Any excuse to make maps!

I'd been wanting to take the class for a long time. I love cutesy little maps that bring a place (you may never have even been to) alive. 

I "saved this class for later" hoping that I wouldd be able to get to it at some point when I had free time, but while in the midst of this infographic series I've been doing for work, I needed to get creative. See, we don't have a whole lot of data to work with, and it is often repetitive, so doing bi-weekly infographics can be a challenge as I need to constantly find new insights & ways to display the data. 

I didn't have time to go through each of the lessons, but I watched the lessons that I thought would highlight some of the key points. That led me to watching a quick tutorial on using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator and off I was! I had a tight deadline and was already behind schedule so I wasn't able to put too much thought into creating a super original piece. I took inspriation from Anne's own Paris map, along with some other pretty maps I found on pinterest and began trying to piece it together.

Background: I am working with residents at MGH in Boston, trying to encourage them to focus on their health & wellness during their first year of residency (a very stressful time). We measure all sorts of different things, but some key things include steps, sleep, and levels of activity. This past week we found that for every 1,000 steps residents took, they gained an extra 16.3 minutes of sleep. 1,000 steps is equal to .5 miles. I started googling things like, "how to get extra steps each day" and one of the main things I read was taking walking meetings, and walking to get coffee. 

I then decided to "challenge" residents to try to get an extra 1,000 steps a day. How would they do that? By skipping the hospital cafeteria and walking to a nearby coffee shop instead. I located all of the coffee shops & cafes within .5 miles of the hospital. While some of them are not a full .5 miles away, they do get close to .5 miles roundtrip. 

I initiall created a square version, but in incorporating it into a larger infographic, decided that a round map would be a bit more fun! The map also initially included all of Boston proper, in which I would include more icons for each of the different areas and landmarks, but decided to save space and only include a small area around MGH. 

What I started with:

Full version:

My pen tool skills could definitely be improved! Pretty happy with the first go though. Note: I did not get through including icons for the entire city as I decided to crop it to fit better into the infographic.

Round Version:

I started this project on Friday and had this all completed by end of day on Monday. I did not work on it over the weekend, so you can see that I made the majority of the progress on Friday. As of Friday morning I had never even worked with the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator (shame on me). I am very proud of the end result!

I definitely want to work on creating a more unique and creative map (obviously not a lot of time or real thought was put into this version due to time constraints). I had so much fun with this, and thought that it would be much more difficult than it turned out to be. Looking foward to all the fun things I can do now that I know how to create maps! 

I'm hoping that soon I can start a new project, and post the entire process from sketches to end product. 


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