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#1
dobesova

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I prepare now my postgraduate work with title Cartographic visualization of spatial database of regional information systems. I decided test ArcMap and AutodeskMap in creating thematic map. I will prepare some testing enviroment. A look any information about testing cartographic vizualization.
The guestion is: what this GIS sw can reprezent or what GIS sw does not reprezent from cartographic method?
Can anybody help me with any tipes?

#2
Martin Gamache

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CindyBrewer has had her students do some testing of Arcmap and presented her results at the NACIS conference last year.

I do not know if the article was ever published, maybe as a white paper by ESRI.

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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First of all I'd like to point out I don't have much experience in using either ArcMap or Autodesk Map. However, in general I would personally not use a GIS for high-end visualisation. It really depends on your needs whether or not it will do the job for you.

My biggest 'problem' with a thematic/statistic mapping in a GIS is that the GIS will make a lot of choices for you. E.g. classification, color usage etc. In a way this is great, because you don't have to worry about them and it saves you a lot of time. Also, they're usually the right choices. However, it does mean that as a cartographer, you'll have less influence on the final product.

I hope this helps.
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#4
ELeFevre

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I'm not sure I fully understand the question being asked, but I will try...

I have used ArcMap extensively in creating a wide variety of Thematic maps. I have never used Autodesk Map. From my experience ArcMap will allow you to create a "default" map in terms of design. You are limited in colors, line weight, et cetera. If you want to produce a nice cartographic product you have to take the design into a quality design program like Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, or Corel Draw.

As far as data classification goes, I never use the default ArcMap classifiers without verifying and classifying the data first in another program.
For the most part, I use an older DOS based program called CLASSY that was developed at Michigan State by George Jenks as well as several others. From todays standards of nice GUI interfaces, CLASSY is archaic, but it's simple to use and does a great job.

After I determine the classification parameters, I classify the data in Arcmap by adjusting the default classification manually. In other cases, I use a more robust statistical program called SPSS, which you are probably already familiar with.

Overal the classifiers in Arcmap do what they are supposed to do, but like Hans said, you have less control as a cartographer. Hopefully I was somewhat on track in this reply. If not, let me know and I will try again. Erin



#5
Lui

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My workflow for "2D visualization" of spatial data is something like that:
1.: GIS application for an attribute and geometry processing to achive mapping kind spatial database
2.: Import shapefiles into OCAD software (advanced symbolization)
3.: Edit map in OCAD
4.: For more simple maps: export map into Illustrator or Photoshop for final touchup (usually not necessary)
or
export spot color separation rasters from OCAD and merging (masking) them together in Intergraph Mappublisher (really nice pice of classical like mapping software that was really expensive).

My workflow for "3D visualization":
1.: same as no. 1 above
2.: import all spatial data into VNS and 3DMAX
3.: model editing in VNS and 3DMAX
4.: rendering in 3DMAX
5.: composite rendering in VNS using 3DMAX renders

Well sometimes I'm mixing 2D and 3D visualization. This is the case in so called natural looking mapping. I'm using VNS for a natural content creation. Render is imported into Photoshop and later in OCAD or Illustrator for final cartographic editing.

Lui

#6
Martin Gamache

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If you want to produce a nice cartographic product you have to take the design into a quality design program like Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, or Corel Draw.

Erin,

Having worked in an environment where 90% of the maps were made with ARCMAP and earlier with MAPINFO I think you can get very nice cartographic output with ARCGIS out of the box. It may take more time and there maybe things that you can't do, but you can still make very nice, clean looking maps with it. It just means knowing the limitations of the tool or the workarounds and the bugs.
If you need to get high end output for offset printing that is also available but it use to be more expensive and difficult(through ARCPRESS) but not impossible. Other software provides a nicer more efficient work environment but they certainly are not required to make nice maps, making a nice map is entirely up to the cartographer.

