Kate Leroux

Project link: http://bit.ly/Wqb9M6

15

13

State Restaurant Centers

PROJECT #3: FINAL MAP

Background: I work at Urbanspoon, and one of my favorite parts of the job is adjusting city and neighborhood boundaries. Every time I open up a state to do this, I'm presented with a 38-square-mile rectangle of the map located in the geographical center of the state (based on all the restaurants there). These seemingly random but mathematically determined map snippets intrigued me and I started saving them with screenshots. I've long wanted to do something with them, to see if they were interesting when used together in some way. 

Process/tools: I used GIMP to create and assemble the many layers of the map. Each element was taken from somewhere else (and credited in the bottom right). 

Results: The map is decent-looking, but I'm not super excited about it, especially the way the map detail is practically invisible in the smaller states.

Next: I'm thinking of doing a follow-up project showcasing each state at a more visible size, maybe arranged in a grid or some other arrangement. At the very least, I'd like to do a new version of just New England so more detail is visible. I'd also like to add Canadian provinces - I have the data for those and the center screenshots are interesting ones. 

PROJECT #2: IMAGINARY MAP

Being in your car is like being on your own island (maybe with a couple other people). In rainy Seattle, this feels even more true since the car is often surrounded by water. 

  • Why am I making this map? For fun? A client? A gift? To showcase my favorite places?

To commemorate what's important to me about my car.  

  • Why am I the expert to create this map?

It communicates my experiences with my own car. 

  • Who is my target audience?

Me. 

  • Do I want my final project to be printed or digital? How is going to be used/held? What other constraints do I need to keep in mind moving forward? (Note type can be smaller on printed maps than when viewed on web)

Digital. I'll just be sharing it online. 

  • What level of detail do I need to include? (Names, addresses, contact info, street names, website, hours, descriptions, color coding, etc.)

I included details on the most important aspects of the car. Other less important things were omitted for space reasons. 

  • Dear class, I need your help/expertise/guidance on how to.....

... know when to stop! I'm still struggling with this. 

PROJECT #1: HAND-DRAWN MAP

When brainstorming, I put a flippant "the back of my hand" on my list of ideas. As I thought about it, though, I realized it was an interesting opportunity to try drawing a topographic map (and share a meaningful scar). 

It turns out I do NOT know the back of my hand like the back of my hand. The unusual shapes that emerged were new to my eye. 

  • Why am I making this map? For fun? A client? A gift? To showcase my favorite places?

For fun, and to try my hand at a topographical map, which I've never made before. 

  • Why am I the expert to create this map?

It's my own hand!

  • Who is my target audience?

Just me. Seeing the end result is reassuring me that I can create maps, even by hand (not just enjoy looking at them). 

  • Do I want my final project to be printed or digital? How is going to be used/held? What other constraints do I need to keep in mind moving forward? (Note type can be smaller on printed maps than when viewed on web)

This one will just be a drawing. 

  • What level of detail do I need to include? (Names, addresses, contact info, street names, website, hours, descriptions, color coding, etc.)

A topo map should have probably included more place name labels, but there are only a few of those on my hand. Given more time, I may have tried to do some measurements and added elevation numbers. 

  • Dear class, I need your help/expertise/guidance on how to.....

... know when to stop! How do artists ever stop fussing and tweaking with a project? I only stopped because the deadline arrived. 

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