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Thread: Standard zoning map colors

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Standard zoning map colors

    I'm taking our zoning districts and assigning colors to them in GIS. I have the basics down:
    *yellow-residential
    *brown-high density residential (we don't have any districts that are ONLY multi-family, so this isn't relevant)
    *red-retail and commercial
    *purple-industrial
    *green-recreational
    *gray-industrial

    My question is, does anyone have norms that deviate from this? Or suggestions? I have two village preservation areas and resort zoning to include and I'm running out of colors. Not to mention that I don't like the way it is now, but don't know where to go from here. We have about 12-15 residential districts varying in density but all allowing single family and most allowing multi-family. I don't want to use 15 shades of yellow but don't know what else to do, or what the conventions are. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I've never really agreed with having to have certain colors conventions.

    Like your situation, when you have many slighly varying districts, if you use a color gradation, it becomes hard to distinguish between the different districts.

    My preference is to have the various districts assigned distinct colors (if possible) so that the distinction between individual districts is evident.

    For example:
    3 separate SF res. districts would be:
    R-1: green
    R-2: red
    R-3: blue

    etc.

    But I understyand that my method tends to breakdown quickly when a locality has a large nubmer of zoning districts.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I wish people would stop trying to be creative with colors and accept the generally accepted regime

    For a good list of check out

    http://www.planning.org/LBCS/GeneralInfo/

    I know you all like to hack on the APA, but this is one place they have taken a good initiative to solve a real problem.

    You've listed industrial twice, I assume that the grey is for for industrial and the purple is for institutional.

    I would also suggest using a combination of hatching and colour gradient to desigante intensity, if the scale permits it to be easily seen.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View post
    I wish people would stop trying to be creative with colors and accept the generally accepted regime
    It's not so much "trying to be creative". I just don't like the results often when you have color gradations for 6 different SF residential districts and the colors are hard to distinguish on a printed map.

    I also don't see a really good reason to have a standard/generally accepted regime.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View post
    You've listed industrial twice, I assume that the grey is for for industrial and the purple is for institutional.
    Good catch, actually I was copying from the "Traditional Color Coding for Land Uses" document from the APA site...they listed industrial twice, too. I'd use gray for industrial and purple for institutional.

    This is an assignment and I have to use the generally accepted colors...no creativity here. I'm just wondering what to do with all the misc. districts that aren't in these categories as well as the 12+ residential districts that all start to look the same.

    Thanks for the help so far!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View post
    I wish people would stop trying to be creative with colors and accept the generally accepted regime

    For a good list of check out

    http://www.planning.org/LBCS/GeneralInfo/

    .
    agreed. And remember, back in the old days all these colors/districts corresponded to a certain pencil number.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    So should I just use 9 colors? Or gradations of yellow for each residential district? I'm staring at a list of 40 districts...and am at a loss!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sweet!!

    Quote Originally posted by donk View post
    I wish people would stop trying to be creative with colors and accept the generally accepted regime

    For a good list of check out

    http://www.planning.org/LBCS/GeneralInfo/

    I know you all like to hack on the APA, but this is one place they have taken a good initiative to solve a real problem.

    You've listed industrial twice, I assume that the grey is for for industrial and the purple is for institutional.

    I would also suggest using a combination of hatching and colour gradient to desigante intensity, if the scale permits it to be easily seen.
    Fantastic! Just what we need to set our zoning map colors this month!

    And for those of you who don't like to "conform" to the "mans" standards.....just ask to look at our current zoning map colors(inherited of course)....and when your eye's stop bleeding.....you'll have changed your mind

    Thanks
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    And remember, back in the old days all these colors/districts corresponded to a certain pencil number.
    There is an example of this at: http://www.planning.org/lbcs/Publica...onventions.pdf
    Look at page 6 / 7.
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Am I the only one who learned in school that zoning maps should not be colored, but rather should have the letters/numbers of the designations shown over each district (i.e. AG1, RR, R1, CC, etc)? We were taught that land use maps use color, but zoning maps don't. Yet, I've only worked for one place that actually does it this way. And it sounds like you all use color.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    Am I the only one who learned in school that zoning maps should not be colored, but rather should have the letters/numbers of the designations shown over each district (i.e. AG1, RR, R1, CC, etc)? We were taught that land use maps use color, but zoning maps don't. Yet, I've only worked for one place that actually does it this way. And it sounds like you all use color.
    Well, yes, the official maps are not colored, but 'working' maps are to make them easier to read at a glance and having the 'standard' colors makes that even easier, especially when comparing separate locales.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    cch...we have a zoning map that just has the district codes and the boundaries of the zoned areas.

