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#1
jessz

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I'm an experienced graphic designer but a GIS newbie and need some advice with GIS software. Here's what I need to do:

1. Open shapefiles, reproject them, and export them to Illustrator.
2. Open commonly used elevation data (mostly SRTM, NED, and GTOPO30), reproject it, and export it to a Photoshop-readable format for further processing.
3. Ideally, I'd like to combine the output from steps 1 and 2 into something that is reasonably well registered (georeferenced).
4. I don't need to do any fancy data analysis or geoprocessing -- I'm creating maps for textbooks and editorial publications, not sophisticated market analysis, etc.

I have Global Mapper (full version), which handles the raster data pretty well. I know MAPublisher will handle the shapefiles, but I'd rather not spend $1200. I don't have access to Arc. I'd like to find one package that can do all of these things, but am willing to use multiple apps -- should I try Manifold? Any advice would be appreciated.

#2
ELeFevre

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If this is something your going to be doing on a regular basis and want to keep the cost to a minimum... buy Manifold.



#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Personally, for reprojecting and exporting raster data, I prefer Global Mapper over Manifold. Global Mapper also exports to DXF and it has a great option to batch conversion/reprojection processes.

Unfortunately, DXF is a less than suitable format for going back and forth (in fact, as an FME guy, it really pains me to even mention this method), but it will allow you to get reprojected data into Illustrator.

If you want a bit more control, go for the cheapest Manifold option. It has AI and PDF export, which are rather decent. Also, I personally find Manifold to be better for visualisation than Global Mapper.
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#4
mdsumner

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Manifold's "out of the box" batch processing is pretty limited, but it's easy to script things like reprojection and so on. Manifold also has the bonus of creating auxiliary metadata for all of its exports that gives a full description of the coordinate system used, so even spatial-dumb formats like DXF and BMP are completely solid for back and forth through Manifold. I haven't had any problem with image exports, but for surfaces the choice is limited - you can't export surfaces to GeoTIFF yet, which sucks - I usually use SDTS or some other thing with a manual workaround.

Many lament the lack of real cartographic tools for Manifold's layouts, but I don't use that stuff much and for what I do use it seems pretty good to me.

You can try it for 30 days and get a refund if it's no good. Manifold develops FAST so you can't lose in terms of value for money if you keep up to date.

Join us on www.georeference.org for help with scripting, and anything else.

#5
ProMapper

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It is interesting to note that you have Global Mapper and still need some other software to do the job of reconverting. You can directly read Shape files in GM and then convert it to dxf/dwg (a bit of trial and error is required) to be imported by Illustrator comfortably. It would be a good strategy to import single shape files and keep creating various layers.

The SRTM data can be saved as tiff (8 bit) and can be read in Photoshop in grey scales, though it gives a totally different image. Or you can just download 3DEM and then display SRTM data to create 3D landscapes and the same can be exported as JPG/BMP/Tiff format images. Even GM can do this.

Another good software is 3DRenderer which can create stunning landscapes with DEM data. Here one needs to convert SRTM to USGS DEM format for creating these images.

In the end if I could be of any help I sure would chip in my bit, do let me know at promapper@gmail.com.

http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#6
frax

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Promapper - could you please guide me to where to learn more about this '3drenderer' that you mention? Just curious in new tools that might be useful... :)

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#7
James Hines

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Unfortunately, DXF is a less than suitable format for going back and forth (in fact, as an FME guy, it really pains me to even mention this method), but it will allow you to get reprojected data into Illustrator.

I would stay away from exporting any Manifold data into dxf if your going to import it into Illustrator. You cannot directly import dxf files after exportation out of Manifold into Illustrator, it will not read the files. The only way to fix that is to bring the files into FME, only after reprojecting & saving the dxf file that was exported out of Manifold will it import in Illustrator.

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#8
François Goulet

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Promapper - could you please guide me to where to learn more about this '3drenderer' that you mention? Just curious in new tools that might be useful... :)


Could be MapRender 3D. I download the trial last month but didn't have the time to try it...

#9
ProMapper

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Promapper - could you please guide me to where to learn more about this '3drenderer' that you mention? Just curious in new tools that might be useful... :)


Could be MapRender 3D. I download the trial last month but didn't have the time to try it...

You are right it is Map Render 3D. The image of Jordan which I uploaded a few days back was done with the same software. Just try it and if you need some style libraries do let me know.

http://www.mapsandlocations.com




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