Making Maps: Module 9 – Flow Line Mapping

at the University of West Florida. Laying a visual path from beginner to graduate, I invite you to share in my adventures. While there are many types of maps I like, for many different reasons, I have a new attraction to flow line maps since completing this assignment. Just browsing online you find interactive flow line maps, hand drawn, round, square, multi-layered, and more! It was definitely an enjoyable topic for visual exploration. In terms of the lab assignment, we were tasked with taking immigration information from a US Department of Homeland Security Excel table and using that to create a flow line map showing immigration numbers from various world regions to the US. Also included is a choropleth map of the percent of total immigrants per US state. In Excel, using square root values, we calculated proportional line widths based on our largest flow line, Asia, and applied those numbers to create the other five regional flow lines in the map using CorelDraw. We also were encouraged to explore some of Corel's effect capabilities, like drop shadows or bevels. The regional map and choropleth map were provided to us, my task was to build the flow lines and make an easy to understand, visually pleasing map. My first step in Corel, especially when working with large objects imported from ArcMap, is to sort everything into layers using selection marquees or working directly from the Object Manager window. This saves me time and confusion in the long run. Next step, creating all the parts and pieces-legends, notations, labels, etc. and then like a puzzle, moving them all around until I get a nice layout. I then built my Excel calculated flow lines with the Bezier tool. As to style/effects...I'm not a huge fan of most of them. That obviously depends on my final audience and use for the map, but I find less is more for effects. I applied a small glow to the continents and drop shadows under the flow lines. I was perfectly happy leaving the shadows off, however, as this lesson is about effects, and it does increase the figure ground separation a bit more, I put them in. Except for one hiccup of learning that you lose functionality in your drop shadows when you break them off from the object on which they were created (thereby having to redo all your drop shadows if you want to make a change-doh!), all went smoothly with this assignment. This is a simple example in the diverse world of flow line mapping. Flow line map of Immigration Statistics for US in 2007, created in CorelDRAW X7 with drop shadow and small glow effects added. Source.


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Last Modified: April 22, 2016 @ 3:08 pm