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How to represent buffers in a legend

December 09 2009 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Elements

What is the appropriate way to represent a buffer in a legend. Specifically, a traffic analysis zone answering "How many buses operate within this set area". Are there some examples I could see? and Are there cartographic design rules governing representation of this in the legend?


Mapping Center Answer:

No simple answer here.  This really depends on the role that the buffers play on the map. For instance if the map is only showing the buffers, say around points and the buffer features predominate, then a standard legend is okay. 

But if the buffers are just relatively narrow rings around other prominent features, then it would make more sense to make a custom legend that characterized the buffer representation in the legend to be much more like what the map shows. 

The only rule that matters here is that the legend work quickly and efficiently to convey the information needed to properly understand the map.  Ideally, the purpose of the map should be self-evident once the reader understands what was needed from the legend.

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