Monthly Archives: July 2013

Let the Map Speak for Itself

A map can show the location of something, but it can do much more. By adding suitable graphics and theming an attribute, a map can convey contextual information about something besides its physical location. In this case you can reduce the text that you add beside the map, and let the map speak for itself.

The map at the right is such a case. However, because I am explaining this concept, I’m going to speak for the map. 🙂 The main component of the map is the Elevation layer, which shows the elevation for 8 km beside the map. The map also has callouts that describe events in cities along the Elbe. Finally, the map has a table that shows the elevation of the cities on the map. Yes, you are allowed to put a table on a map.

The result is a map that is more than just the location of the Elbe. in fact, it communicates information that a newspaper cannot (unless the newspaper has a map). It shows that cities along the Elbe have challenges in the area of flood, because their elevation is so low.

You can see the full map by clicking the image. Oh well, here is a link to the map too.