April 16, 2016

Predicting landslides in San Bernardino

This week we took the same map used last week, but we had a different focus for what we were trying to accomplish with the presentation.

This was actually rather straight forward in that the most important aspect of this map is to show the viewer where potential landslides are in conjunction with the type of land that exists in a given area.  For instance water, industrial, residential, commercial, and so on.  So for this map more than some others I have done, it was especially vital that the colors at least had a feel for the feature it was representing. Water being blue is the most obvious. But forestry having a green or brown and maybe even industrial having a gritty ugly color might make some sense too.

Lastly it was absolutely vital that the landslides stuck out like a sour thumb. So when I need to do that, I typically will revert to a bright yellow. Luckily most of the landslides occurred over the "chaparral" areas, so the light green/tanish color was perfect to allow the landslides to be quite evident.

April 4, 2016

Faults, Landslides, and Geologic Structures

Building on last weeks into to elevation, we continued this week with a map of geologic features (soil, rocks, etc) and mapped that against the DEM.  This is in relation to the landslides and faults that are mapped out too.
Map of Landslides by Geographic Structures, San Bernardino County

So this week I used a hillshade on the DEM at 50% transparency again.  However the difference this week is that I used the top layer and the hillshade again on the bottom.  I think the colors I chose are both very Earthy and also very view-able for a colorblind person. When I say "view-able", I of course mean they are "distinguishable  from each other".

I think I learned from my mistake with the legend last time and made the legend quite a bit better.  Forget the horizontal format, I am speaking more of the format.  Geologic Features is obviously one entity, faults is another entity, and landslides is another. Therefore they all need to look the same.  The actual geologic features themselves are just a subset.  As such I kept them the same font but made the font smaller and changed to small caps.  This is the perfect kind of use for the "small caps" function.  I really dislike how the label of faults does not just extend to the end instead of just cutting off.  You don't really have too much control over how these legends are made using the tool.

We were instructed to make a regional map this week.  I messed around with some variations of it, but in the end I thought that given the space available, giving it a background with a shadow was the best choice.  One can make out that small study area, that's the whole point.

Last thing I did was realize that my faults were blending in with the rest of the map. So I changed them from the reddish color that they were originally to a blue.  Typically blue means water, but since water is not conveyed anywhere on this map in any capacity, using it for something you need to stick out is fine I think.

I also messed around with the layers of the faults, landslides, and 50% transparency top geologic feature layer. I decided to have the geologic feature layer by the very top layer, followed by the last 2 feature classes.  Reason being is that they were just too rigid, dark, and course on the very top.  It distracted from the beauty of the map as it is now.