GEOG 118 – cartographic design
design checklist and evaluation criteria
key design questions
• What is the purpose of the map? Who is the audience? What is its intended use?
• What is the context of the map? Is it part of a series, atlas, or newspaper article?
• Are projection and scale appropriate?
Is the wording concise and effective?
Is a subtitle necessary? Is a legend title necessary?
• Are the symbols used on the map the same as the symbols that appear in the legend?
Is the text legible?
Is the placement of the text balanced and legible?
Is everything spelled correctly?
• Are features recognized through visual contrast?
Is the land/water contrast adequate?
• How many hierarchical levels are present?
• Does the hierarchy reflect the purpose of the map?
general layout/visual balance/neatness/white space
Is the map “lopsided”?
• What is the ratio of the size of the actual map to the size of the page?
Is there too much “empty space”?
• Are size, shape, and orientation of the map appropriate?
• How quickly is the main message of the map grasped?
use of symbols
• Are the symbols clear and legible?
• Are the point, line, and areal features placed and drawn in a clear and balanced manner?
• Who produced the map? What sources were used, copyrights? What is the date of the data/map?
locator (if applicable)?
• Are inset maps necessary? If so, are they adequate?
• Do the insets help to orient the map reader?
• How interesting is the map? How original its design?
TOTAL POINTS _________
Text (placement, legibility, spelling)
General Layout/Visual Balance/Neatness/White Space
Use of Symbols
Locator (if applicable)