New Esri Book Teaches the Principles of Good Map Design

Redlands, California—December 29, 2015—Mapmakers should always strive to create maps that look great and get their message across clearly and succinctly. According to Esri president Jack Dangermond, more emphasis today needs to be placed on map design, especially on the web. "We need to spend more time designing maps and not just producing them," Dangermond said at a recent geodesign conference.

Cartographer Cynthia A. Brewer's new edition of  Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users, published by Esri, will guide mapmakers through the process of designing visually pleasing and easily understandable maps. "This book helps you develop the graphic skills you need for mapmaking," said Brewer, a professor and head of the geography department at Pennsylvania State University.

In writing the book, Brewer drew on 30 years of experience teaching and working in map design. The book focuses on the basics of cartography, including layout design; working with basemaps, legends, scales, and projections; selecting colors and type; and customizing symbols. In this second edition, Brewer has added a chapter on publishing and sharing maps and devotes a section to her  ColorBrewer application, an online color selection tool that any mapmaker can use. ColorBrewer is now part of the new Esri  ArcGIS Pro application.

The large selection of color maps included in the book prove to be very instructional, with examples of poor or mediocre maps being compared to well-designed maps. For example, there are two maps of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, located in the United States and Canada. One map is what Brewer calls "excessively decorated," with a huge scale bar, illegible typeface, and other elements that distract from the map. The second map, meant to showcase vegetation types, is simple and designed to make the most important information stand out.

Brewer has been a faculty member at Pennsylvania State University for 21 years, teaching introductory cartography and other map design courses. She has written four books, including  Designed Maps: A Sourcebook for GIS Users, which complemented her 2005 edition of Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users.

Brewer also is an affiliate faculty member at the US Geological Survey (USGS) Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS). She has done consulting work with the National Park Service, the US Census Bureau, the National Cancer Institute, the National Center for Health Statistics, and Esri. She won the Henry Gannett Award for Exceptional Contributions to Topographic Mapping from the USGS in 2013.

A video about the book is available to watch at

Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users is available in print (ISBN: 9781589484405, 250 pages, $59.99), or as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589484375, 250 pages, $49.99). The book is available at online retailers worldwide, at, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options, or visit to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

About Esri Press

Esri Press publishes books on GIS, cartography, and related topics. The complete selection of GIS titles from Esri Press can be found on the web at

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at

Esri, the Esri globe logo, GIS by Esri, ArcGIS,, and @ are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.


Brian Peterson, Esri
Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-1283
Email:  Email Contact
General Information :  Email Contact

Review Article Be the first to review this article
GeoRover Mobile Download Trial>>


Featured Video
Engineering Technician II for City Of Folsom at Folsom, CA
Upcoming Events
Commercial UAV Expo 2016 at MGM Grand Hotel Conference Center Las Vegas NV - Oct 31 - 2, 2016
GIS-Pro 2016: URISA's 54th Annual Conference at Toronto Canada - Oct 31 - 3, 2016
24th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference at San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA San Francisco - Oct 31 - 3, 2016
Teledyne Optech
University of Denver GIS Masters Degree Online
Teledyne: - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy