Guide to a successful map project part 1

So you’ve decided you want a custom map for your project and have reached out to a cartographer. What next? 

A lot goes into making a map. I’ve compiled this list of considerations through years of working with clients and learning what makes a successful project.

It’s important to have a focus for your map and establish the project requirements. This newsletter will look at the project overview. The next newsletter will look at considerations for print vs online maps, and future newsletters will cover inset maps, templates, map style, and map content.

Project overview

  1. Who is the audience for this map? Is it to help readers understand your story, to help people navigate your city, or attract tourists?
  2. If you already have a map, what do you want to change? Think about what you like or dislike about it. Perhaps you like it but want to add new information.
  3. What area will the map show? Is it to be a general overview of a region, showing major landmarks and cities? Or is it more detailed to show a city? Will it show routes travelled?
  4. When do you need the map? Allow enough time for the map design and multiple rounds of revisions. Simple maps can be done within a couple of weeks; more complex maps (such as city maps) can take a month or more.
  5. Who are the project stakeholders? Who will review, approve, contribute text or graphic content? Many larger projects have multiple teams reviewing the map, but it’s best to designate one person who will communicate revisions and final approval to the cartographer.
  6. How will you distribute this map? Will it be for print, in a visitor guide or brochure, a downloadable PDF, or both?

Need help with your map?

If you are ready to start your mapping project, contact me for a free consultation.

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