Monday, October 29, 2007


Cartography deals with the design of maps themselves. There are many good resources for improving your map design - among the best are:

Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users
by Cynthia A. Brewer  ESRI Press, 2005, 220 pp - published by ESRI Press, this comprehensive book is a complete guide to a wide range of design techniques.

Making Maps : A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS   
by John Krygier and Denis Wood   2005    This book is equally useful, but focuses more on the concepts of design. It is less a technical cartography guide than a tour of effective map communication strategies. Purchase from

Other good web resources include:

GIS Lounge Cartography site

North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS)

Cartographic Communication Notes - Univ. Colorado faculty site, with an eclectic and useful array of guidelines

The Map Room - a great blog about mapping

Color Brewer and ColorBlender – useful tools for choosing colors that work well together in map design and cartography

Relief Shading website - for those who want to explore how to create beautiful elevation shading in their maps

Making Maps Easy to Read  – A somewhat technical site in the UK that has a variety of good tutorials

ESRI Map Gallery – see this online gallery of users' maps

Communication Arts Magazine – go to Interactive Design Annual

Perry-Castenada Map Library at Univ. Texas - excellent online resource of a wide range of maps.  

David Rumsey Map Collection, a remarkable online collection of over 10,000 maps from the 1700s to 1900s. –