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Memory issues when using Illustrator/Mapublisher

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#1
Claude

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I have just completed a major wall map project in Illustrator (using Mapublisher and was just starting another when I gave up and decided to go back to my trusty old GIS (MapInfo) for tthe bigger projects. Completing the last project took me several times as long as it would have in MapInfo due to memory issues. Although I have a spiffy new 3.4 ghz pc that has 2 gig of RAM, it still can't seem to handle the several thousand features that my new project includes. I thought I'd throw this out to this forum since I can't believe that I'm the only one out there with huge numbers of features and I see from the poll that many of you are using the Illy/Mappublisher combo. I understand from Avenza's support pages that Illustrator runs slower than a GIS because it loads all the feautres into the pc's memory instead of pointing to separate files as a GIS does. I love the design features and text controls within Illustrator so I really want to make this work on my big projects as well as my small ones.

For line features, I've simplified lines as much as i can without changing their paths significantly and for imported GIS layers, i've deleted as many columns of data as i can part with. not sure what else to try.
Any suggestions?
thanks,
claude
Platts, a div. of McGraw-Hill
www.maps.platts.com


#2
Hans van der Maarel

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This is odd. Only several thousand features you say? I'm routinely doing this (city-wide street maps) and I'm not seeing any irritating delays. Does it just get slow or does it become totally unworkable?
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#3
Rick Dey

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Claude

There is no doubt that the AI/MAPublisher combo is slower than working in a straight GIS program. I Find that there seems to be a breaking point of around 5000 items when applying text where it can become rather time consuming (in excess of half an hour). A recent project had 12,000 segments to apply text and on my 2.5ghz Dual G5 with 2 gb I let it run overnight, I know that it took longer than 4 hours but it was ready to go in the morning. These however are pretty extreme cases.

The real problem is that Illustrator is really a drawing program, when you speak to the people at Adobe and mention that you have 10-20,000 text items and over a third of those are path type their jaws drop and they say that well it really wasn't designed for that kind of use. As cartographers we typically only use a very tiny portion of the power of Illustrator but that portion we use we do push to the max.

I have found that when working with really large GIS bases, I'll start in ArcView, trim down the scope of the files as much as possible and so some of the heavy lifting there before exporting out to shape files to use in MAPublisher. I would also suggest using the latest version of MAPublisher, since 6.1 there have been some huge improvements in the responsiveness of the program.

BTW I recently update my system to OS 10.4 and to my horror MAPublisher no longer functioned. I upgraded and installed version 6.2, and it has been working flawlessly since then (this is with AI 10.0.3, we have too many legacy files to be able to change to the new CS type engine).
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#4
Claude

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what happens is that i start getting error messages like "Can't open illustration" or "not enough memory to open illustration", unexpected crashes when i do manage to get it open and work generally just grinds to a halt. moving labels can take an unbearably long time and I haven't even created one of the dozen or so insets to the map. i am hopeful that once i get Illy CS2, that i will get a bit better performance as i've heard it's a bit faster and more stable.
when i say thousands of features i am referring to point features but there are also detailed labeled, line features with a couple hundred thosand nodes. but i also use label layers that are created in my GIS and then imported in to Illustrator rather than just using Mapublishers labeling functions...so maybe having those layers as imported GIS layers rather than as text in Illy is contributing to my probs??

also, just wanted to say how glad I am to find this forum! i find that the Mapinfo list is much too technically GIS code oriented and the Illustrator list doesn't necessarily understand topics related to cartographic issues. So, it's good to be here.
Platts, a div. of McGraw-Hill
www.maps.platts.com


#5
mike

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i had similar problems doing a very large project last year. i was receiving similar error codes like "can't open illustration" or "error, can't preview", etc. my main issue was the number of nodes in a closed polygon. i think it had roughly 13,000 nodes. it was a very detailed base map of Hong Kong and it's surrounding areas. i had to simplify the polygons using the simply path tool. i struck a balance having enough detail with the right amount of nodes, but that took me a while to get to. oh yeah, i was working on a 2.4ghz PC with 1gb of ram on a central server.

to speed performance, try making sure your computer is up to date and well maintained, defragged/speed disked, etc. see if more RAM and changing your virtual memory settings might help.

also, turn off any layers you might not need. this will decrease the amount of drawing time in preview mode. there is always the option to turn the preview quality to a lower setting.

#6
Claude

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i'll try simplifying lines further, these are utility transmission and gas pipelines and can get very complex. not a straight line among them. i've simplified the geography dramatically but tried to retain detail on the infrastructure as much as possible. guess i'll just have to simplify. thanks for the advice.

hey wait a sec Mike, shouldn't you be using arcmap?
Platts, a div. of McGraw-Hill
www.maps.platts.com


#7
Nick Springer

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I finally purchased MapPublisher for my self, but I haven't played with it much yet. I did however have a long chat with Ted Florence, the President of Avenza and I mentioned this discussion topic. He told me that the issue is with Illustrator limits on nodes and objects per layer. His suggestion was simplification, or spliting things into more layers.

Unfortunately as we have all noted, Adobe doesn't seem to think about us Cartographers specifically. But, there is hope. Ted told me that there is an upcoming article in Adobe's online magazine, Proxy, about cartography and MapPublisher. Maybe this means they are think a little bit more about us.