Is CLASSY available on-line? I did some searching for it with GOOGLE ( nothing exhaustive) but did not turn up anything obvious.

mg

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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Martin,

I've been hearing good things about R for statistics. Haven't tried it myself, but I've been meaning to check it out.
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#8
ELeFevre

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Having worked in an environment where 90% of the maps were made with ARCMAP and earlier with MAPINFO I think you can get very nice cartographic output with ARCGIS out of the box.
Is CLASSY available on-line?  I did some searching for it with GOOGLE ( nothing exhaustive) but did not turn up anything obvious.

mg

You are absolutely right. You can produce nice looking maps in Arcmap. All of the maps I have made over the past two years have been in a class room environment where I have had plenty of time to tweak everything in a graphics program. So that became my norm. Therefore, my viewpoint of Arcmap is a bit skewed in sight of what it can do graphically. It definitley is a powerful program. I've just never really explored what it can do beyond the basic layout options, color ramps, et cetera.

Yesterday before posting, I tried to find a link to CLASSY but didnt find anything. It's an old-school program that was primarily passed around in academic circles. It's free, probably always was, so if you want a copy, send me a PM and I will put it on my webspace and you can retrieve it via FTP. It's only 110k.



#9
Lori Martin

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I have been following the topics in this forum to get a feel for what software people are using for DESIGN. I work in a natural resource government office and use ArcMap exclusively for map production (Much to my consternation). While it is possible to create a good cartographic product, the design options are limited.

One thing I have learned is not to assume that the defaults are correct, particularly from a GIS in regards to cartography. I have been looking for another software for design, but have to live within the constraints of my office. I downloaded a demo version of Map Publisher, but work got in the way before I could do much. I am not really familiar with Illustrator (being a CorelDraw person) and found it difficult to use. I just need some education and playing time with it.

It is important to remember that GIS software does not make cartographically sound decisions. This is a problem in our organization because so many people accept default values and assume that it is correct. I have worked with a group to create a set of Cartograpic Guidelines for our staff. There are a lot of maps circulating (in my organization at least) that are not the best that they could be.

If you want to produce a nice cartographic product you have to take the design into a quality design program like Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, or Corel Draw.


You can create a nice cartographic product in ArcMap, but it will be a plain and simple product - no bells and whistles.

As you can see, this is a passion for me!!!
Lori Anne Martin,
St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada

#10
Hans van der Maarel

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Lori,

I see your point here. I sometimes refer to the 'other' way of making maps (i.e. the Illustrator/Freehand/Coreldraw way, either with or without MAPublisher) as 'hardcore mapping' whereas the GIS way is more basic.

Both have their merits. I think the 'hardcore' way is great if you know what you're doing. If you know about map design standards, if you know something about statistics, if you know how a map can seriously affect the way people interpret data.

On a side note, I once heard of somebody who *admitted* to making maps in Powerpoint :blink:

Finally, I'd like to point out that there's two different products mentioned in this thread that may cause confusion. That's Intergraph's Mappublisher and Avenza's MAPublisher (one p). It sounds like you tested the second one.
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#11
Martin Gamache

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I think a good carpenter never blames his tools!

The results from Cynthia Brewer's study of Illustrator vs. ARCmap found very few cartographic design features that ARCmap could not do, however the difference was in how hard it was to do them. Surely someone else on this board sat in on her presentation in Maine last year and can chime in with more details. I have not been able to find any reference to her work on this yet.

I dont like the implication that there are two types of maps and that the type is determined by which software was used to make it. AFAIK there are good maps and there are not so good maps. But the software should never be to blame for this. We should Know our tools and their limititations and design with our audience and means in mind.

#12
Lui

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Finally, I'd like to point out that there's two different products mentioned in this thread that may cause confusion. That's Intergraph's Mappublisher and Avenza's MAPublisher (one p). It sounds like you tested the second one.


Avenza Mappublisher and Intergraph Mappublisher are two totaly different software tools. Intergraph Mappublisher is raster compositing tools that works only with raster data. It's simulate a clasical photolab work and I mainly use it for compositing old raster originals with new map content. The latest release is dated from 1998 so I'm affraid that it is no longer maintained.

Lui

#13
Lori Martin

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We should Know our tools and their limititations and design with our audience and means in mind.


Martin, I agree with you. A thematic map or general purpose map should both be based on sound cartographic principles regardless of how they are created. The software used in the creation of the final product is only part of the communication process.

ps. I was referring to Avenza's MAPublisher earlier in this thread.
Lori Anne Martin,
St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada




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