Commuter Growth Rate (%) in Top US Cycling Cities

Hey other skill-seekers,

I took this class because I'm applying for two jobs that would appreciate some graphics skills. Also, I looooove great illustrated info (infographics), and I wanted to learn how to best make one myself. I'm using this as a sample for a job application that prefers a wee bit of graphics experience, and so I made mine specific to that industry-- biking. 

I followed step one by finding an appropriate data set, and choosing the bits of information I wanted to highlight.

I started with this data sheet from The League of American Bicyclists:

And decided I wanted to show the growth rate of commuter cycling in the most biked cities. So, I cut from the above data and created this data sheet:

I color coded it as a check list to show which cities I'd already accounted for and logged on my map, which by the way was this:

I then spent a week being frustrated by Gimp, because I can't afford Photoshop. This is as far as I got:

Then I gave up, remembering the sweet, sunny afternoons of life with Photoshop, and I downloaded the 30-day Free Trial. Using Photoshop, I then took only two hours to restart and recreate the whole infographic (that's a short amount of time for me):

The job submission deadline was today, so any changes I make now are simply for me. This is what I'd like to change:

1. My map source. It's difficult to color, shade, select, and give a background to this map because the selection is messy.

2. Work on pixelated edges on all of my included graphics (little humans, bike sharrow man, anything else I may use in the future).

3. Overall clarity and mood of values shown. I think I should include more than the percentage of growth to give a better picture of what this info means to each city and to the U.S.

4. Find better info or a better way to display the info about the National Bike Challenge tidbit in the bottom right corner.

Any suggestions of how to achieve that, or anything you see that you'd change?


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