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Arc to Illustrator. HELP!

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#1
terravista

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Hi,
I'm an experienced GIS guy but I have never worked with AI. I have a client that has asked me to supply him with some TIGER road files for use in AI. I'm using Arc 9.2 with maplex and the map he wants covers all of Long Island, NY, with every street showing, and most labelled. His final map will be roughly 8'x5'. He would like other layers such as landmarks, water, etc. and labeled as well.
I have gathered all of the TIGER files and brought them into arc. From what I heard, it's best to dissolve as much as possible, which I have done. I am basically left now with a mxd layout of all of Long Island with the maplex labels locked. I'm not sure where to go from here? I sent him a small sample area and there were some issues:

"the street names are not intact in the Illustrator file; that is they appear as individual letters, not words, and are therefore not scaleable or editable"

How do I resolve this in Arc? Also, is it best to extract each road class into a separate layer, symbolize differently and apply unique font styles/size to the labeling before exporting? I've also heard that it's best to export as EPS?

Any help would be appreciated. I don't have AI so it's difficult for me to test out all the different options. I attached a sample area pdf file for reference.

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#2
Unit Seven

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Any curved text will be broken up into seperate letters, poeple requesting data from a gis or cad package to use in Illustrator have to realise where the data is coming from and what the short falls are. Either the data will not be well laid out or will not be perfect to edit (curved text is the perfect example).

The way I would look at doing this would be place the text straight along the path and not broken over multiple lines or spaced. You could also provide a layer of simple road centre lines which he could then use to build his text on a path within Illustrator.

Also find setting your export res to 7200 keeps the numbers 'nice'. Even though it's vector the resolution affects where nodes are placed—10,000dpi is the highest Arc exports at I think and 7200 is an even multiple of the postscript points that Illustrator works in.

I have found ai the best format to use, I have had occasions of bringing eps files (which work fine through a postscript rip) into Illustrator and having things go wrong, admittedly these were files from Microstation via CADscript and not from Arc but upon investigation was told Illustrator isn't a full postscript interpreter. This is what makes me think ai files would be safer, and anyway ai files keep the layers you set in Arc, I think eps' lose these.

You will really want Illustrator to look at these files while you are exporting them to see what we and your client are talking about I think—maybe download the demo if you don't have a copy where you are.

Hope this helps a bit, there are a lot of people here with a lot more experience in this than me—I'm sure others will add more.
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#3
MapMedia

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You can also customize the max pixels Arc exports to AI file by making a mod using regedit.

#4
terravista

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Any curved text will be broken up into seperate letters, poeple requesting data from a gis or cad package to use in Illustrator have to realise where the data is coming from and what the short falls are. Either the data will not be well laid out or will not be perfect to edit (curved text is the perfect example).

The way I would look at doing this would be place the text straight along the path and not broken over multiple lines or spaced. You could also provide a layer of simple road centre lines which he could then use to build his text on a path within Illustrator.

Also find setting your export res to 7200 keeps the numbers 'nice'. Even though it's vector the resolution affects where nodes are placed—10,000dpi is the highest Arc exports at I think and 7200 is an even multiple of the postscript points that Illustrator works in.

I have found ai the best format to use, I have had occasions of bringing eps files (which work fine through a postscript rip) into Illustrator and having things go wrong, admittedly these were files from Microstation via CADscript and not from Arc but upon investigation was told Illustrator isn't a full postscript interpreter. This is what makes me think ai files would be safer, and anyway ai files keep the layers you set in Arc, I think eps' lose these.

You will really want Illustrator to look at these files while you are exporting them to see what we and your client are talking about I think—maybe download the demo if you don't have a copy where you are.

Hope this helps a bit, there are a lot of people here with a lot more experience in this than me—I'm sure others will add more.

Thanks for the tips. I redid 2 samples using straight lines for text, one with the standard Arc label engine, and one with Maplex and bumped up the dpi from 720 to 7200 like you said. I sent them to the client for review. I downloaded the AI install from Adobe but it won't load onto Vista unfortunately.




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