An effectively designed map is one in which the intended message is clearly communicated to the map user. By employing the concept of figure–ground, a viewer can easily distinguish between the main figure on a map and the background information. Several concepts that are key to developing good figure–ground in any cartographic design are differentiation, closed form, centrality, articulation and good contour. In addition, by considering the intended intellectual hierarchy, or the order of importance of each map element, the author can develop a visual hierarchy on the map that corresponds appropriately.

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  • An effectively designed map is one in which the intended message is clearly communicated to the map user. By employing the concept of figure–ground, a viewer can easily distinguish between the main figure on a map and the background information. Several concepts that are key to developing good figure–ground in any cartographic design are differentiation, closed form, centrality, articulation and good contour. In addition, by considering the intended intellectual hierarchy, or the order of importance of each map element, the author can develop a visual hierarchy on the map that corresponds appropriately. (en)
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  • An effectively designed map is one in which the intended message is clearly communicated to the map user. By employing the concept of figure–ground, a viewer can easily distinguish between the main figure on a map and the background information. Several concepts that are key to developing good figure–ground in any cartographic design are differentiation, closed form, centrality, articulation and good contour. In addition, by considering the intended intellectual hierarchy, or the order of importance of each map element, the author can develop a visual hierarchy on the map that corresponds appropriately. (en)
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  • Figure-ground in map design (en)
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