The Perfect Crime: A Jurisdictional Anomaly in Yellowstone National Park

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The Perfect Crime:

A Jurisdictional Anomaly in Yellowstone National Park

This is a map of an area in Yellowstone National Park where there is no judicial system to prosecute crimes. As explained in the text boxes, this is caused by a loophole in the Constitution and in the formation of the park.

This map uses DEM data from the SRTM. Tanaka contours were applied to the mountains to give the texture a 3D feel. The title font gives it the feel of a rugged old treasure map. Other fonts are used to give clear indications of the features that readers might be familiar with. Font sizes were chosen in accordance with their visual hierarchy.

One of the problems in creating this map was the abundance of different boundaries. There are three state borders along with the borders of the park. It was difficult to display this in a way that did not become too busy or distract from the primary message of the map. To solve this I created a fuzzy shadow around the borders of the park. This allows the park to become apparent without changing the colors of the states.

The area where there is no judicial authority is marked in red to give focus. There are subtle gradients all over the map to make it ‘pop’ out. These are used in the lakes and rivers, as shadows behind the text boxes, even in the Pacific ocean in the inset box there is a subtle gradient.

Made with QGIS and Adobe Illustrator with OpenStreetMap, SRTM and Wikipedia data.