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NeighborWalks Map Series


Tools Used: Digitization, ArcPro, MapBox, AGOL, map package, Esri Collector

Skills Used: Cartography, air photo interpretation, accessible design, documentation

Project description: NeighborWalks is a collaborative project of Oregon Walks, AARP, and City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, with a goal of bringing people together in organized walks throughout the Portland Metro area. The walks are developed and led by volunteers, who also research information about cultural and natural features found along the walk routes that they share with participants during the walks. For each walk, NeighborWalks provides a narrative of each walk on their website, and a link that brings up a printable map showing the route. During the Covid pandemic, NeighborWalks has provided information, but has not lead their usual group walks. During this time, their participants print the maps and information on their own printers.

NeighborWalks provides printable maps created by drawing the routes using Google Maps. The routes were not always accurate, and the design was a little hard to read due to the base map's level of detail and the bold colors. The color choices also required a great deal of ink, so were expensive to print. My goal was to create a series of map that are easier to read, with a simple and consistent design. The color scheme I chose matches NeighborWalks website branding, and the maps are color-blindness friendly. The maps are legible when printed in black and white as well as color, and are designed to minimize the use of printer ink.

To create the maps, I made a base map using RLIS data. I digitized the routes based on their Google Maps, as well as using other methods to check the route accuracy. The NeighborWalks routes follow sidewalks, streets, trails, alleys, and cut through parks and between buildings in parking lots. The routes were not always apparent, the top of the map might not point north, and the walk direction was often confusing. Digitizing the routes required using a mix aerial imagery, street maps, a trail layer from Esri, as well as walking the routes.

Additionally, I created detailed documentation that could be used by other GIS volunteers to create identical additional maps, and provided a map package to the GIS instructor who coordinated this project, that can be opened and used in Esri ArcPro to edit the designs, or easily copy the process for additional routes.

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