No One Wants to Look at Your Ugly Map

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending at the WI Land Information Association Annual Conference.

One of the topics that has interested me for a long time is how we as map makers communicate. And sometimes we say things we don’t mean to. Or we don’t know how to say the things we want to.

So I decided to start the cartography conversation at WLIA with my talk “No One Wants to Look at Your Ugly Map.” As I promised many of you, you can now find the slides to my presentation here.




Here is the description:

“Okay, that’s a little harsh. But let’s be honest. A map that works best is one that intuitively tells a story, and an ugly map just makes it harder for people to figure out what you are saying, and realize the importance of your really cool data.

The good news is that there are easy things you can do to make your map beautiful, and a better communicator. Learn about matching map type and symbology to data type, how to encode information in multiple ways, why shades of grey are your friend, and some simple rules of thumb that will make it look like you at least considered a degree in graphic design at one time. For map makers of all experience levels.”