Good evening everyone! I realize it has been awhile since I blogged last time, but I’m back. The Mod 4 assignment has been my most difficult one to date and if anyone has followed my blogs, you know I’ve skipped around to different assignments. There was just so much information to display on this one and trying to make sure it was well – balanced and the map was presented in accordance with Gestalt’s principles, visual hierarchy, achieving the adequate contrast, as well as ensuring the schools were jumping out at the viewer (figure-ground). For contrast, I wanted to choose a color that was going to remain neutral in the background, so that the focus of the map (Ward 7) jumped out at the viewer as the focus. I started with Sand and then modified the color somewhat. For the road, water, and park features, I chose brighter colors, but I tried to make sure they did not detract too much from the focus of the map. One issue I ran into were the roads in Ward 7 did not appear as smooth as the student examples that were provided. No matter what I did, I could not get the roads to appear as smooth and well-defined as the student examples. I spent so much time on this part that I got frustrated and had to walk away for a little. I finally decided to let the map go as it was and attempt to adjust later on. I also realized the maps appeared to be more refined, perhaps they were fine tuned with AI. By this time, I had surpassed my self-imposed deadline for the map and decided to forego the refinement and press ahead. I used ESRI for my ‘school’ icon as suggested by the instructions, but I could not create more space between the schoolhouses that were located close together (16 and 12 as well as 11 and 10). I decided to label the schoolhouses with numbers that corresponded with the box in the top right hand corner of the map, but schoolhouses 11 and 10 were still too close together. I toyed around with a couple of different alternatives, but none of them worked well initially (leading line and icon size). Finally, I adjusted to the icon sizes as well as placement on the data map and achieved a somewhat presentable map. I utilized the splined-text to label the river and presented most of the text with masking to make it stand out – especially in the Ward 7 street areas. I inserted all essential map elements – however, I strayed from my norm when it came to the Legend. I chose a different presentation method to emphasize the difference in schoolhouses. I felt this was appropriate because it really showed a “step” pattern from elementary school to middle school to high school – a true representation of our school system. Anyways, I finally completed the map, despite the difficulties the lesson presented. I hope you enjoy – stay tuned for another map soon!