As I’ve said before, I’m no GIS expert. I am certainly not a beginner, but there are many things I don’t know or don’t care to know how to do. Something I really would like to learn, though, is how to make better, more beautiful maps. I have seen some really good looking maps. I wish that I had made any one of them. Today I have a couple of links that I thought looked like they might help get beyond just putting data together, and discover a little more of the art in cARTography.

The first of the links is to the Color Brewer by Cindy Brewer, Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University. Color Brewer is an online tool that helps create color schemes for maps with classes of sequential, qualitative, and diverging data. A user just indicates the number of classes and the type of data, and a number of different choices of color schemes are presented.

Making Maps Easy to Read is a literature review and links to studies done on map usability issues by Richard Phillips, Elizabeth Noyes and others at University College London, at the Royal College of Art and at the University of Nottingham.