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Printing highly detailed and/or complex maps on large format paper?

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#1
Michele Cordini

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Hello,

I hope I'm not going off topic here and that I'm not reposting an already discussed issue. I have a problem printing a map created with ArcMap 10.2.2. I want to print a highly detailed map of the whole town of Florence (Italy) comprising of a topographic basemap and about a hundred thousands points representing delivery points for postal service (see picture).

kULgo.jpg

I'm going to use an HP Designjet T520 36in plotter and want to print it on an A0 format paper. I've tried both printing it directly from ArcGis (though I'm using a remote version of it) and exporting it as PDF and print it from Adobe Reader (PDF size is around 30 Mb). After I made sure all page and printing settings were ok, I pressed the print bottom. Apparently the printer doesn't like it since I just see a printing bar lingering for some seconds on 0% and for an imperceptible istant on 100%, but nothing happens. The bar just disappears. I suppose it depends on the size of my map, but I'm not sure, and anyway I don't know how could I go around that. I've searched a lot through the web but hasn't find anything helpful yet. So, how would you print detailed and complex maps? Have you ever met a problem similar to mine?

Thanks

Michele



#2
Hans van der Maarel

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My guess would be that it's got something to do with the hundred thousands points you mention. The plotter might be choking on them. Can you try exporting it as a TIFF at high resolution instead, see if that makes a difference?


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#3
Michele Cordini

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It worked! Thank you very much, I was losing all hopes. However I set the TIFF dpi to 300 (as would have been the default dpi for PDF). The resulting exported TIFF file was about ten times larger than the PDF (399Mb against 38Mb). So I guess the problem is within Adobe Reader or the way PDFs themselves increase in size when going through all the printing steps, but I'm not familiar at all with this kind of things.

 

Thanks again!



#4
Hans van der Maarel

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It's probably not the (file) size of the PDF, 38 Mb really isn't that much, but it's most likely the number of objects that was causing the problem.

 

In fact, one could wonder whether using points is the best way to portray your data. Are the individual points actually visible on your print?

 

 

 


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#5
Michele Cordini

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Yes, they are visible. I also considered that could be not the best option, but didn't find other solutions. The dots represent delivery points for postal service colored on specific informations, so they give us an idea of the density and distribution.



#6
Hans van der Maarel

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You could try adding a small buffer to all the points and then dissolving (I believe that's "union" in ArcGIS) the buffers, where they overlay they'll end up as single (and potentially horrendously complex...) polygons.


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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