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#1
Guitarman

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Hello all, Im a newbie to cartography and GIS. I am however beginning the degree program very soon at a local university. Im eager to start and learn. I was wondering how difficult is it to construct county street maps? Where can I find the information and so forth? What software should be used, etc. Any help is greatly appreciated. Sorry if these questions sound so stupid, Im just eager to learn.

Thanks

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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They're no stupid questions, but kinda general ones.

County street maps are not particulary difficult to create, and in the US the source data can be obtained for free. We have a resources section here which has links to some data warehouses. seamless.usgs.org seems like a good place to start.

As for the software used, that can be anything. Most people here prefer to use Illustrator or Freehand, with or without the MAPublisher plug-in. But it can also be done in ArcMap or Manifold. If you go through some of the old posts here, you'll get an idea of who uses what.
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#3
Guitarman

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They're no stupid questions, but kinda general ones.

County street maps are not particulary difficult to create, and in the US the source data can be obtained for free. We have a resources section here which has links to some data warehouses. seamless.usgs.org seems like a good place to start.

As for the software used, that can be anything. Most people here prefer to use Illustrator or Freehand, with or without the MAPublisher plug-in. But it can also be done in ArcMap or Manifold. If you go through some of the old posts here, you'll get an idea of who uses what.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

thank you very much. That link dont work though.

#4
Nick Springer

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it's seamless.usgs.gov

Nick Springer

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


#5
Hans van der Maarel

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Doh... :rolleyes:
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#6
Dennis McClendon

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I was wondering how difficult is it to construct county street maps?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This depends a lot on the part of the country you're talking about, and what level of accuracy is acceptable to you. Can you elaborate a bit?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#7
Guitarman

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I was wondering how difficult is it to construct county street maps?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This depends a lot on the part of the country you're talking about, and what level of accuracy is acceptable to you. Can you elaborate a bit?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

im looking for the most accurate data possible. Im going to start making some local city/county maps and am unsure where to look. Thanks

#8
Dennis McClendon

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im looking for the most accurate data possible.  Im going to start making some local city/county maps and am unsure where to look.  Thanks

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The answer is different depending on the state and the type of counties or cities. Some places will have up-to-date data available for free. Other places will have nothing whatsoever. For an old New England town or a sleepy Pennsylvania boro, the DLG data may be a good start. For a fast-growing county in Florida or the New Mexico desert it may be nearly useless. Any Oregon city over 10,000 will have good, probably free data, while in Illinois you sometimes can't get it for any price.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#9
gorillamap

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Make sure you contact every department in the county when looking for GIS data. There may not be an overall GIS structure in place, but one department may have something useful.

If the county in question does not have working GIS layers for its infrastructure, you may want to track down zoning, parcel, or some other type of map that would show the streets and digitize the information. This could take some time depending on county size.

Is there a specific county or region you're interested in?
Mike Pesses
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#10
Guitarman

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Make sure you contact every department in the county when looking for GIS data. There may not be an overall GIS structure in place, but one department may have something useful.

If the county in question does not have working GIS layers for its infrastructure, you may want to track down zoning, parcel, or some other type of map that would show the streets and digitize the information. This could take some time depending on county size.

Is there a specific county or region you're interested in?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

well not really, im just getting into gis and am just trying to get local data. Im specifically looking for greene county missouri. thanks

#11
Dennis McClendon

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Im specifically looking for greene county missouri.

Finally! A geographic clue!

Greene County has a GIS, which it looks like the city of Springfield more or less shares:
Greene County GIS

The website doesn't offer online access to the shapefiles, but doesn't say they're unavailable, either. You'll need to call the county's GIS guy and ask whether they're available and what they cost. Before doing that, you may want to poke around the online viewer to see if they're reasonably good quality and complete. For instance, do they show all dedicated street rights of way, or somehow distinguish ones that are actually driveable from "paper streets?" Do they show highway ramps the way you'd want to show them on a map, or as just a big chunk of right of way owned by MDOT?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#12
Guitarman

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Im specifically looking for greene county missouri.

Finally! A geographic clue!

Greene County has a GIS, which it looks like the city of Springfield more or less shares:
Greene County GIS

The website doesn't offer online access to the shapefiles, but doesn't say they're unavailable, either. You'll need to call the county's GIS guy and ask whether they're available and what they cost. Before doing that, you may want to poke around the online viewer to see if they're reasonably good quality and complete. For instance, do they show all dedicated street rights of way, or somehow distinguish ones that are actually driveable from "paper streets?" Do they show highway ramps the way you'd want to show them on a map, or as just a big chunk of right of way owned by MDOT?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry, was just looking for general information thats why i didnt say a specific county when i first posted. Anyway, thanks for the link.




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