Google’s My Maps is an easy and free portal to seeing your spreadsheet data in an online map. While there are more involved ways of accomplishing this, including linking an online version of your spreadsheet data “live” to Google Maps, let’s explore the simplest way of mapping your Excel data.[Read more…]
Avenza MAPublisher with LabelPro is the fastest way of labeling a lot of highways on a map.
On a recent project featuring a poster-sized map for Right of Way Management, I needed to add 1150 highway labels. Not looking forward to manually adding symbols and numbers, I turned to MAPublisher’s LabelPro to save a ton of time and an equal measure of sanity.
An expanding marketplace of mobile photography apps brings the smartphone and tablet into the world of art photography tools. But can these apps also help you make a visual statement with your map images?
One popular app is Tangled FX, available for iOS devices. Created by Orange Qube (http://www.orangeqube.com), Tangled FX features nine effects ranging from sharpening and smudging to hue and gamma control. Using TangledFX helps smooth details and generalize the forms of a complex terrain.
To call attention to type labels on your map, consider placing them in a box. Not just any box will do; place labels in boxes painted with Adobe Illustrator’s visual effects to help them stand out, or above, other details on the map.
For this economic development map, we created a call-out box graphic style that automatically sized itself to the height and width of each text label.
If you want a hand-rendered or antique look for a custom map title, you can search for one of the many fonts available with a distressed appearance. Or, you can distress regular fonts using Adobe Illustrator’s Appearance panel, Effects, and Opacity Mask. It’s fun and the experiments you create might move your creation in an unexpected—but delightful—direction.
Mapmaker Steve Gordon applied the Roughen and Scribble effects, and the Opacity Mask, to chip away at the edges of letters for this title graphic.
A simple location map may have a job to perform that’s anything but simple.
It has to attract readers and convey important information clearly. It also has to play nice with the style of the publication in which it appears.
Updating an old map with new data is a familiar task facing cartographers. That task is simple when you use Avenza MAPublisher and Adobe Illustrator and when the existing map is already georeferenced.
But when you are handed a map whose georeferencing has been corrupted or removed, the task becomes a little more complicated. Fortunately, MAPublisher provides the tools needed to georeference any map, enabling you to import data that precisely fits existing map artwork.
Adobe Illustrator’s Appearance panel offers mapmakers a visual effects laboratory that can turn a staid map title into exciting custom type.
My current project is a map of Downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston melds beauty and history and so I designed a map title that looks antique-ish and elegant.
Creating a custom map’s roads, rivers, and areas is often a balance between importing GIS data and drawing features with Illustrator tools like the Pen tool. When data is missing for areas like parks, school districts, or tourism zones, mapmakers must rely on Illustrator’s creation tools to fill in the blanks.
Among Illustrator’s newest tools is the Shape Builder. Introduced with CS5, this tool behaves like a “live” pathfinder cursor that also caries a paint palette in its back pocket. It only needs paths like crisscrossing roads or intersecting boundaries to create and color new shapes in the space between paths. The Shape Builder can save time compared with drawing features with the Pen tool or using the Pathfinder panel.
Excerpted from The Adobe Illustrator CS6 WOW! Book by Sharon Steuer. Copyright © 2013. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.
Complexity meets simplicity when you use Illustrator’s Appearance panel to design intricate effects, develop reusable styles, and simplify production workflow. For this map of downtown Dixon, Illinois, cartographer Steven Gordon built complex appearances and applied them to objects, groups, and layers.
Excerpted from The Adobe Illustrator CS5 WOW! Book by Sharon Steuer. Copyright © 2011. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.
When cartographer Steven Gordon creates a map with a terrain image in the background, he has to ensure that type is not lost in the mountains of the image. For this map of North Carolina’s Jackson County, Gordon received directions to create a bold, colorful terrain image by his client, The Sylva Herald.