5. Bangalore’s Disappearing Lakes

Now it’s Your Turn

In the comments, please ask questions or make suggestions that will help the cartographer improve the map. Key things to think about include:

  • Does the map orient the viewer?
  • Does the data tell a story?
  • Does the map support the story being told?
  • Does the map make assumptions?
  • How could the map be more readable?
  • Are there any errors or typos?
  • Chuck Clark

    Typos in the large opening paragraph, line three: “The water is these lakes *had* *were* used for domestic . . .”

    Instead say “The water was used for domestic drinking, agriculture including irrigation and livestock washing, and religious practices.”(Note the tightened grammar.)

    The map could be more readable by widening the condensed font. Several sentences could be tightened, giving space to widen the font:

    Several more typos and general wordiness in the second paragraph, too: *that which* (could be “whose”); *capital* (should be plural “capitals”); last appearance of *capital” should be deleted.

    Instead of saying “. . . some lakes have been subject to restoration projects, . . .” say ” . . . some lakes have been restored, . . .”

  • John_H_Kelly

    Powerful map — all those x’s, showing locations of former lakes, lost to urban development. I agree with Chuck that a more readable font should be used — one that is less “bold,” and less condensed. One more suggestion: In the legend, “Polluted lake” sounds better to me than “Lake polluted.”

  • sarah dorrance

    This is a very interesting map. There are so many missing lakes it is difficult to comprehend….
    3rd sentence Remove ‘had’. 2nd paragraph end sentence at ‘annual rituals’. New sentence The Kargara procession route includes…. Last sentence remove word after the period ‘capitol’. The gray map of Bangalore I may have just missed because it has the gray word DRAFT on it, and so this may be a mute point but I did not see it initially and had to look for it. I think it should be very visible. I was glad to see it is on this map. Can the 500 m and 1500 ft be standardized? if it can, I would make them all 3 the same size. I did not find the font difficult myself.

  • Melissa Brooks

    A really interesting map, a great choice of colours shows some good knowledge of colour theory, just a bit of refinement needed. Perhaps make Bangalore stand out more on the main map as having the surrounding areas also white tricks the eye into following the l lines outwards rather than into the middle of the map. Purple is a good colour for the Karaga procession but its not standing out on the blue of the lakes, either make it darker or make the lakes a bit lighter (to increase contrast) . Think of layers as background, middleground and forground… in the insets consider using a grey instead of pink for the built up areas, and I second using a different font for the narrative, its find for the title, but be a bit more consistent with the contents text. A red dot on the map of India could help to show the location more clearly.. In saying all of this, I really love the map and the message its telling is a really important story. Thanks!

  • Kate Brauman

    Could you change the font of the text in the explanatory block? It’s hard for me to read on my screen.

    The next block needs a quick grammatical edit (e.g. should be water in these lakes “was” used for drinking). There are a couple of these problems.

    Is the disappearance of the lakes really related to the absence of parks and gardens? If I had to guess, I’d guess both lakes and gardens are gone for the same reason – trying to cram more people in to the same area.

    Can you tie water pollution and lake disappearance together more clearly in the text? Is it that most of the remaining lakes are polluted? Or that the remaining lakes that are polluted are clustered in certain places? How do lakes fit in with green spaces (if at all)?

  • Is this about the lakes or Bangla sprawl? Shrink one to make your point clearer. The impacts of lake shrinkage are not clear.

  • Aly DeGraff Ollivierre

    I agree with the other reviewers, I would nix the condensed font and stick with something more readable for the main paragraph as well as the “Below are three examples …” paragraph and the map titles. You could also shrink the font size on the legend text (for both legends). I think you’ve done a great job with the main map, but I get distracted by the map insets prominence on the map. Maybe consider moving the main map up under the title and moving the paragraph text and title below it? I would also make the inset map neatlines much thinner and shrink these insets (as well as the India/Bangalore map). Give the scale, blowing them up this big doesn’t add more detail. It might actually help to throw some opaque aerial imagery behind the insets, or something to provide a little additional context. The pink built-up area throws me a bit, I agree with Melissa that a gray might work a bit better. I would maintain the same style of scale bar throughout as well, I like how you have it on the inset maps, so copy that style over to the main map, but shrink the text size on all of the legends a point or two. Overall this map is coming together great, good job!

  • AD

    I wonder if the differences between the existing, polluted, and former lakes might be more clear if a single icon shape in different colors was used to indicate these. It is nice to see the lake shapes, but at this scale, it is also hard to see some of them. Some of the text could be made shorter … e.g. ‘1950s urbanization’ rather than ‘The urbanization of Bangalore that took off in the 1950s’, ‘for agriculture’ rather than ‘agricultural purposes’, etc. A few sentences need small proof reading corrections. The administrative boundary could be distinguished from the highways (both are grey). I wasn’t sure at first, but do like the 3 side maps. I would move the text at the top, and instead add those corresponding short sentence descriptions of each of those three side maps next to or under the title/name of each one of the three side maps. I would add ‘festival’ to the legend, to know what Karaga is without having to read through the text (maybe have the legend read ‘Karaga festival procession’, you can delete ‘Route of’ since the line and procession both imply a route). I do like having this and other socio-spatial history there. The pink shading in the boxes is a little confusing in relation to the yellow/orange/darkorange schema of the main map.

  • stephanie b

    Very interesting topic! I just have comments on the visual aspect. The colors here are all quite strong–it’s a bit visually fatiguing. I think it would help if the “urban area” polygon colors were softened a bit so they don’t compete with the overlaid data. The polluted lake and former lake icons are both black, and the lakes are a very dark blue, which makes them difficult to tell apart. I would suggest adjusting the colors, and maybe selecting a different symbol than an “x”–it can get easily lost, especially when there are many overlapping instances.

    I can’t really tell where Bangalore is on the inset–can you add a dot to identify it? For a more readable condensed font, try Myriad Pro Condensed!