Map Literacy - Example 1

Map Literacy - Example #1

Just to see what I mean by mapping being a 'language' - watch this one minute .gif

At first it may see like there's a lot going on - a lot of dots, lines, names, movement, a couple of colors, that pop-out on the bottom left with text in it. . . .
But if you just relax & watch it unfold you start to see a pattern. And right around the time of the 106th congress, at 49 seconds, you'll start to go 'Oh! Wow!'

You don't even have to pay close attention, the pattern pops right out at you.

My immediate take-aways:

1) There's a TON of data in this 60 seconds - but it speaks quickly & eloquently - supporting my case that it's a visual language.
2) If your eyes popped like mine did around and after the 106th Congress - you already know how to read this language.
3) When we're making our own maps - we should strive to make them as easy to read as this.

Granted, our maps cover more possibilities, more dimensions, more everything messy. And they'll rarely have such clear-cut & obvious messages embedded in them.
But it's our job as map-makers to do our best to use the language with as much clarity as we possibly can.

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