I have always regarded the National Geographic magazine to the best in its class for informative maps, photography and visual explanations.
I am starting a new series of articles to highlight a selection of graphics from recent issues and explain why I think they are so good.
The June 2012 issue has a story “Hong Kong Jitters” (view the photos from the story online) . Included in the article is a map showing the places mentioned in the story.
This is what I liked most about the map. Click the image to view full size.
1. The miniature map of China in the lower left corners shows the whole country as a small grey shape with the Hong Kong area shown in red. Beijing is shown and Taiwan to give a sense of place.
2. A larger map of southern China with Guangdong province is shown with the cities of Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen shown. Hong Kong is visible as a pure white region with a red rectangle denoting the area of the big map.
3. The top map is interesting in its use of black for the ocean and two shades of brown for land. The darker colour shows urban areas with the legend just above the scale. It took me a while to find that legend.
4. Names are shown in either in a dull yellow colour or white – both are quite easy to read against the dark background.