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software suggestions for creating printed maps

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#1
Bryan Keith

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I've looked through the postings here, and it seems to me that most folks are using MapPublisher or ArcMap to make printed maps. What are some other options?

I'm looking for software to make high-quality small printed maps for reports. We have raster and vector data in a variety of formats. The ideal solution would handle PostGIS data in native format (not make another copy of the data). I would like a lot of control over raster color-mapping, be able to label vector datasets, and be able to turn off features in a vector dataset (e.g. show every nth contour in a contour dataset). Of course I need legend, scale, north arrow.

I'm not looking for an analysis tool, just something for printing maps. An API and/or scripting language for automation would be useful as well as we may have series of maps where only one dataset changes.

Any suggestions?

Bryan

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I've looked through the postings here, and it seems to me that most folks are using MapPublisher or ArcMap to make printed maps. What are some other options?

I'm looking for software to make high-quality small printed maps for reports. We have raster and vector data in a variety of formats. The ideal solution would handle PostGIS data in native format (not make another copy of the data). I would like a lot of control over raster color-mapping, be able to label vector datasets, and be able to turn off features in a vector dataset (e.g. show every nth contour in a contour dataset). Of course I need legend, scale, north arrow.

I'm not looking for an analysis tool, just something for printing maps. An API and/or scripting language for automation would be useful as well as we may have series of maps where only one dataset changes.


Manifold can do some of that. Not sure about PostGIS, but it does PostGres, although I haven't tried that myself. It's probabely not going to all that you want, especially not on the raster side, but it's worth a try.

Other than that, I'd suggest doing at least the final finishing in Illustrator/MAPublisher (and all your data prep in a GIS).
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Dennis McClendon

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Virtually all of us who make your kind of maps use FreeHand or Illustrator. Some of the data might start out in a GIS, but we bring it into illustration software as soon as possible. MAPublisher makes it possible to keep the data GIS-like and be able to choose based on data attributes after it's on the illustration side. Otherwise, we make creative use of graphic search-and-replace, styles, layers, and colors to choose different features for further work. Where illustration software really shines is the ability to see what your map looks like and immediately adjust things such as labels or line weights, whereas on the GIS side you have to go back and adjust the recipe and bake the cake again.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




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