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Converting Plates to PDFs?

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#1
RonInNJ

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Hello All,

I hope I am posting this to the right area. I have several black and white, stable-base, open-file geologic plates (36 x 48 inches). I would like to scan, color fill several small areas on the plates (unit description boxes), and convert to portable docment format (PDF) files for download. I want each plate as a separate PDF.

I have access to a large-format color scanner, Adobe Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, and several other graphics and vector programs. The plates are on clear acetate (mylar). Which file format should I use when scanning (TIFF, JPEG, ...)? What method can I use to color the unit description boxes? I need reasonable file sizes for the PDFs (30 megabytes max).

Is this fantasy or can it be done? Thanks.

Ron :huh:

#2
Kartograph

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Hello Ron,

What I understand of what you want to do would be no big task, e.g. it should be very doable. You will run into filesize problems though. For scanning, you should use a lossless filetype at first, which yould be TIFF. This will result in a rather large filesize. Try scanning at 150 dpi, that should be enough for this kind of task.
Then you would import/place your TIFF into Adobe Illustrator, draw your polygons and colour them. It could be smart to open the TIFF in photoshop first, and resize it until it's small enough for you. Export to GIF or png-8 will further make the file smaller. JPG will produce artifacts and distort your lines, so do try not to use it.
Then you would export into pdf from Illustrator.
This would result in a modified raster image of the plates. If you want to vectorize/digitize your old geological maps, than the problem is a bit different.

Hope this helps.

#3
Dennis McClendon

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In Photoshop, you might investigate using indexed color, which will allow you to set everything on the layer to exactly the same color. Because you have large areas of flat color, run-length-encoding compression in GIF or PNG formats will make the end product surprisingly small file sizes.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
RonInNJ

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Kartograph,

Thank you. At 150 dpi I obtained a 15 megabyte grey-scale PDF. I added the other 3 color plates into the document and the resulting PDF was 29 megabytes.

Chicarto,

I will investigate. In this case, smaller is better.

Ron




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