It is easy to make a map, you can fire up ArcGIS Online and pretty much print out a half decent map within minutes or you could download the Ordnance Survey free vectormap data & styles then draw it up in QGIS. You get the idea, anyone can do it, but I often wonder SHOULD anyone be able to do it when you see examples like this:
If you are sat there saying to yourself “What is wrong with those?” then I have some news for you……
There is a raft of great free resources out there to help you become a super cartographer! The more esthetique you make your map, the more likely people will not only be able to use it but also WANT to use it.
Of course some of use like to haev something physical to hold and read through. If so, you could do no better than reading Gretchen Petersons’ Guide to Effective Cartography
Maybe you just want to have a little look at what Gretchen does, well she also has a website where she discusses cartographic issues and the evils of halos (and sometimes cats, but never cats with halos…well not usually). Gretchen Petersons Blog
If you search, you might even be able to find a few of the cartographic masters on Twitter…..
Anyhow, there is now no excuse to make an eyesore of a map. Keep is simple stupid (KISS) & follow the 10 basic design principles.