchen is correct in that I don't have any training in design. I found this book to be a very practical and easy to read guide for understanding the elements of good map design.

The book is not software specific, and not even GIS specific. If you make maps of any type in your line of work this will be a helpful resource to get you off on the right foot, and something to refer back to for guidance on how to create a well designed, better communicating, map.

"The good cartographer is both a scientist and an artist. He must have a through knowledge of his subject and model, the Earth...He must have the ability to generalize intelligently and to make a right selection of the features to show. These are represented by means of lines or colors; and the effective use of lines or colors requires more than knowledge of the subject - it requires artistic judgement." Erwin Josephus Raisz
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