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Digitizers . . . questions . . .

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#1
manopie

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Hello all,

Just some quick questions which will probably not have a quick answers!

note: I'm not currently making maps (except for myself) and am not working in the field -- I just love em!

If I were looking for a low-cost digitizer what would I be looking for? I haven't used one since I was in college and wouldn't know where to look or what to look for.

Would software digitizing be faster or better? I know there are programs out there that will digitize for you but then is the cleanup post-scan and conversion worth the effort?

I enjoyed using the digitizer while in school even though your eyes go buggy after a while and I'd like to get one even for the fun factor -- and maybe get my kidlets involved somehow and someday!

How about a Wacom Tablet? are they able to do what cartographers need or would a dedicated one be better?

I know there are a lot of questions . . . Google is my friend right now and I plan on searching and researching more and more but I figured you fine folks know what's what and who's who so I thought I'd ask!

Any info will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Simon

#2
GISRox

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Simon,

How big of a map do you need to digitize? GTCO more or less has cornered the market on large format digitizing tablets. Calcomp and Summagraphics are now under the GTCO name. If I were you, I would look for a used tablet. Perhaps one of the roll-up models. Just make sure the person selling the used item will warranty it for 30-90 days against failure. I have run across some good deals of eBay every now and again, so that would be a reasonable option.

Another option would be to do heads-up digitizing on a raster scan of the map or graph. This eliminates the tablet, but requires a scanner that is large enough to handle the graphic. A spin off of this is using a program that performs raster to vector conversion. Lot's and lot's of post processing editing involved.

Paul



#3
frax

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there must be tons of large format digitizing boards that are collecting dust all over. I don't know where two we had at my office went, they disappeared a couple of years ago. I am in DC now, visiting an institution here, and next to the desk where I have been working today there is a large digitizer that has an old map taped up (looks very unused).
Hugo Ahlenius
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#4
Rob

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I"ve used this Golden Software product before. Straight forward and easy to use.

http://www.goldensof...er/didger.shtml

Should work with a table, I though I don't know where you could purchase one of those these days.

rj

#5
manopie

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Thanks for the replies folks!

The maps I want to make at least for myself and with the kidlets here at home here are only probably 8.5" x 11" so I can scan them myself with the scanner we have (my dad has a larger format scanner I could use if need be). What sort of software would I use for heads-up digitizing if I use that option? I've tried illustrator to make polys but after that . . . ???

If anyone has one of those old unused digitizers I'd be more than happy to free up their desk space by removing it from their presence! ;-)

The software solution could work as well but I was kind of worried about the time it would take to make it decent in the post-process stage -- I may have to learn that anyway but why do more work when you don't have to!

So far so good guys and gals -- I'll keep my eyes and ears open and I'll keep watching this post in the future!'

Thanks again!

Simon

#6
travelbug

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Since you already have them scanned, Illy is all you need in heads-up digitizing.

#7
manopie

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Illy is good then . . . OK!

Now I'm still interested in digitizers as well . . . so keep those comments coming!

Thanks again!

Simon




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