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#8
Claude

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Avenza's support staff are solid and I've talked with Ted fairly regulary on various support issues but decided to bring it up here since I frequently find user forums more help than actual support staff since they are working out problems day to day rather than on an ad hoc basis.
weird thing is that even when I've broken layers into multiple smaller files i still hit the same limits so maybe there's a max # of features that illy will handle regardless of how they are split up.

sure hope that Adobe comes up with something, might be cool if there was an illustrator version that reached out and grabbed separate files as a GIS does. or maybe the GIS firms could steal some ideas like symbol & swatch libraries, anti-aliasing, gradients, advanced text tools, etc.

cheers,
Claude
Platts, a div. of McGraw-Hill
www.maps.platts.com


#9
Martin Gamache

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If MApubluisher labelling is being too slow perhaps try to export labels created in Mapinfo ( as a PDF) or ARC (as and AI file) directly. I think that in general the labelling engines of these programs (especially if using some more sophisticated labeling plug-in such as Maplex or MapText) is more powerful than Mapublisher. Exporting the labels with a a reference layer at the same scale you need it and georeferencing it is fairly easy and circumvents the type of problem you seem to be having. Once you've got the labels in Illustrator you can split them up onto different layers to increase the efficiency.
I have not used mapublisher since leaving the last job where we had it, and find that the Illustrator export out of my two main GIS programs handles all of my needs fairly well. I have not worked with MapInfo in 3 years but I know that I could create PDFs fairly easily with it and open those in Illustrator for further editing.

#10
mike

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hey wait a sec Mike, shouldn't you be using arcmap?

heheh.... i do use ArcMap.... now. but i was taking an example of when i was training in cartography at school. we mainly used illustrator mapublisher.

#11
chauncey

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Hello Claude and CartoTalkers,
Uh, I know that this is a 2 yr old thread but i am up against the wall between ArcMap 9.1 and AI CS 1,,, any thing new out there for me to use to make me make my boss buy MaPublisher, like tomorrow?

I can not adjust ( ie MOVE) the 2-5 mb .svg or .ai or .eps or anything much out of arc map exported to .ai, or .svg or .eps all are too big and give insufficient memory errors... that is RAM right? i have 2.5 GB RAM on Win XPro (using Pentium 4 , 2.8 gb, Hyper thread on or off) and hear that MS win XP will not use much more...max 4, more than 2 dubious,

i just need to "move" (register) the export vector, raster etc from Amap to AI... but even just the Anno layers (three? ) from one map lock my work and home computer's install of A I 10 and CS ver 1.....

One googles MapUBLISHER and you can t even get a price, let alone old school features like details of convert ArcMap to AI, all about .kml these days... any advice for the print impaired?


please advise

thanks,

chaunceygraves@gmail.com

Avenza's support staff are solid and I've talked with Ted fairly regulary on various support issues but decided to bring it up here since I frequently find user forums more help than actual support staff since they are working out problems day to day rather than on an ad hoc basis.
weird thing is that even when I've broken layers into multiple smaller files i still hit the same limits so maybe there's a max # of features that illy will handle regardless of how they are split up.

sure hope that Adobe comes up with something, might be cool if there was an illustrator version that reached out and grabbed separate files as a GIS does. or maybe the GIS firms could steal some ideas like symbol & swatch libraries, anti-aliasing, gradients, advanced text tools, etc.



cheers,
Claude



#12
mattm

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Hi Chauncey,

If you visit the Avenza website www.avenza.com you will be able to find out some more information about MAPublisher's features and benefits. You will be also be able to download a demo copy of MAPublisher as well. Our newest version 7.5 is due out this week and will be compatible with both Adobe Illustrator CS2 and CS3. My advice would be to download an Illustrator CS3 demo from Adobe and try MAPublisher 7.5 with that. This combo will be the most optimized in regards to memory issues.

MAPublisher will allow a user to import a variety of vector geographic data files such as shapefiles directly into Illustrator for use. The associated coordinate system with the file will be recognized as well as all of the attribute information associated with the file will be imported and available for use in the mapping process. The data can then be reprojected and scaled to a desired projection and then further manipulated. Additionally MAPublisher will give the user the ability to place and register their raster data such as a GeoTIFF for use as well.

MAPublisher also offers many other cartographic features such as labeling and Grid creation.

If you have any question regarding MAPublisher's capabilities please feel free to contact Doug Smith via email at doug@avenza.com or by telephone at (416)-487-5116.

Thanks
[size=1]Matt Murray

#13
rudy

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This is timely as we are currently considering our future technology options. I still wonder about the file size limitations (more of an Illustrator issue I think). Does anyone have any idea as to what the file size limits are in Illustrator CS3? I have a copy of that - if someone could tell me where to look, I'd be able to find out.

#14
Martin Gamache

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Hello Claude and CartoTalkers,
Uh, I know that this is a 2 yr old thread but i am up against the wall between ArcMap 9.1 and AI CS 1,,, any thing new out there for me to use to make me make my boss buy MaPublisher, like tomorrow?

I can not adjust ( ie MOVE) the 2-5 mb .svg or .ai or .eps or anything much out of arc map exported to .ai, or .svg or .eps all are too big and give insufficient memory errors... that is RAM right? i have 2.5 GB RAM on Win XPro (using Pentium 4 , 2.8 gb, Hyper thread on or off) and hear that MS win XP will not use much more...max 4, more than 2 dubious,



I'm not sure what the problem is with your machine or installations but a 2-5 mb file should not cause these issues. Maybe host the file somewhere and we can check it for other types of problems...but that size should not be causing the problems you describe.

#15
MapMedia

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On projects with thousands of text items in one layer, Illy CS3 slows down, even with tons of ram etc.
My fix is to split the layers with thousands of text items into multiple layers, sometimes up to 15 layers, then when all is done I can compile into one layer.
Hope this helps.




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