Chamisa Trail Map

data visualization, graphic design

Design Brief:

Create a map of a ‘thing’ that represents its aspects and multiplicities.


The subject for my map is Chamisa Trail, a trail that I hiked every day when I lived in New Mexico I started by imagining the linear narrative of the trail, and writing down my thoughts as I went along. Then, I went through my old Fitbit data and found a file that included the trail map, as well as my heart rate and elevation data from a hike. 

Once I found this data, I experimented with different methods of using the trail, heart rate, and elevation maps, and decided on using the elevation map.

For my first draft, I decided to use the sunset colors as a way to indicate time alongside elevation and thoughts.

After further critiques and reworking, I sampled colors from a photo of the sunset at Chamisa Trail to use in the map. I also combined the GPS trail map with the elevation by creating a cutout shape. I mapped the trail alongside the elevation, measured the angles of the turns on the trail, and mapped them onto the elevation map. In this form, the elevation map can be cutout and folded at the specified angles to create the shape of the trail itself.