Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


The purpose of this map was to create a landscape view of my home region of Southern California that adequately displayed the complexity of it’s natural and man-made terrain. One of the challenges I faced was the amount of labeling in the greater Los Angeles (LA) area. I decided to not include any city borders because moving around LA feels more like moving across various neighborhoods and regions than crossing from one city to another. Slanting the text provided more space without making it too difficult to read. The orientation creates a more interesting layout than the usual north-up orientation, and allowed me to better restrict the map extent to the coast and inland cities. It did introduce a bathymetry challenge, as I had to include the islands and ocean in a way that suited the complexity of the land. I created a hillshade for the ocean floor to give it motion and shape; contour lines were filled with a deepening blue scale and blended together to provide depth. Other details include the shading used to subtly display elevation, the density of developed area, and vegetation and canopy density.

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