Cartography for the Web

“Cartographic Design for Web Maps” is a new blog post from the ESRI Mapping Center. Written by Aileen Buckley, it is a fairly good primer on the principles of cartographic design. Of particular interest was the visual efficiency chart. On a related note, it’s interesting to note that we’ve supposedly given up on the idea of web-safe colors. Personally, I’d remain cautious when doing color design for the web – not everyone has a 17 inch monitor or a cutting-edge graphics card. For the most part, though, if it looks good on your screen, it will look good on your audience’s screens.

1 Comment

Ailen Buckley on August 25, 2011 at 11:44.

You make a good point about 17 inch monitors and “millions” of colors. When designing a map, it helps to set a the minimum expectations for the output. These are the specs we use, but they would be different if we were designing for another audience, say, for example, users in developing countries (smaller or lower res monitors) or users who would be expected to use smaller format displays (iPads, iPhones, etc…) One map design will rarely work for all of these output displays, though these would all be “Web” maps. It helps at the outset to know what your output goals are and strive to achieve those rather than all expectations (though that would be the ideal solution and we do continuously hope to achieve that! 🙂 )