There’s an excellent post at 41Latitude on the design decisions that make Google Maps more readable than its competitors. Google Maps’ readability is caused by three main factors: opaque backgrounds on labels, more feature classes, and differently shaded text for each class. The post delves deeply into the visual tricks that work to make Google Maps more legible. We can steal these principles and use them in our own maps, as well as when we translate any data to visual information to greatly improve the product’s accessibility. The post is a great Friday read with many awesome graphics, please check it out.