Department of Urban and Regional Planning   
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   

UP 503: Physical Planning

3: Diagramming With Adobe Illustrator

Annotated maps are a way of communicating ideas about land-use and the forces driving change. In this exercise you will build your skills in using Adobe Illustrator by creating an annotated map of southwest Champaign. Please create an annotated map that supports the following set of statements

"I see two main forces driving change in southwest Champaign and Savoy. The new interchange being constructed on I-57 at Curtis Road will make this part of the metro region much more accessible and attractive for new development which will likely occur towards the south and west on both sides of I-57. This development will also be spurred by the southward expansion of the University, and the expansion of the research park between Windsor Road and St. Mary’s Road, will bring many more jobs closer to this part of the region. The latter effect will, however, be diminished by the dislocation of access to these jobs by the railroad tracks south of Windsor Road. As a result of this pressure for development, many of the uses currently along Neil Street/US 45 south of Curtis Road will become obsolete and will be under pressure to accommodate higher, more intense uses."

Please ignore whether or not the sentiments expressed above are valid or complete. The challenge is figuring out how best to represent these ideas so that they are communicated effectively in a visually compelling graphic. We suggest you sketch out by hand how you might accomplish this and discuss your approach with others before implementing the digital version.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the area involved by going to a Web site such as,, Zoom and pan through the map until you get an area that corresponds with what you have in mind. If you press the Alt and Print Screen key simultaneously, the entire window you are viewing will be saved to the clipboard. Next, open Photoshop and use the Crop tool to eliminate parts of the window outside of the map. Save the resulting map as a JPG, PNG or BMP image.

  2. 'Place' this image in your Illustrator document. Create new layers as needed and insert points, lines, polygons, and symbols to represent the ideas in the above set of statements. Be sure to use a variety of line types and weights, colors, and opacity (transparency) to create an effective graphic.

  3. Make your document look presentable by adding a border and a title block (text indicating the title of the document, your name, the date, sources used for the map, the north direction etc.).

  4. Save your Illustrator document and export it as a pdf graphic file.

We will discuss your work in the next lab session. Use the class assignment naming convention: assign#_lastname.pdf . Place the file in the course assignment dropoff folder (\\Urban-server2\urban-courses\UP503\_Assignment Drop Box) by the start of class on Th, 12 Sept.


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