Purpose and Clarity
- The map has a well-defined purpose; you know why it is needed and how it will be used.
- The title is concise but descriptive.
- All of the required map parts are included:
- Scale bar*
- North arrow*
* (May not be needed for a mapographic product)
- The base map shows necessary information only; the level of detail is appropriate for the purpose and size of the map.
- Base map components are sized appropriately for the scale of the map.
- Symbols are simple and easy to interpret.
- Symbols are not crowded.
- Labels are legible, sensibly placed, and only included as necessary for the purpose of the map.
- The legend layout is clean and intuitive; the container is shaped to keep column groups from being split into multiple columns; no unnecessary or obvious information is included.
Color, Contrast, and Accessibility
Up to 8% of men and 0.5-1% of women are estimated to have some Color Vision Deficiency. View the Data Visualization Accessibility Checklist for more information.
- Contrast is used to highlight the key message of the map.
- Colors are not excessively bright or saturated.
- There are no large red or black areas that tend to consume excess ink resources if printed in the field.
- Symbol classes are easily distinguished from each other by shape and size rather than just by color.
- Symbols are visible over all background colors.
- Colors are distinguishable when viewed through a Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) simulator phone app such as Chromatic Vision Simulator available for Android and iPhone, or Coblis Color Blindness Simulator on your desktop.
- The map makes sense when viewed or printed in greyscale.