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#1
Castoway

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:huh:
Forgive my ignorance, but I am a graphic designer by trade and it seems the company I work for is changing my job to that of cartography! We publish local chamber maps with ads on them and as of recently I've had to deal with chambers that use MapInfo amongst other GIS programs and have had to import file types such as E00, TAB, MID/MIF and SHP files into Illustrator CS2 via MAPublisher. I have 2 issues:
1. Are there any cartographers I can coordinate with via email on a regular basis regarding map questions - specifically if you can tell me what info MapInfo or other GIS programs can export - are they in layers like Illustrator - help me relate to the world of cartography in general?

2. When I do import the above mentioned files, for example a roads.DAT or roads.E00, all I get are primitive-looking choppy lines that are the roads - never any road names regardless of what Texas county they are for. Is this normal? These are supposedly files from 911 services - are they just not exporting files right? Shouldn't there be road names? Am I not importing right? Ack!

I appreciate any help I can get. And go slow with me, please. Like I said, I'm just now dipping my toe in the pool of cartography so it's safe to assume I know nothing! ;) Thanks!

Amy

#2
Matthew Hampton

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ArcGIS has a good functioning .ai export that brings in layers and an associated color palette.

The map document would have to be prepared in ArcGIS with multple data sources (shapfiles, E00, etc.) then exported to you. That is a much better (IMHO) workflow then grappling with "raw" data using MAPublisher - but it requires good communication with GIS folks.

I am not too familiar with MapInfo exports.

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#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Hi Amy, and welcome to Cartotalk!

:huh:
Forgive my ignorance, but I am a graphic designer by trade and it seems the company I work for is changing my job to that of cartography! We publish local chamber maps with ads on them and as of recently I've had to deal with chambers that use MapInfo amongst other GIS programs and have had to import file types such as E00, TAB, MID/MIF and SHP files into Illustrator CS2 via MAPublisher. I have 2 issues:
1. Are there any cartographers I can coordinate with via email on a regular basis regarding map questions - specifically if you can tell me what info MapInfo or other GIS programs can export - are they in layers like Illustrator - help me relate to the world of cartography in general?

2. When I do import the above mentioned files, for example a roads.DAT or roads.E00, all I get are primitive-looking choppy lines that are the roads - never any road names regardless of what Texas county they are for. Is this normal? These are supposedly files from 911 services - are they just not exporting files right? Shouldn't there be road names? Am I not importing right? Ack!

I appreciate any help I can get. And go slow with me, please. Like I said, I'm just now dipping my toe in the pool of cartography so it's safe to assume I know nothing! ;) Thanks!

Amy

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As for #1, this would definately be the right place. If you have any questions, just go ahead and post them here (or go through the old posts, there's already a lot of information there)

#2 is a bit of a general question, hard to answer without seeing the file itself. Is there any way you can post one of those E00 files here?

One of the things I would strongly recommend is attending a MAPublisher training course (assuming that will be the main product you'll be using). That will give you a good start with the subject manner.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#4
Nick Springer

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Hi Amy,

Glad to have you :)

Basically there are two main routes to designing maps in Illustrator:

1) Export AI files from a GIS application like ArcGIS (industry standard, pricey) or Manifold (inexpensive, full-featured, but slow). You will need to learn about these programs then of course.

2) Import GIS data directly into AI using MapPublisher (which you have already). For best results though I have found it still good to do preprocessing using a GIS application (getting rid of extraneous info mostly so MapPublisher and AI can handle it).

For either of these some basic cartographic reading might be useful as well. The best general source is the textbook "The Elements of Cartography" by Arthur Robinson. Also the design principals promoted by Edward Tufte in his books apply very much to maps, and you may be familiar with these already.

As Hans said, posting any and all questions here will provide you with lots of answers I'm sure.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#5
mike

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Hi Amy,

Welcome to the cartotalk forums.

e00 files are tricky to open in MAPublisher. sometimes they open cleanly, but they more often open looking all scattered. I share the same advice with everybody saying that most of your GIS work should be done in a GIS software program and then ported over to Illustrator if needed. MAPublisher handles shapefiles pretty well, but if you must do GIS functions first, then GIS software (like ESRI ArcGIS) will help you do that. Take some time to read up and research on the different techniques to cartography (some of which are shared with graphic design). There is a recommended reading list somewhere on this site. That's a good start to get some more info.

Welcome to the world of cartography!

#6
Mike H

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Amy,

welcome aboard - cartotalk will be able to answer virtually any map data or design questions you encounter.

You might also be well served to find a freelance cartographer who could do the file prep and conversion for your firm. That way you would avoid all the subtle and perhaps maddenning nuances of dealing with raw data in multiple forms. There are folks on this list who could provide that service for you.

Sooner or later, I suspect, you'll encounter a data set that you'll need such help with - it happens to professional cartographers as well!


m.
Michael Hermann
mike [at] purplelizard.com


www.purplelizard.com

#7
frax

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Amy, just a note -- the GIS software world is not only cartography, there much more to it. Cartography is only one the possible outputs from GIS, and MapInfo/ArcView et al are much more than cartography software.
Hugo Ahlenius
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