Pure Michigan redo (Retro Style)

Trying to learn more about cartography and utilizing Illustrator for final touches has been very educational (really).  Last week’s map was a first version and I wanted to improve it because I knew that I had created a decent map but it was too busy with labels.  After I took my professor’s advice and made some minor changes (using ArcGis), I then exported the map as a .AI file for use in Illustrator.  Making changes in Illustrator allowed me to pump up the effects that I wanted to create but could not in ArcGIS.  It was frustrating at first but I finally was able to achieve the look and feel that I was looking for that I couldn’t do on the 1st map.  Allowing my brain to grasp the program as well as being very patient in manipulating the desired labels and symbols.   The rustic look was obtained and it felt as if I had moved a mountain.  The same mountain that is set in ArcGIS that makes the final rendering of a map so hard to be satisfied with.

The flexibility of exporting from ArcGIS and making changes in Illustrator really gives you a more “readable” map.  Glad I pushed through the program and made headway.  I have added both maps, version one and version two for you to see the difference between the two.  If you get to a point of frustration, hold on and push through, it isn’t the easy things that allow us to learn and grow, it is the hard and difficult things that stretch our mind and allow us to learn.  So, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Here is a link to the pdf versions:

Lab5_TonyCross       Lab6_TonyCross2 



Using Maps to Share Information in a Visual and Engaging Way

Maps have been used for centuries in war, property boundaries and location.  Maps tell a story, convey a message and give meaning.  GIS and cartography are changing how we interact with our community and the world.

Read the rest of the article by BY   here

salvo semper
Hebrews 12:1-2

Maps have always been important. They tell us where we are and where we are going. Now, GPS is common, and everyone has digital maps in their pockets via their smartphones. We map our activities and share that information with the world. We check in, Google where we are going next to find the best route and even avoid traffic.

However, there is a bigger “where are we going?” than the quickest route to Starbucks from my current location. The global economy is booming, climate change is making us shift the way we think about the world, and maps are telling the story. Parag Khanna, a global strategist and author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization has, using mapping, illustrated this in an astonishing way.

Google maps improvements 

Google maps is a very useful tool, it has changed over the years but this week there are a few key changes that are coming. Read the article and see what you think. Readability is one of the key componets of using a map. Looks like these changes will help. 

A month after updating its satellite imagery with higher resolution photos, Google Maps is now cleaning up its standard road view to make its maps a bit easier to digest.
The company says its goal was to balance information without overcrowding maps, so its removing elements “that aren’t absolutely required.” It’s also changed the typography to help key areas of interest stand out more.

What? The UK’s prime minister is a geographer?

What is geography? It is a simple yet misleading question. Literally, it is derived from the Greek words “Geo” (Earth) and “graphy” (to write). Many people would probably answer that question with something related to maps or state capitals. Those answers do not even scratch the surface in describing the discipline of geography. The question was inspired by recent news reports that the next prime minster of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, is a geographer trained at Oxford University. Wait, but does a geographer have the “gravitas” and perspective to be a world leader?

Read more about Theresa May’s background in this Forbes article here


WMS, WFS and WCS, what’s the difference?


If you have ever wondered about the difference between WMS, WFS and WCS, read a great article by GEOITHUB.


In the GIS Domain ,everyone might have heard about WMS,WFS and WCS at some point of time. But what exactly these words are and when to use them are the questions generally arises. Thanks to Open  Geospatial Consortium for bringing life to GIS maps with this technology. One can  create the maps from their data using desktop based GIS Tools like ESRI ArcMap  and Open Source QGIS .To bring these maps on to web and create GIS based applications, we need to publish them using Web Services .Similar to typical web applications, to share or consume the GIS data we use web services like SOAP and REST.

IO2oRRead the whole article here: What are the differences between WMS , WFS and WCS and their usages?




Well, Happy birthday America, may we honor those who gave us this great country built upon unchanging principles.

Here is a cool video map I found about the development of the USA since it’s foundation.

Check it out: Growth of a Nation


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.