In the past few weeks, we’ve been running a series on the tweaks that designers do to charts to make them fit the aesthetics of the graphics they are creating. So far, we showed you some of the ways designers get creative with pie charts, bar charts, line charts, and area based encodings.
Maps are not immune to designer’s creative experiments, and they offer some of the most widely varying techniques for adjusting aesthetics. Some of these techniques are just stylizations, and they can result in beautiful maps, but sometimes they severely damage the communication of the map data. Let’s take a look at five of the ways designers tweak maps and dissect if and how they are harming the communication of the data.