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Huge AI files from ArcView 9.2

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#1
Francis S.

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I have a rather large ArcView file (a street map) which I am trying to export as AI. The exported files are HUGE (34 meg) and will open in Illustrator 9 PC, but won't open in Freehand 9 PC (well, they will open as a blank box EPS). It eventually needs to get over to Freehand 9 on the Mac. 5 megs would be ideal.

The layout size is 34" x 34". There is an annotation layer with a EMF file of the outlines of the final map pages. Several layers are generating sparse street labels using the standard label engine (I would like to use Maplex, but I need to get the file size WAY down first). Turning off the type doesn't seem to reduce the file size much.

I've set the dpi to 400, which is fine enough to eliminate the stairstep on the line work. The Resample Ratio is 1:3 (Normal).

Charlie Frye had mentioned in the January 07 thread on this topic about Generalization within the data sets. Looks like the Smooth Line and Simplify Line tools are only with ArcEditor and ArcInfo. XToolsPro has a simplify tool, but it adds a lot of points no matter what the B-Spine setting (same with Bezier). Any other ways to generalize in ArcView?

I can't seem to get Illustrator 10's Simplify dialog to have any effect. :(
Francis Stanton
Eagle Eye Maps

eagleeye@chorus.net
http://www.eagleeyemaps.com

#2
ELeFevre

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Francis,

There's some great information on various generalization tools in this thread.

One tool that reallly stands out is the Mapshaper. This may solve your problem. Erin



#3
Mike H

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Open the .ai export files in illy instead of freehand. Then save the illy file, quit illy. Open the illy file again, copy all layers, open a new illy document, and paste. Save and quit. Open that .ai file with freehand. I suppose you could try other flavors, eps, etc, but the .ai should work.

I find the file size drops tremendously as a result of the copy/paste - I think it loses the header file overhead. I quit out of illy between processes so the cache can clear, otherwise it slows down and may crash.

one possible solution anyway.

m.
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#4
Francis S.

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After a day of experimentation...

Getting the file size down was an effort in two areas: deleting features and generalizing the datasets (shapefiles), and doing the copy/paste routine in AI.

There were a bunch of small streams in the hydro set which I really didn't need, so out those went, which helped. The Mapshaper web utility Erin suggested definitely got the file sizes down in the street shapefiles. B) Those efforts got the AI export size down to about 17M from 34M! The ET GeoTools will generalize, but only in an edit session, so you will probably want to export data into a new set for the conversion (didn't experiment with this one much).

The copy/paste routine took the file down to 15M in AI, less than I expected but still a help. Opening and saving the file in FH9 gave me 6.9M, but bear in mind that FH9 (and later) uses compression when saving the files - opening and saving the same file in FH8 (no compression) yields 21M. Makes you want to go 'hmmmmm'.

I did figure out the Illustrator Simplify tool... :P , and ran it twice (pre FH9 conversion) to reduce points as much as possible while preserving shape, but it inceased the file size to 21M. Should I have run it only once? The Simplify settings were 100% and '0'.

An important thing to do when converting AI files to FH files is when in AI, is to group-select within each layer individually, Cut Contents, and then select and delete the outer bounding 'mask'. Not doing this routine prevents type labels from making across the connversion, whether FH is on the PC or the Mac.

Hope this helps others, and thanks again for the tips and thoughts below.
Francis Stanton
Eagle Eye Maps

eagleeye@chorus.net
http://www.eagleeyemaps.com

#5
Francis S.

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Expanding on my most recent post concerning the hydro dataset reduction, here is the path I took and the resultant file sizes (not the most scientific path; should have thinned first...):

Original hydro (streams) set: 19,185 k
Then Dissolved (not all features were 'dissolvable'): 17,331 k
Then thinned of the smaller streams through attribute selection and deletion: 4,586 k
Then Mapshaper-ed: 916 k

The Mapshaper setting was 4% with a 'retained' result of 53%. This really shows the value of generalization!

All of this again informs me that much of drawing publishable maps using GIS is more a matter of deletion of existing data, than the original building of a map, line by line and label by label. Quite a change in the actual execution of the map. Of course, cartographers had to 'delete' data beforehand, simply by not choosing to draw it!
Francis Stanton
Eagle Eye Maps

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http://www.eagleeyemaps.com




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