Jump to content


Best file format for Online Static Maps

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

Sam Pepple

Sam Pepple


  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington D.C.
  • United States

Hello maplovers.

I have been preparing trail maps for a newly created outdoor magazine "zine" and the site is ready to launch.
These maps are created in illustrator with placed relief from photoshop (Natural Scene Designer--> Photoshop).

I am wondering what the best file format to use for posting these static maps on a website. The editor wants the map to sit directly beside the article it supplements. I assumed that I should save them as PDF, so I could preserve the line work. When I do this, various anomolies occur (for example: when zooming in the mask is delayed and the underlying linework and relief are exposed; colors change).

I have been messing around with the save as settings trying to limit the size of my pdf
through compression of color bitmap I have reduced large illy files down to 500k pdf's. Is this small enough?

Attached is a trail map.


Attached Files

Nick Springer

Nick Springer

    CartoTalk Founder Emeritus

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crosswicks, NJ
  • Interests:Cartographic Design, Print Maps, Graphic Design, Web Development, Ultimate Frisbee
  • United States

I would place a smallish PNG or JPG image inline with the article that links to the PDF (with a note to users as to the size).

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC

Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,413 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

Using a thumbnail like Nick suggested is very good solution. Another might be to try zoomify. I have seen it used quite effectively for higher resolution maps.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com

A. Fenix

A. Fenix

    Analisa Fenix

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cascadia
  • Interests:Cartography, PGIS, PPGIS, GIS, Urban/regional Planning, Conservation, Biodiversity/Cultural Diversity, Travel, History, Ecology, Geography, Biking, Gardening, Cooking, Physics, Permaculture, Sky diving, Green Roofs, Music (creating and enjoying), Photography, Carpentry, Film making, Writing...
  • No Country Selected

i have used Nick's solution in a number of cases and it has worked quite well for me. i'm curious about the issues that you were describing with your pdf version. my first suggestion is to uncheck the Preserve illustrator Editing Capabilities box in the save as dialog window within illustrator and check the "Optimize for fast web viewing" box. this will greatly reduce your file size (not that you need to worry to much about size if you've already got them down to 500k), and should start to flatten the image. do you have adobe professional? if so, you can also use the pdf optimizer, to change the image downsampling, transparency, discard objects, and do a general clean up of the pdf. i have had quite a bit of luck when dealing with complex pdf's by doing the above steps.

Analisa Fenix
GIS Manager/Chief Cartographer

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users