    Our future land use map, though is colored.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Slightly OT: I too was taught that zoning maps shouldn't be in color. Instead, the district designations should be shown on the map, or different hatching patterns should be used. Why? So the photocopied version of a zoning map could be easily used.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of using black and white hatching patterns on a zoning map that has anything finer than rural-type zoning. It gets too busy and difficult to read, unless it's a poster size, then it's unwieldy.
    The cookies are worth the drive

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View post

    You've listed industrial twice, I assume that the grey is for for industrial and the purple is for institutional.

    .
    The city I worked for in Michigan used grey for industrial. In Arizona purple is industrial and grey is state trust land.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Slightly OT: I too was taught that zoning maps shouldn't be in color. Instead, the district designations should be shown on the map, or different hatching patterns should be used. Why? So the photocopied version of a zoning map could be easily used.
    I totally agree - plus they're are easier to use for showing amendments and for use in reports with overlays and such.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    agreed. And remember, back in the old days all these colors/districts corresponded to a certain pencil number.
    OMG us oldE planners remember such things.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The first couple of places I worked also did not use color on their zoning maps. But with the advent and proliferation of color copiers and printers, that seems to have changed.

    We use cross hatching and patterns along with the standard colors to differentiate between the various zone districts.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    How about less zoning districts?

    Thank about it for a moment. It could be as simple as:

    Yellow – Single Family Residential
    Brown – Multiple Family Residential
    Red – Commercial
    Grey – Industrial
    Green – Recreation or Agricultural
    Purple – Mixed Use

    Instead our community has 19 different zoning districts listed on the “official zoning map” and 6 of them are single family.
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    The place I work for has both a colored zoning map and a black-and-white one...they both have the zoning designations and boundaries (R1, B2, etc.) labeled, as well as planned-unit-development and special-use labels where applicable.

    As far as colors go, it's usually shades of yellow for single family, shades of orange for multi-family, shades of red for commercial uses, shades of purple for industrial uses, and green for parks.

    We also have a colored future land use map.

  21. #21

    I concur with Dan...

    Our Future Land Use Map with the overall categories is colored. There are not that many to run out of color choices. For example there is once category for Industrial, and it is purple. The Land Development Code (Zoning) Map is in black and white with the subcategories noted on the face of the parcels. So in this case, the Light Industrial (LIND) is noted as such, and the Heavy Industrial (IND) is noted as such. Prints out good. Cheaper on ink.

  22. #22

    crazy zoning colors

    Our CD Director is in the process of rearranging the colors of our zoning map. Here's the weird layout as it is:

    Purple: Open Space
    Dark Green: Residential Agricultural
    Green: Single-Family Residential
    Light Green: Duplex Residential
    Very Light Green: Multiple Family Residential
    Red: Commercial
    Gray: Industrial
    Yellow: Public/Semi-Public
    Sand: Specific Plan Areas

  23. #23
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Quote Originally posted by rift View post
    Our CD Director is in the process of rearranging the colors of our zoning map. Here's the weird layout as it is:

    Purple: Open Space
    Dark Green: Residential Agricultural
    Green: Single-Family Residential
    Light Green: Duplex Residential
    Very Light Green: Multiple Family Residential
    Red: Commercial
    Gray: Industrial
    Yellow: Public/Semi-Public
    Sand: Specific Plan Areas
    You don't happen to work in AZ do you?? CF is that YOU???
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
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  24. #24
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    So the photocopied version of a zoning map could be easily used.

    I think that logic was more valid several years ago before internet proliferation and color copiers. I have worked in a city where we didn't use color on the zoning map and it seems like I always had more calls about zoning for property, maybe because it was a little more confusing than a color map.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    BTW i hate the LBCS as much as i hate AICP.

    and i totally missed "talk like a pirate day"

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