AMSTERDAM COFFEE MAP

Hi guys! Thanks Anne for this amazing class. So inspiring and I love all the resources. 

I make a lot of maps already for my website AwesomeAmsterdam.com but usually just using google maps and placing my favorite spots. They are usually pretty ugly but useful, I suppose. But maps are such an important part of my website and I think users find them helpful. So I have long been wanting to create interesting, cool, creative and pretty maps that are also useful and that people can download for their phone or print.

I've experimented a lot with maps but I'm not an artist or a techie so they never looked right or were satusfying to me. But thanks to this course I just went for it and made a map. I'm not 100% thrilled with it but I feel like it is a good first start.

On my website I already have a lot of lists of favorite places, and the "best coffee places" has been a popular article on my site for a long time so I thought I would start with that.

I wanted to try creating something and put it on my website as a free download as an experiment to see if in the future I might be able to make paid downloads. (my new years resolution is to monetize my site!) I don't even know if people will download things from my website - I've never tried it!

Anyway, lots of writing to basically explain why I chose this topic and what the purpose of the map is.

This is the first draft but I already put it on the site to see if it gets any action! :)

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas I'd love to hear them.

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I really liked the other student projects I read about with an explanation of their thoughts so here is a bit more about my map process if you are interested:

SIZE: A4/letter size for easy printing, and I made it a pdf for easy download/printing

MY MAP DRAWING PROCESS: I first tried tracing a google map with illustrator but I suck at illustrator (must take skillshare class on illustrator next haha). So I started messing around with photoshop. I basically ended up doing a mix of converting the map screenshot into black and white and then erasing or tracing some areas to make a grey map including major roads (and the canals and parks in light grey). I kind of liked how it looked messy and handmade. It could still use some work...

POINTS ON THE MAP: I started with discs as my place markers because I wanted a confetti feeling, but then some of the points were on top of each other. So I realized I needed pins of some kind. I made this orange typical map icon in photoshop and then rotated some so that they weren't on top of each other. I made one that was upside down then I noticed it kind of looked like it was dripping and so I turned them all upside down to signify dripping coffee?? haha well, I dont know if it comes across but that was the thought process.

I struggled a little with the order for the numbers - do you put the places in order of your favorites and then number them or start numbering in the corner, or..? I didn't know so I went with random order after looking at other examples.

PLACES FOR THE MAP: as I mentioned I already had an article with a list of 25+ favorite coffee places so I just used that list. Some of the places have more than one location so it ended up to be 40 points.

I wanted to keep it simple so I just included the street adress and a few icons signifying whether the location has WIFI, sweet treats and/or food like lunch etc. I find that putting opening hours is a complete waste because places change their hours all the time. It would be useful but it would be out of date in a week :(

THINGS I DON'T LIKE: After I made the map and put the markers on it I was pretty happy with it. Not perfect but it works. But then I realized it needed a title and my website name etc. I was not really inspired at that point. I'd like the layout to be a little more jazzy but I haven't had a good idea yet. I added the little dripping coffee cup just to give some excitement. If I get an idea I will change the title and layout in the future drafts.

My original idea for the color scheme was grey, white, burnt orange and I liked how that turned out. If I do future maps I might stay with the same colors and do a totally different design or alternatively a similar design with different colors for another list - like green for best parks in Amsterdam.

Thanks Anne for this awesome class and I hope to share more cool projects in the future as I improve my map making skillz!

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