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Best and Worst Zoo Maps

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Echobeast, 1 Apr 2018.

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  1. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    After looking at the new Nashville Zoo map and the thread about the artist and how it was made, I've been googling other zoo maps to look at common designs and themes and what works and what doesn't.

    In my opinion, The best maps show clear paths that have landmarks so that you can easily see where you are in the zoo at a glance. I also prefer animal drawings and images as opposed to silhouettes. LA Zoo and San Diego Zoo and Safari Park do this really well and are some of my favorite maps. They are done by the same designer so this makes sense that they would be similar. It is brightly colored without being too obnoxious.

    Some zoos have more stylized maps that give the zoo a unique feeling and sets them apart from others. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Denver Zoo have unique maps that make each zoo feel distinct even though they are only 45 mins apart and feature similar collections.

    Maps that only show a "bird's eye" view are way more difficult to read and it is hard to judge your place in the zoo because there are no landmarks or ways to judge elevation or topography. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Memphis Zoo are examples of this.

    And then there's Zoo Atlanta. I have no clue what to make of this. It looks like someone made the pathways in Microsoft Paint and then added free clipart images for the animals. Nothing about the map itself looks professional. I have no clue where exhibits begin or end and some of the animals look nothing like what they're supposed to be. The font is boring and has no consistency in size. The whole thing is a mess and has my vote for the worst zoo map.

    What zoo maps do you guys like and which maps don't work for you and why?
     
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    This map is terrible:

    [​IMG]

    While it may look okay at first, it is a horrible representation of how the zoo is actually layed out.
     
  3. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm getting a headache just looking at this.
     
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  4. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Even those who love Chester Zoo cannot possibly love the disgusting map of the zoo. Ugly, infantile and unhelpful.

    Map

    But that Atlanta one’s a shocker as well!
     
  5. BeakerUK

    BeakerUK Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago, Twycross had a dreadful map. The first time I visited I kept getting lost because the paths did not seem to bear any relationship to the markings on the map, and they did not label any of the animals. There were some generic pictures which did not help in the slightest when they have so many primates. It almost put me off going back, but thankfully they have improved it since then.

    I found the Paignton Zoo map very frustrating the first time I visited because despite having plotted out a route beforehand so I could see everything I wanted to, I could not actually follow it when there and kept going wrong. I am hoping it is better when I visit for the second time in just over a week!

    What I want out of maps is to be able to adequately pre-plan my route and what I want to see. I may well not follow it on the day, but I like to feel like I have some idea of where things are and anything I really don't want to miss.
     
  6. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've been collecting zoo maps for my entire life and I have more than 1,500 different zoo maps in my cataloged collection. An obsession, right? @Echobeast pointed out several great ones (San Diego, Los Angeles, Nashville, Denver) but in truth I hate the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo example as the style has always bothered me. Other terrible ones are Chester and Atlanta, as has been pointed out on this thread.

    A variety of zoo maps exist:

    Woodland Park Zoo has an excellent one:

    https://www.zoo.org/file/visit-pdf-bin/Summer-Map_April2017_FINAL.pdf

    A very good mid-sized facility but Cameron Park Zoo has a poor map with lots of numbers:

    Zoo Map | Cameron Park Zoo

    An aerial view of Dallas Zoo:

    Getting Around the Zoo | Dallas Zoo

    Loads of tiny trees on the Zoo Montana map:

    Zoo Map - ZooMontana

    Zoo de Granby has about 80 or more arrows on its map:

    Ondago Web

    And Forth Worth Zoo has one that is simply boring:

    https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2059/zoo_map_-_spring_2017.pdf

    Lee Richardson Zoo map = boring:

    http://leerichardsonzoo.org/images/leerichards-16.pdf
     
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  7. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I agree. I actually don't like the map either but I like how it's trying to be unique and distinct from Denver's. It is cluttered, the paths are sometimes really confusing to navigate and the silhouettes are not helpful in figuring out what animals are in what exhibit. If you look at the map, the mountain lion and leopard images are the same but mirrored and the same with the grizzly and Asiatic bears. It's lazy and unhelpful for guests who want to see one animal but travel to the other side of the zoo because all they could see was a silhouette.
     
  8. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    Numbers and silhouettes finish me off, they really don’t help you when you’re lost!
     
  9. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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  10. Okapipako

    Okapipako Well-Known Member

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    LOL at the comments on Atlanta's map! I've always hated theirs.

    LA and San Diego's maps (and Tampa's by the same designer) are fantastic. I think just quality artistic sense goes a long way and often enhances the ease and functionality.

    My favorite map is Antwerp's, similarly lushly illustrated: Visual Maps . - Antwerp Zoo
    The faint sepia tones are really appealing and lend a trustworthy, aged quality, also emphasizing the zoo's long history. The rendering of each exhibit's architecture adds additional convenience in locating each, something many maps seem to forego. Having each animal posed in the same profile view also creates a satisfying unity and, again, aids in quick and easy identification.
     
  11. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    The new Antwerp map is better imo:
    b6fc491794e641a128077ef9b77d938894cb8717752b8a308e4c08eac2398fbe5c9a8ade5254e542_rw_1200.jpg
    [​IMG]

    I personally also really like the maps from Artis:
    [​IMG]
    https://www.artis.nl/media/filer_pu...85_subject_location-959,676_subsampling-2.jpg

    And the one from Hellabrun is also not bad:
    [​IMG]
    source: tiergarten.de

    One of the worst zoo maps for anyone who was not a German zoo enthusiast were those from Tierpark Berlin....
     
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  12. Smannsaker

    Smannsaker Well-Known Member

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    I find Norden's ark's map really messy and hard to use when navigating:
    [​IMG]

    My favorite maps are from San Diego Zoo and Los Angelos Zoo.

    I made a quick map too the my local zoo (Haugaland zoo) who didn't have any at the time. I know it is not an outstanding map, but I don't have the skills to do better. However, I do belive it is better than no map at all:
    [​IMG]
    Feel free to criticize the map (but keep in mind that the names are in Norwegian).
     
  13. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    Actually pretty impressive!
     
  14. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I'm not overly keen on the new one to be honest, but I can recognise a picture of an animal quicker than I can (usually) translate a German name. Tierpark Map
     
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  15. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    I think it does the job quite well!
     
  16. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

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    The worst zoo map I ever seen comes from the Joburg zoo in South Africa. No names of any of the animals is minor issue as many of the animals are ABC species. All the animal pictures look like stock photos and sometimes they use the same animal picture (in the case of the antelope) in multiple exhibits. It's also outdated since the polar bear died a while back. It overall just doesn't suit me as a good map.

    http://www.jhbzoo.org.za/docs/mappfthezoo.pdf
     
  17. Okapipako

    Okapipako Well-Known Member

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    The isometric style of Tierpark's map is actually kind of cute. Reminds me of the original Zoo Tycoon :)

    @lintworm: I agree, the new Antwerp map is definitely better - but something about the earlier one appeals to me more. Might be the sepia...
     
  18. Ortolan bunting

    Ortolan bunting Well-Known Member

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    @Smannsaker i personally find Nordens ark to be one of my all times favorite maps
    do to its art style and aesthetic
     
  19. Smannsaker

    Smannsaker Well-Known Member

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    Disagreements are allowed.
     
  20. Gomphothere

    Gomphothere Well-Known Member

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    The Bronx Zoo map works well for me, although I know the zoo well enough that I just use the map to double-check things.
    [​IMG]
     
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