A Quick Guide to Designing Maps

Training materials by Michelle Scott and Nancy La Vigne
December 1, 2004

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

This document is intended to provide a brief overview of how to design a good map in GIS, specifically a crime map. This document does not provide step-by-step instructions. Rather, it provides suggestions to creating professional, informative maps. Three general ideas are presented: communicating with a map, essential elements of every map, and types of maps/ deciding which is best. The following publications were consulted in compiling this guide: An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems by Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius, and Steve Carver, published by Prentice Hall, 1998; and Mapping Crime: Principle and Practice by Keith Harries, published by the National Institute of Justice, 1999.