Jump to content

 
Photo

Cartographic Representations

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1
peanut

peanut

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX
  • United States

Has anyone tried the new cartographic representations in ArcGIS 9.2? What do you think?

Does anyone think the tools in ArcMap will ever get to the point where export and finishing in Illustrator or Freehand won't be necessary?

Rich

#2
CHART

CHART

    Chart

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 358 posts
  • No Country Selected

Does anyone think the tools in ArcMap will ever get to the point where export and finishing in Illustrator or Freehand won't be necessary?

Rich


I think this will happen. You can produce some pretty maps with GIS software alone. GIS software now have more cartographic features. However if you take a look at the Illustrator - MapPublisher combo, you are seeing more GIS features in a Graphic software. So for me it is just a matter of choosing the right tool for the job (without overspending).
Chart

#3
David T

David T

    GIS Manager, USMC, MCIWEST-MCB Camp Pendleton

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, California
  • United States

Dear Mr. Dangermon,
It's wonderful that you have recognized the need for additional cartographic tools. I only wish you would recognize the benefits of adding this type of functionality "cartographic representations" to your base product. Unfortunately what you consider to be your base product and what many of your loyal customers consider to be your base product, are not the same. Sir, we find ourselves at a stalemate. Why not be a pal among pals and add the new "carto reps" code to the Arcview seat? It's not like you don't have a massive catalogue of crazy extensions and confusing license levels to keep the heat and lights on! Don't you want see the maximum potential of your new representations? Sincerely, Mr. Erin LeFevre:)


I'll play devil's advocate here, and discuss why I think the Cartographic Representations weren't added to the ArcView license.

I support 85 users running ArcGIS. Although I have deployed ArcInfo licenses to all of those users, I'd say that 95% of them don't use ArcGIS beyond the capabilities available to the ArcView user. Those users are by no means advanced users. Most of their GIS use is for environmental planning, where they may be pulling up some geographic data to compare project boundaries to natural resources (for example). If they need a map, it's so they can walk down the hall with it, talk to some other department about a natural resource, and then move on to the next thing.

Making maps (good maps or bad maps, doesn't matter) - it's the last thing on their mind. No matter how many classes I teach to my users about what makes a good map, and what items they need on a map - they are not cartographers. They never will be. They care about as much about making good maps as I do about the different species of endangered birds we have - they all represent a dot of geographic data to me. It doesn't matter to me if it's a bird or a fire hydrant. And they don't care if a map is missing a legend, or how to get away from a default color scheme. If they need a nice, professional map, they come to me.

The Cartographic Representations really are for the more advanced users. I know that there is no one else in my office that will benefit directly from the Cartographic Representations. I will certainly use them. My job is to go beyond the making of a graphic. I make maps, publications that go outside of the office. Representing both my command and my Base, I need to have the cartographic ability to make good looking products (something that's been lacking in ArcGIS without a lot of effort and/or data manipulation).

Is this cost effective for the small users? Not really. I can understand your frustration. In your case, you'd use it if it were available to you. But it's not cost effective for you to pick up a full license. In my case, we have lots and lots of full licenses, but I'm one of the 'small' users. But, I get to benefit from it. And I bet there are lots of 'me' out there - large ESRI customers, with a small segment inside those numbers, that would use it, and benefit from it's availability.

It is a bummer it's not available in the ArcView license.
David Toney, GISP
GIS Manager
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations

#4
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

Does anyone think the tools in ArcMap will ever get to the point where export and finishing in Illustrator or Freehand won't be necessary?



Sure it is possible - even very soon, but image a single package for the sake of a single package, doing GIS and design quality work as one. It would be a monster program: essentially 2 programs in 1. Don't think there is a big enough demand for that. And isn't it nice to have these two distinct entities separate? The two markets (GIS and design) compete within their markets to build the best product, constantly revising and supporting the software. My interest is keeping them separate, but making the BRIDGE between the two programs better.

#5
peanut

peanut

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX
  • United States

Great comments!!!

I have heard several ESRI representatives ask what it would take for cartographers to complete the whole design process in ArcMap. So it seems they are wanting folks to work within ArcMap from beginning to end.

My feeling is that the ArcMap to Illustrator solution will always give me more flexibility in the final output.

If the following three functions were added to ArcMap I would work from beginning to end in ArcMap 80% of the time:

1) The ability to convert fonts to outlines as you can in Illustrator.

2) Support for Pantone Colors.

3) True vector transparency. It is really annoying that you have to export polygons as a solid fill out of ArcMap to keep ArcMap from rasterizing all of the layers below the transparent layer. You still want the tranparency so you add the transparency back when you get the file over to Illustrator. Has this been fixed in 9.2?

Rich

#6
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

A follow-up thought on the BRIDGE idea. It would be excellent to have a "Migrate Project to AI" button in ArcMap.

Even better, with two monitors, drag the ArcMap project view to AI and just swivel the chair!

#7
Rob

Rob

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kailua, Hawaii
  • Interests:anything outside.
  • United States

3) True vector transparency. It is really annoying that you have to export polygons as a solid fill out of ArcMap to keep ArcMap from rasterizing all of the layers below the transparent layer. You still want the tranparency so you add the transparency back when you get the file over to Illustrator. Has this been fixed in 9.2?


a quick test in 9.2 shows this problem has not been fix. wtfg!!!

#8
Geographic Techniques

Geographic Techniques

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Location:Mount Horeb, WI
  • United States


3) True vector transparency. It is really annoying that you have to export polygons as a solid fill out of ArcMap to keep ArcMap from rasterizing all of the layers below the transparent layer. You still want the tranparency so you add the transparency back when you get the file over to Illustrator. Has this been fixed in 9.2?


a quick test in 9.2 shows this problem has not been fix. wtfg!!!

