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Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users [Paperback]

Cynthia Brewer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1, 2005 1589480899 978-1589480896
Describing how to build balanced map layouts suited to varied mapping goals, this guide focuses on export options that suit different media and can be edited in other applications. The wide range of text characteristics needed for expert map design as well as how to improve map readability with type effects such as character spacing, leading, callouts, shadows, and halos is detailed. Tips are included for using font tools in the Windows operating system, such as creating special characters in map text, as is information on using text characteristics to indicate feature locations, categories, and hierarchies on maps. How cartographic conventions guide placement of labels for point, line, and area features are also explained.

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Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users + Designed Maps: A Sourcebook for GIS Users + How to Lie with Maps (2nd Edition)
Price for all three: $61.00

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

<div><b>Cynthia A. Brewer</b> is map and atlas design consultant for the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Cancer Institute, the National Center for Health Statistics, and National Park Service. She is an associate professor of geography and applied cartography at Pennsylvania State University and the designer and editor of ColorBrewer, a web tool for selecting map color schemes. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania.<br></div>

Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Esri Press (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589480899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589480896
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 99 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ESRI Puts out another vague book... August 28, 2005
I don't know how many of the people that will be reading this review have ever bought a book from ESRI. Let it be said that their books are usually for the beginning and lower-intermediate class of GIS users. I purchased this book before it was even published in the hopes that it would break that norm and offer something like the description states. From everything that their marketing wizards say about the book, one would expect a quality map design product that would really highlite layout, composition, etc. Wrong.

Advanced users, or anyone who even thinks they have the slightest notion on map design, do not buy this book! Chances are if you think to yourself, "I make pretty decent maps", then you will gain nothing from this book. This book should only be purchased by beginning users or people who have been told that their maps look like absolute crap. If you make north arrows that take up 1/4 of your map, you need this book. If you are a little wary about your ability to choose color, do not buy this book. Instead, focus on buying books in the Art section that will help you improve your color understanding and picking abilities.

There is very little information of use in here for advanced users, that is why I am rating this so low. This is an acceptable book for beginners, though not the best I have seen. Again, my gripe with ESRI is that they pull together just enough vague information to publish a book on a subject without really telling you anything that you couldn't figure out on your own.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to improve your map designs October 10, 2005
This is a comprehensive book that covers all aspects of good map design. It is especially useful for those without a cartography or graphic design background. Unlike other map design books that cover way too much irrelevant material; it's easy to follow and gives enough information to help new and experienced GIS users create maps that are focused and easy to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to design better maps.

Cindy Brewer is one of the nation's experts on cartographic design and color usage and everyone should learn from her. Check out her other book on Mapping the Census 2000 for beautiful and informative map examples.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of map design using ArcMap December 5, 2005
This book is the first one I would recommend to the typical GIS user wanting to make better maps. Some other reviewers have commented that many of the suggestions are basic; however, I have seen countless maps that could benefit from the design suggestions presented here.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users is a guide to cartography, written in response to advances in digital mapping and geographic information system (GIS) software and illustrated throughout with map samples in color. With such increasingly widespread tools, more analysts, researchers, planners, graphic designers, and lay people lacking basic cartography training have been creating maps that appear slick on the surface but contain internal flaws due to common beginner mistakes. Designing Better Maps seeks to rectify such errors by offering a basic cartographic education for non-cartographers. Chapters cover the basics in type, color and color decisions, customizing symbols, properly designed marginal elements, and more. An easy-to-follow resource and a "must-have" for anyone working with GIS software who has little prior training or experience in mapmaking.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Designing Better Maps November 4, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since I am relatively new to the world of GIS Mapping, this book was an invaluable aid to designing more attractive maps. It's a beautifully laid-out book with lots of common-sense tips in it. Well worth the price!

Linda Pierce

Pray, Montana
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Designing maps May 29, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I originally found this book in my school library and decided to buy one for myself. It's a great guide map design on the use of fonts, color, labeling, etc. and great illustrations, but it not a step by step guide book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Descent for beginners May 10, 2007
This book reviews the very basics of map design and hardly touches on cartographic representations. It is probably a good starting point for first timers to GIS and mapping, but for the average map maker/cartographer it is too rudimentary.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not much substance November 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a class I am taking. Fine for beginners, but there is not much of substance. I would have liked more technical detail.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
I'm a big fan of this book. It's full off useful cartographic advice, with plenty of illustrated examples. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nyall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book will be mostly pretty basic for anyone who is trained as a designer since it relies on standard design methodologies to display map information (as it should!). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pixi
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected more
Pretty good, though I expected a lot more. Too much urban based mapping concepts. The printing was a little cheap looking. Still though worth buying and having on the bookshelf. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SiriusAustralian
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty and Informative
Beautiful book. Makes you want to create more artistic maps and reach beyond the default settings when using mapping software. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joycelib
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners in cartography
Basic, yet very important, introduction to the rules applied in cartography. Must have for people starting with GIS and map-making. Concise and reliable source.
Published 10 months ago by Prz
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Great book to map aesthetically pleasing and informative maps. Has color palates to follow as well as general tips and guidelines.
Published 15 months ago by Sugarloafer89
4.0 out of 5 stars text book for a class.
the text strives to be a mapping text book but leave out the jargon surrounding a specific program. For that it is good. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Daniel
4.0 out of 5 stars Map visualization 101
This book addresses all major topics needed when considering what color to assign to a group of layers, which symbols and scales to use, how to annotate maps and how to complement... Read more
Published on October 25, 2007 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Designing Better Maps
An excellent book, but a bit tedious. Gives the GIS user an excellent review of what makes a map visually useful. Read more
Published on August 9, 2007 by W. B. Edwards
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