Where can people in Metro Vancouver give input to elected officials? This infographic for the popular municipal blog Southfraser.net helps make sense of the complex relationships. Nathan writes, “With the recent controversy over TransLink and Metro Vancouver, it has become apparent that there is broad confusion over which level of government or agency delivers services to people in our region.”
He mapped out the information and turned over the data to me (image top left). Here’s my behind-the-scenes process.
First I drew a few sketches using a Venn diagram model. This got messy quickly. I realized the overlapping areas needed to be the focus of the diagram – with this data, there was more overlap than non-overlapping topics. I also wanted the people affected – everyone living in Metro Vancouver – to be the center of the diagram (image top right).
I redrew it using oval shapes and thought about using a colour wheel to demonstrate the overlapping areas, for example where red and yellow overlapped I would use orange. This also seemed overly complex. I kept drawing it out, trying to keep simplifying, simplifying, simplifying by removing lines and colours.
The last step was to bring the concept into Illustrator and use the pencil tool to create the small pictures and shapes. The final image uses “residents” instead of “citizens” at the center, and the tool called “transparencies” in Illustrator to show the overlapping jurisdictions.
Now if you live in Metro Vancouver, and need to know which government/s is responsible for a service, hopefully this diagram will help. Overall, I hope more knowledge helps you get engaged. Download high-res PDF on www.southfraser.net.