How can a plan be shared so it’s easy for people to see how they’ll benefit from it?
Maps are a great communication tool. They make information easy understand and personalize the facts to where the reader lives, regardless of their level of education or the language they speak. Good maps are well designed to incorporate thee seven considerations:
- Engaging. So they are visually appealing.
- Keep it super simple (KISS). Present data so it’s easy to understand.
- Persuasive. Convey your message with the data to explain how the reader benefits.
- Interactive. So people can quickly find details relevant to them.
- Timely. Launch to coincide with your plan.
Current. Update the map with new information so it remains up to date.
- Shareable. Easy to share the map on social media or embed in a website.
This blog explains how this map was designed to explain how President Biden’s decision to expand ethanol sales will lower gas prices across the country and create more jobs at ethanol production plants.
Storytelling with maps
Easing high gas prices
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that his administration will lift the summertime ban on E15 gasoline to help ease high gas prices. The Biden administration estimates gas prices will be on average about 10 cents cheaper after EPA waives E15 during the summer months.”E15 is about 10 cents per gallon cheaper than E10. Some gas stations offer an even bigger discount than that,” Biden said in Iowa a major ethanol producer.
Map design guide
This map is designed with the purpose of showing the widespread impact of President Biden’s decision. People want to know how it impacts them personally. How do you show the 197 ethanol producing plants and 3,258 stations that sell ethanol blended gasoline so that it is easy to understand?
Make data manageable. This map was designed with ArcGIS Online with data from Living Atlas. Presenting each ethanol plant and gas station as its own dot would drown the reader in 3,455 dots. Too much information (TMI)! Instead, this map initially gives a high level view and reveals more details as you zoom in. There’s also an option to SEARCH for ethanol plants and gas stations in a specific city or county.
A side panel provides context on the decision to expand ethanol usage. It includes a picture of the President, details on the decision, a short demo on how to use the map and how to get more details. A QR Code makes it easy to open and share the map with others. Learn more about map design here.
Maps with a mission
Maps are tools for communication. Maps may seem simple at first glance, but they require careful design. Map makers (also called cartographers) must assess the data t share, determine its relevance what they want the viewer to understand and choose the best way to display that information. Creative skills help display the information in a user-friendly manner so its easy understand, search and share. USC
TakeAway: Tell your story better with a map.
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