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Illustrator to GIS?

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#16
Dennis McClendon

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My datasets are relatively simple in presentation, with maybe 15 layers and 20 styles in the most complex file(downtown building footprints). I'm not too scared of the process needed to get those vectors into GIS, even if it means reassigning all the line weights and colors, or even registering them all to a common frame rectangle.

But what is the easiest way to add the attributes? Ideally, I envision some magic software where I could draw a "link" onscreen between the object representing a building and the row in a database table representing the same object. In earlier versions of MAPublisher, it seemed like I would have to type the attribute data very painstakingly, one building at a time. Would this be easier to do on the GIS side, if I have only a basic ArcGIS license?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#17
Martin Gamache

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Dennis,

I dont undertsnad how your attribute data is currently stored or exists. Is it a stand alone table? In FH how do you use the attribute data and how is it curently linked to map objects?

The magic bullet you are looking for can only be done if you have some sort of way to link geography and attributes. that could be as easy as a lat/long value for the centroid of a building footprint that could be used to create a point for the spatial data.

#18
GISRox

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What if a georeferenced backdrop was used and some "invisible" vector objects were overlain on the image to provide attribute retrieval? Sort of like an HTML image hotmap?



#19
MapMedia

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Regarding basic Illy to GIS w/o bells & whistles: find a projected GIS shapefile that represents a wide ranging shape in your Illy project (i.e. basemap county, states, etc.). Copy the Illy graphic to clipboard and paste in GIS with this shapefile showing. As a graphic, select all/group, and manually move the graphic to overlay the shapefile. That's the general practice - takes lots of fiddling around with it to get the process just right. Never tried it with many complex Illy layers.

Regarding stroke/color etc: you will lose this and need to redefine in GIS.

Maybe Avenza has a clue on how to do this?

#20
Derek Tonn

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Wow, excellent feedback, everyone! B)

I spoke with the client on the phone again this afternoon, and essentially what they are hoping to accomplish is the development of a "pretty" planemetric map that can double within existing GIS software applications that their Plant and Public Safety departments are already using, avoiding the need to have to maintain two separate sets of "2D" maps going forward. The current "GIS" maps that the college has are a bit outdated and visually cumbersome, so our client (in the Public Relations/Communications department) was simply hoping that a more attractive, "cleaner" map design in Illustrator might be able to be back-loaded into ArcView/ArcInfo and also serve the needs of Plant/Public Safety as well. Two maps for the price of one, if you will.

I've essentially shared many of your comments about some of the opportunities and limitations of moving from AI into GIS. It's not a "deal-breaker" for the client....just something on their "wish list" as they try to further consolidate mapping on their campus and avoid any unnecessary spending and/or redundancies in the mapping and wayfinding area of their responsibilities. All of your EXCELLENT feedback has definitely helped, however, and I greatly appreciate it.

I loved Jacques "reverse engineering" comment too, as that is my Middle Name when it comes to web design. Put me in front of a blank screen and ask me to code something and I would struggle, but stick a few pages of code in front of me and I can eventually find the semi-colon or "param" that is causing a page or interactive graphic to malfunction. Most web design IS "reverse engineering", it seems, learning from the work of others than tweaking/hacking it to make it your own and/or make it better! ;)
Derek Tonn
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#21
Dennis McClendon

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I don't understand how your attribute data is currently stored or exists. Is it a stand alone table? In FH how do you use the attribute data and how is it curently linked to map objects?


At the moment, I've got no attribute data. But I've got a standalone list of building names/addresses/years/architects that would cover nearly half my buildings.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#22
Hans van der Maarel

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At the moment, I've got no attribute data. But I've got a standalone list of building names/addresses/years/architects that would cover nearly half my buildings.


You can geocode those and overlay them with the exported building polygons. A bit crude and probabely not 100% accurate, but it'd be a start.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#23
Martin Gamache

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Once you got the points geocoded, you could manually move them into the correct building then do a spatial join if you wanted to pass the attributes on to the buildings.

#24
trailmap.us

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I've done something similar to AI -> ArcGIS. Actually, what I did was to bring a tax map that was available as a PDF into ArcGIS.

Before I get into what I did, I'll mention that I started off in cartography through Orienteering cartography and OCAD. I now use a large collection of different tools including ArcGIS, AI, GIMP, and GRASS. Browsing through the posts here, I haven't heard much about OCAD, but it really is quite a useful tool, at least the professional versions 8 and 9, which allow database backends (though fairly crude). I think some people see OCAD as kind of a more simple "toy", but I find it a great way to assemble and draw lots of georferenced data before exporting into AI for final editting for printing.

Anyway, I opened the tax map PDF in AI and saved it as an AI file. Then I imported it into OCAD. The specific attributes from the PDF/AI file aren't carried in, but OCAD does recognize the different layers that the data originally belonged to, so in OCAD, you can define "symbols" that are the same as the original AI art work (i.e. line width, color) and assign each layer to that symbol.

I then exported the OCAD file to a shapefile. Again, you lose the art work, but not the fact that they are different layers.

You have to georeference the file. This can be done either in OCAD or in ArcGIS. Just make sure you have the right projection set up before you pull the ungeoreferenced file into OCAD or ArcGIS. The tax maps I was pulling in had projection information plus UTM ticks so georeferencing them was trivial.

#25
Paul M.

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Hello everyone!

Forgive the simple question from a non-GIS designer, but have any of you had to ever try and convert .ai output into forms that are suitable for ArcView or ArcInfo? And if so, how did (do) you do it? I've seen several threads in CartoTalk that have talked about converting GIS output into .ai files, but not the other way around.

I assume that trying to go from .ai to GIS would result in a big, muddy mess. However, a client of ours had their security office ask if a new planemetric map of their campus could "easily" import into ArcView for other data/planning applications, so I am tracking down the answer for them as best I can.

I am "GIS-challenged".....so if anyone out there is willing to take pity on me and set me straight on this particular topic, I would greatly appreciate it! B)


hi,

i have the exact same issue that i need to overcome, and it seems that this thread might just point me in the right direction.
thanks




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