Nope. And with PDF exports... Although exporting PDF's are much better now with layering capabilities, transparent layers and those below it get exported as one "image" layer.
Douglas Norgord, Geographic Techniques
www.geotechmap.com

#9
peanut

peanut

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX
  • United States

a quick test in 9.2 shows this problem has not been fix. wtfg!!!


That is really unfortunate.

#10
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,049 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, musical instruments, reading, hiking, craft beer
  • United States

It doesn't look like this functionality was included in the new Service Pack 1 either. Although, I haven't had the time to look through all of the changes.



#11
tnoyes

tnoyes

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • United States

Graphics packages like Illustrator and Freehand are nimble and fast; ArcMap "graphics" are chunky, difficult to edit, and they're little anarchists. Ex: To change all fonts from <this>2<that>... in FH lock the layers you need unchanged, then find/replace the fonts. Done in seconds.

Also, ~everything~ in graphics apps. are assigned to layers. None of this "I'm a graphic now, I'm a free agent independently floating in space."

Hotkeys. Finessing can be zippy in FH/AI b/c your hands don't have to leave the keyboard for every little change. Plus you watch the editing as you go instead of drilling down 42 clicks, set, hitting <OK> 42 times ... crap, that's not right... repeat.

ArcMap is awesome and I need it to make maps. But where legitimate graphics are needed, it's just not productive. The default visual is often crude, print shops can't use the files exported from it, and the graphic/cartographic aspects of it are too limited or inaccessible.

I vote ESRI sticks with mapping, Apple, Adobe, etc. stick with graphics, and nere dee 2 shall meet.
t.

Great comments!!!

I have heard several ESRI representatives ask what it would take for cartographers to complete the whole design process in ArcMap. So it seems they are wanting folks to work within ArcMap from beginning to end.

My feeling is that the ArcMap to Illustrator solution will always give me more flexibility in the final output.

If the following three functions were added to ArcMap I would work from beginning to end in ArcMap 80% of the time:

1) The ability to convert fonts to outlines as you can in Illustrator.

2) Support for Pantone Colors.

3) True vector transparency. It is really annoying that you have to export polygons as a solid fill out of ArcMap to keep ArcMap from rasterizing all of the layers below the transparent layer. You still want the tranparency so you add the transparency back when you get the file over to Illustrator. Has this been fixed in 9.2?

Rich



#12
merft

merft

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 86 posts
  • Location:Colorado
  • United States



3) True vector transparency. It is really annoying that you have to export polygons as a solid fill out of ArcMap to keep ArcMap from rasterizing all of the layers below the transparent layer. You still want the tranparency so you add the transparency back when you get the file over to Illustrator. Has this been fixed in 9.2?


a quick test in 9.2 shows this problem has not been fix. wtfg!!!

Nope. And with PDF exports... Although exporting PDF's are much better now with layering capabilities, transparent layers and those below it get exported as one "image" layer.


Unfortunately, the transparency issue is not a bug, it is coded correctly. This is an issue I have hounded ESRI about for years. Unlike most graphic applications (Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, AutoCAD, Microstation, etc.) today which use custom print and export routines. ArcGIS utilizes the Windows GDI for printing and exporting. Simply put, everything has to be washed through EMF format before being converted to the final output format. Though this is a logical process from a coding standpoint, the EMF format does not support fonts, alpha channels, CMYK color spaces and a variety of other "slightly" important things. All the functionality that has been added is through hacks in the export process.

ESRI was supposed to release a new print/export engine in 9.0 but that was scrapped (per Mark St. Onge, 2002). There was a possibility of ESRI purchasing a print/export engine but inclusion in a 9.x version but the latest I heard is not to expect to see anything until at least 10.x (don't remember the guy I terrorized in Printing group at the last ESRI conference). With that said, it is not a high priority and I would not expect to see it fixed for at least another 3-5 years.

You can do a lot more in ArcGIS that previously but is hampered by its coding environment.

#13
Unit Seven

Unit Seven

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Zealand
  • New Zealand

I see this print engine being the biggest hindrence - untill they comeup with something more compatible with standard postscript features I see problems. Things that come to mind:

Postscript patterning to reduce size of patterned areas.
Beziers curves able to be exported.
Spot colours.
Overprint settings.

Some of these may be there already as I have hardly used arc but come from a Microstaion enironment but experience of arc has been clunky in a map production environment. Like many users here I find it better to keep arc for geo-processing etc.
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#14
DaveB

DaveB

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,053 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Redlands, CA
  • United States

I wouldn't say it's not a high priority, but it's not trivial either (in terms of building/implementing, as well as in terms of what it means for users). Better to have them spend the time to get it right rather than rush out something half-baked, don't you think?
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#15
Martin Gamache

Martin Gamache

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Topographic Cartography
    Topographic Mapping
    History of Relief Depiction
    Thematic Cartography
    Demographic Cartography
    Cartographic techniques, methods, and tools
    Orienteering
    Panoramic &amp; Kite Photography
  • United States

I wouldn't say it's not a high priority, but it's not trivial either (in terms of building/implementing, as well as in terms of what it means for users). Better to have them spend the time to get it right rather than rush out something half-baked, don't you think?


I agree with both your points.

IMO it's not a high priority and requires a great deal of resources to solve. It's also somewhat OS/third party related so the investment may be short term until some new windows quirk down the road renders it less optimal.

I've learnt to work around it by now.

mg




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->