Cartographic Design Principles: Summary

In our previous eight posts we have taken a closer look at each of our Cartographic Design Principles. We offer them as a set of guidelines, intended to focus and aid the design process when making a map. They are not rules. In cartography, rules as such don’t exist – the aim is for a map to communicate a message to its users, and if it does so then it can be deemed a success. If a map is designed to get a person from A to B and it does, then it works. The distinction is not between right and wrong but between a map that works well, and one that doesn’t; between good communication and bad communication.

This means that there is lots of room for creativity within cartography!

Tron

Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Summary”

Cartographic Design Principles: Good composition

Over the past eight weeks we have taken a closer look at each of our Cartographic Design Principles in turn. This is the final post in the series as we switch our attention to Good composition. Although we consider all eight of our principles to be of equal importance, we have purposefully put this one at the end as it will usually be the last thing you do. It’s important to consider the overall composition of your map from the start of the design process, but it’s a good idea to check the composition and layout at the end, to ensure that all the elements work well as a ‘whole’.

BenNevis Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Good composition”

Cartographic Design Principles: Accessibility

This is the penultimate post in our series about our Cartographic Design Principles. Accessibility is a broad subject but one that is very important to the success of a map and therefore it should be a key consideration for a cartographer.

EDN-galaxy

Accessibility

Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Accessibility”

Cartographic Design Principles: Legibility

We are just over halfway through our series of posts about our Cartographic Design Principles. Last week we shone the spotlight on Simplicity and this week we continue our series as we turn our attention to Legibility. In its simplest definition, to be legible is to be easily read. It is extremely important for a map to be legible as the user should be able to easily understand the message that the cartographer was attempting to portray. Much in the same way as a book, if a map is difficult to read then it is likely to fail in its objective and not meet the user requirements.

Explorer_1

OS Explorer Maps – designed for usability and legibility  Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Legibility”

Cartographic Design Principles: Simplicity

This is the fourth in our series of blog posts about our Cartographic Design Principles and this week we are taking a closer look at Simplicity. The concept for our own principles was initially  inspired by Dieter Rams and his ‘ten principles of good design’, one of which is ‘Good design is as little design as possible’ where he states:

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Simplicity_1

Removing clutter allows a map to better portray its message  Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Simplicity”

Cartographic Design Principles: A clear visual hierarchy

We’ve been taking a closer look at each of our Cartographic Design Principles in turn and this week we are delving deeper into A clear visual hierarchy. Although we consider all eight of our principles to be of equal importance when designing a map, this one is of key concern to the successful communication of a maps message. Without a clear visual hierarchy, a map can be confusing to the user and may lead to poor decision making.

clear-visual-hierarchy

Overview map of Great Britain – the labels have a very clear visual hierarchy  Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: A clear visual hierarchy”

Cartographic Design Principles: Consideration of display format

This is the second installment in our set of blog posts taking a closer look at our Cartographic Design Principles. Last week we shone the light on Understanding of user requirements and this week we turn our attention to Consideration of display format.

Design your maps with the final display medium in mind

Design your maps with the final display medium in mind

Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Consideration of display format”

Cartographic Design Principles: Understanding of user requirements

This is the first in an eight part series of blog posts taking a closer look at our Cartographic Design Principles. Devised by our CartoDesign team, the principles are intended as a useful guide for anybody making a map, from Ordnance Survey customers to budding neo-cartographers. In this post we shine the spotlight on the first principle in our list, Understanding of user requirements.

Bear

Remove confusion by understanding your users’ needs

Continue reading “Cartographic Design Principles: Understanding of user requirements”

50th Anniversary Summer School of the Society of Cartographers

On 2 September, we attended the second day of the conference at the University of Glasgow.

The Society of Cartographers (SoC) is an association of cartographers that was founded as the Society of University Cartographers at the University of Glasgow in 1964. The society renamed in 1989 to be open to all those who regularly make maps. So we at Ordnance Survey were honoured and delighted to be invited to both attend and present at the society’s fiftieth anniversary at the place where it all began.

carto-2

Continue reading “50th Anniversary Summer School of the Society of Cartographers”