Feature symbology
and labeling challenge

As part of the final project in the Applied Cartography course, I revisited the topic of feature symbology and labeling techniques. This time, I had to employ my newly acquired knowledge of symbology and labeling in relation to standards and conventions. One of these conventions has to do with hierarchies of scale. I.e. the labels can be constructed in a way that follows the population size, where for example cities are labeled with larger bolded sans-serif fonts while towns and villages are labeled with smaller, non-bolded fonts.

For this challenge, I was to come up with a labeling scheme of my own while keeping the conventions in mind. I decided to make a map showing the largest town and largest ‘minor city’ in each region, in addition to Gothenburg and Malmö that fall under ‘major city’, as well as the capital Stockholm in its own category. I partly used and altered Eurostat’s definition of the ‘Degree of urbanization’ to define my scheme, where:

I left out settlements with under 5 000 inhabitants in order to maintain the legibility of map labels.

To provide context, I also labeled the 6 largest lakes in Sweden, its neighboring countries, as well as the seas and gulfs in the region. Finally, some post-processing was done in Photoshop to custom-make a legend list showing the number of inhabitants per settlement type. The map below shows my results.