Mapping City Blocks

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Capt Underpants, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #1
    I'm a lowly intern doing some research on public parks in the downtown Austin area. I've been given a project that is really outside my area of expertise, and I'd like to pick you guys' brains about it.

    The project that requires me to map several city blocks and label items [such as historic landmarks, bus stops, surrounding businesses, common pedestrian nodes, etc.] within a 1/4 mile radius of each park.

    This sounds simple enough, but I have absolutely no training in using design software or doing this kind of work. I do have access to Indesign and Illustrator on the computers in some of the libraries on campus. I'm guessing these are the best tools to use for this kind of work. Is that fair to say?

    What resources (online or books) would you recommend to a complete graphic design novice stepping into a project like this?

    Any general workflow recommendations or advice from people who have mapped city blocks or other things in the past would be appreciated. Again, I'm walking into this project completely blind.

    The maps located here are along the lines of what I have in mind. Don't know how achievable or realistic those expectations are for someone like me.
     
  2. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #2
    Hire a geospatial mapping expert, seriously. It will be like nailing jelly to a tree.
     
  3. Capt Underpants thread starter macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #3
    I've got to get this project done somehow. The blocks are a pretty straightforward grid, so it isn't nearly as complicated as the High Line maps I linked to. I screen capped the area from google maps so you can see what I'm working with. Is there any way to import this into a program and edit it the **** out of it, or would it be better to reproduce this by hand?

    Again, this project doesn't seem impossible. I suspect I'll spend way more time than anyone competent in the area would, but I've got to learn what I need to to get it done. Hiring a spatial expert for this isn't really an option.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. YESimBLUNTED macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    In my cubicle somewhere in this rat maze
    #4
    Since your map does seem very straight forward and grid like, I don't think it would be all that difficult for you to do.

    First, how much experience do you have with illustrator? If none, I suggest doing a few tutorials just to get the basic concepts of how the program works.
    If you have some experience in it, then I would say this would be fairly easy for you.

    The easiest way I see would just import that map into illustrator and then start drawing out the area (seems you would be able to just use the shape <square> tool for most of it. Start with the road on the bottom layer and just build up on that until you have all your shapes (which would be buildings). Simply create a color code for the different landmarks/public places you need to highlight (green for parks, blue for bus stations, or whatever you choose).

    Hope this helps, good luck. :D
     
  5. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    #5
    I'd go with google maps kml to svg and trace and abstract in Illustrator and then use the google maps api to get the places of interest around there + survey the ones that aren't on google maps.
     
  6. jtara macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #6
    Google Maps are, of course, subject to copyright. You can use them in some contexts, but it's complicated. They have a tool to help you figure out if your use is permitted:

    http://www.google.com/permissions/geoguidelines.html

    It looks like your use case may not be permitted. Are you producing a "guide book"?

    Ah, if it is a single page, you might be OK.
     
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #7

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