23. California’s Appropriative Water Rights

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?
  • Nice simple topic and map, my only change would be to drop the outline or stroke for the hexagons or change it to white. The darker outline is adding visual complexity and making it hard to read the smaller symbols, a white stroke should give the same separation without breaking up the visual flow across the symbol. If possible it would also look nice to change the legend symbol swatch to a hexagon to match.

  • Tangnar

    I agree with David that a lighter stroke would really help the colors of the hexagons stand out. I like the simplicity, very cool.

  • Chuck Clark

    David’s suggestion to make the legend symbol a hexagon is a brilliant observation. I like seeing the hexagons, so I’m against eliminating the line around them, and ambivalent about changing it to white. Not sure how that would look. Worth trying, though, if not time consuming. Perhaps a gray? If gray (just the right gray!), then the paler hexagons might stand out better. Seeing them all helps me get an idea of relative proportions. For me, the last paragraph of text is afterthought-ie; it is detailed info that would be better placed in a footnote, and something much punchier, more significant info be what you conclude with.

  • Eric Nost

    Great map! I agree about changing the outline and using hexagons in the legend. It would also be more intuitive, to me, if the legend was flipped – if the larger values were on top and the smallest ones at the bottom.

  • Åse Mitchell

    Cool map!
    I too agree that hexagon symbols in the legend would be a great final touch to this map!
    If you have time:
    Maybe even zooming in and adding some of the main CA aqueducts to your locator map might be helpful?
    Or perhaps changing the locator map to just a smaller version of the main CA map that shows these water features? I find myself wanting to see where those features are and how they influence the patterns I see on the main map.

    • Åse Mitchell

      … or even just adding some leader lines to the main map that call out to some of the sources of those dark blue hexagons (Lake Shasta, etc.)

  • Sari Sommarstrom

    I assume you are including just post-1914 appropriative rights where one must have an application / permit / license from SWRCB. This type includes almost all reservoirs, as well as more recent individual diversions. Many streams also have lots of pre-1914 appropriative rights that are not readily found in state records. Priority of rights need to be addressed, as “first in time, first in right” affects who can divert when curtailments occur (via a watermaster or state order). The “face value” of each right is only relative to other rights, with junior rights cut off for senior rights. So your darkest spots do symbolize the major dams in the state, but that is not the whole story of appropriative rights. Please qualify your story accordingly. Maps are “cool” to look at but can also mislead greatly.

  • Jessica Norriss

    Love this map and it’s simplicity!
    However, I did have to re-read the text a couple of times (mainly the last two paragraphs) to understand exactly what was being said – I’m not sure how to rework it to provide a little more clarity (or maybe it was just me) but overall great! (Would be happy to go back and forth in the future about clarity with text if it’s worth it)

  • Drop yellow. Add “supply” to show where rights>supply. Change face value to “claimed”

  • Mag Surround

    dear bonnie, the map is super clear, but i am convinced that you actually dont need the colours. in my opinion the standing of the map within the allover atlas could be much stringer by reducing the colour sceme drastically. personlaay, i really like the hexagons …. best, magnificent surroundings