Rails and trails mapped

KCGIS Center custom cartography roundup: first quarter 2017

The first three months of 2017 kept us busy in KCGIS Center Client Services producing maps for publication. Our lineup of projects included major revisions to long-popular core products for two King County divisions and one exciting new map for an external client.

Metro-system-mapFirst up was the semi-annual revision of the King County Metro Transit master system map. Metro implements service revisions twice each year, usually in March and September. In the KCGIS Center we maintain a master system map for Metro which we use to generate multiple end products for each service change. These include a set of five kiosk maps that represent sub-areas of the Metro service area and an interactive online viewer of the full system map. We maintain the master map in Adobe Illustrator using GIS data and use it to spawn PDF files, rasterized map-viewer display layers, and dynamic map-viewer data layers.

Another standard product for each service change is an updated map of frequent transit service in downtown Seattle. In addition to depicting frequent-service bus routes through the downtown corridor and a table of destinations that can be reached by the numerous downtown transit options, the map extent fully covers Seattle Streetcar’s South Lake Union and First Hill lines, the Seattle Monorail (55 years old in March!), downtown ferry terminals, King Street Station for Sounder and Amtrak service, Link light rail from the Stadium to Capitol Hill stations, and numerous landmarks and destinations throughout downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods, such as Lower Queen Anne, Chinatown/International District, and First Hill.

The downtown Seattle frequent service map is available for download to mobile devices in geospatial PDF format which makes it a great tool for visitors and residents alike to navigate around the downtown area. The System Map Viewer is also mobile-friendly, allowing users to geolocate themselves and easily find nearby transit service.

Our other major revision project was the ever-popular map brochure “Regional Trails in King County” published by King County Parks. In the KCGIS Center we work closely with Parks staff to maintain the data layers that are displayed in the Regional Trails map, and on the presentation of information in the full map brochure.

RTS-mapThe map update captures the current state of the ever-expanding network of regional trails, and our client conceived a fresh look for the text- and photo-based index of many of the most popular trails in the countywide system. The map was hot off the presses in time for the Seattle Bike Show in March, and digital versions, including a geospatial PDF, are available for download from our Virtual Map Counter. The full map is also viewable online in King County Parks’ TrailFinder, a mobile-friendly app that is part of our growing catalog of ArcGIS Online web-map applications.

Finally, I’ll tease you with the news that we are working for the City of Issaquah to create a brand new map of trails and recreation opportunities throughout the city and in the surrounding Issaquah Alps. Watch this blog for news of this exciting publication later this spring. We’ll be sure to let you know when it comes rolling off the presses and into websites.

patrick-jankanish-375x469pxPatrick Jankanish is Senior Cartographer in the King County GIS Center and is a member of its Client Services group.

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