Tips for Community Maps
Maps can vary from simple formats for web use to geographic information system (GIS) mapping projects.
When considering the appropriate mix of maps for your community, be sure to include a series of maps that assist visitors throughout the purchase cycle. For example, include a basic orientation map for the regional area within the context of the province, western Canada, Pacific Northwest of Canada and the United States, and the world. Also consider a regional orientation with routes accessing the area, a local map with key attractions and call to action for the Visitor Centre with simple directions from key reference points. Sector maps that showcase recreation, culture, walking tours and other topics can also be created.
To view examples of web maps that originated from large-format print and billboard-sized original versions visit the Portfolio section of the website. Note: These maps were also used in print brochures, posters, print ads and visitor guides with the detail removed appropriate to the scale of the project.
1. Create a web series of maps for tourism promotion. Small-format maps that can be output in standard letter size for view online and as a printable PDF file are ideal for travel planning prior to visitors coming to the area. Web access to these maps is also ideal for use by the Visitor Centre as required.
2. Produce directional maps for use by businesses. Directional maps can be custom made for tourism businesses, providing a tool that can be downloaded from the business´s website prior to the customer leaving for their location. Created as a PDF file, the 8.5×11″ format prints easily in either colour or black and white. Key content includes logo and contact information of the business, directional information from all access routes (airport and highway access), inset maps that outline the regional orientation and the surrounding area to access the business. This project could earn revenues.
3. Produce a large-format GIS recreation and activity map. A large-format map could include GIS technology. Ensure there is a map grid with letters and numbers as a cross-reference to aid in finding key reference points. A topographic design concept features major highway and secondary road information combined with key editorial content such as attractions, recreation features and key points of interest with icons and major access routes in and around the area. For broader distribution a 24×36″ format map folded to rack size 4×9″ allows for maximum print size for standard print economies. The large-format map can double as a poster for framing or window display at businesses and organizations throughout the area. When printed at the same time as the fold-down version, poster-quality paper can be exchanged during the printing process for poster production using the same artwork. This project could earn revenues.
4. Compile base map data that can be used to produce a series of maps for print or web format. Both print and web version maps are important tools as web research is on the rise for trip planning. Large-format print maps are especially helpful for a regional area and smaller-format maps are ideal for a local area. Maps will vary in scale and if geographic information system (GIS) technology is used, one set of data can serve as a foundation for producing a multitude of maps that are true to scale. Map artwork from master files can be made to any scale, therefore maps can range from basic giveaway pad maps to large-format 2×3´ recreation feature maps. Ideally, production of large-format maps are in sync with the master trails strategy and any signage plan.
GIS Base Map — The base map could be compiled using existing provincial and local/regional datasets. GIS data is available through a multitude of existing sources, and local individuals, groups, government and organizations often have access to data.
i. Inventory all map sources available to build on existing datasets (e.g. Local government, Regional Districts, Province of BC, trail user groups, independent mapping companies such as http://www.cloverpoint.com
ii. Consider the season (summer/winter) and end user, e.g. special features, references points for directions and trail information vs. overall general orientation of the area.
iii. Determine a series of map outputs based on organizational needs, tourist needs, land-planning needs, etc.
iv. Review best practices from other communities.
v. Contract professionals to undertake the project.
vi. Develop a master set of geographic information system (GIS) mapping data and encourage community partners to invest in developing the map series based on their individual needs.
vii. Coordinate with the master trails and signage strategies.
GIS is analysis that combines relational databases with spatial interpretation and outputs in the form of maps. It includes computer-based methods of recording, analyzing, combining and displaying geographic information such as roads, streams, stand or habitat types, sensitive areas, soil types, or any other feature that can be mapped on the ground.
Geo BC http://geobc.gov.bc.ca
GeoBC provides a window to data and information sources provided by various ministries and agencies from the Natural Resource Sector within the British Columbia Provincial Government. The focus is on spatial and attribute data and associated applications that allow display and interaction with the data.