My favorite cartography conference is coming up this week, and in advance, I’m getting my presentation materials online. So here!
The topic is “Firefly Cartography” which is a made up thing. I’ll describe it, talk about how it may be an effective grabber of eyes, and how those qualities also make it a helpful technique for education. Because, if something isn’t good for teaching, what good is it?
Firefly cartography (or glow-maps, overproduced tripe, whatever you like to call it…) has a pretty tight set of characteristics that converge to deliver a pretty standard effect. I can say this with confidence because I am making up the name and applying it to these characteristics. Generally, a firefly map has a…
Dark, de-saturated basemap (usually imagery)
Masked highlight area and vignette
Single bright, glowing, thematic layer
I started making them around 2012, but others were probably doing similar things long before…
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