One of the most common items attorneys will put into a brief or a case presentation is an overhead map of the relevant area. Since the dawn of Google, attorneys have grown accustomed to copying and pasting the image of a Google map into a document or a PowerPoint presentation. I, too, am a big fan of using Google Maps, Google Earth, and all the street views and archival images available through them (see my earlier post on how to get the most out of using Google Maps and Google Earth for case presentation).
But don’t stop there, because so much more can be done with design tools to make a powerful visual impact if you go beyond Google. While Google Maps are easy to obtain and often enough to get the point across to a jury, they also can be confusing, cluttered, and fail to help the attorney visually communicate the main points of a case. Let’s look at some examples of standard Google Maps and alternatives created for presenting a case at mediation or trial. (more…)