Friday, February 08, 2013

Putting together the whole

I suspect that people working as illustration editors for magazines do this kind of thing all the time, but I thought it might be interesting to take a look at what I get handed before I start an illustration. This is a post touching on the process behind creating an illustration from existing materials.

While it's essentially a tracing job, it's not quite as straight forward.

What you get is this:

What they want is this:

I created this image for a forum on planning the use of marine space off the California Coast. It's officially called coastal marine spatial planning (CMSP). You can read more about the forum here. It's a vector image created in Adobe Illustrator with a map base created in GIS software and additional data added. I put reference links to the original image where possible.

This is the original map:

You can see the general shape of the land mass in the image. The shape of the coastline is directly pulled from this image. However, since the final image was reproduced at 8' wide, I added more detail to the map using other maps of the Southern California area.

 This is a reference image that I used to create the oil platform icon:

And this is the reference for placement of the oil platforms:

I used this map for the Marine Protected Areas (represented in green) and the state boundaries (represented in blue):

Federal boundaries (represented in purple) and shipping lanes (teal) were traced from a nautical map:
found here:

And the final layer was of Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) represented by an outline of the Garibaldi (yellow):

Just a little look behind the scenes of everyday illustrations, making science and data more beautiful through art.