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Freehand to GIS via MAPublisher

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#1
mrfaize

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Hello,

I'm after some advice regarding converting some maps in Freehand on known projections to geographic data. I have a customer who has a series of maps on various projections and wants to make a cartographic database from them.

From what I understand it is possible to do this in MAPublisher by defining known points at graticule intersections with a given projection.

Does anyone have:
  • any suggestions on how to tackle this
  • whether it is possible
  • an alternative to MAPublisher (which I don't own but would buy for the project if it worked)
  • level of accuracy/quality of result

Thanks in advance.

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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It's definately possible. The easiest way to tackle this is import a reference dataset into the existing Freehand map using MAPublisher. Set it to the same scale and projection as the original map, then move the original layers (*not* the reference layer) so that they match up.

Now you can transfer the georeference ("Map Defaults" I think that was called in MP 5 / Freehand, long time ago since I last used that), then "register" the data layers with MAPublisher ("Assign Area/Line/Point Defaults") and, if applicable, add attributes. Once that's completed, you can export it to a shapefile or mid/mif.

The accuracy that you can achieve is basically limited to how accurate you can position the existing map over the reference map.

It's a bit of an involved process, but I've done it numerous times in the past (though mainly with the Illustrator version of MAPublisher).

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
mrfaize

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It's definately possible. The easiest way to tackle this is import a reference dataset into the existing Freehand map using MAPublisher. Set it to the same scale and projection as the original map, then move the original layers (*not* the reference layer) so that they match up.

Now you can transfer the georeference ("Map Defaults" I think that was called in MP 5 / Freehand, long time ago since I last used that), then "register" the data layers with MAPublisher ("Assign Area/Line/Point Defaults") and, if applicable, add attributes. Once that's completed, you can export it to a shapefile or mid/mif.

The accuracy that you can achieve is basically limited to how accurate you can position the existing map over the reference map.

It's a bit of an involved process, but I've done it numerous times in the past (though mainly with the Illustrator version of MAPublisher).

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them.


Let's see if I understand this.

Requires:
A. Original Freehand file
B. Reference file (simple graticule/coast/drainage layer file) with the same scale & projection parameters as original file in a GIS format (Shape/MIDMIF)
C. MAPublisher 5 for Freehand

Method:
1) Open the original file in Freehand
2) Load into this file the reference file using a tool in MAPublisher
3) Lock the layers for the reference file
4) Reposition, scale, rotate the original file layers to match the reference file
5) Then using a MAPublisher tool specify that the layers from the original file are now 'geo-layers'
6) Export in your favourite GIS format

Thanks Hans (informative just like in the FMETalk forum !)

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Let's see if I understand this.

Requires:
A. Original Freehand file
B. Reference file (simple graticule/coast/drainage layer file) with the same scale & projection parameters as original file in a GIS format (Shape/MIDMIF)
C. MAPublisher 5 for Freehand

Method:
1) Open the original file in Freehand
2) Load into this file the reference file using a tool in MAPublisher
3) Lock the layers for the reference file
4) Reposition, scale, rotate the original file layers to match the reference file
5) Then using a MAPublisher tool specify that the layers from the original file are now 'geo-layers'
6) Export in your favourite GIS format

Thanks Hans (informative just like in the FMETalk forum !)


That's it. It's been ages since I last worked with MAPublisher 5 for Freehand (or MAPublisher 5 in general, the Illustrator version is getting close to 8 now and the interface has changed quite a bit), so I don't recall the exact menu options. However, somebody from Avenza will certainly be able to help you out with that.

If you project the reference data, through MAPublisher, to the correct scale/projection/rotation (or as close to them as you can, it's not always clear), you'll minimize the amount of manual tweaking necessary to make it fit. In an ideal situation, you'd only need to shift the data.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#5
Kimi

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Hello!
I would do the same thing as Hans suggested.

Also... here is one possible alternative way... If you do not have to worry about the attribute information attached to the objects created in Freehand, you can open the freehand document in Adobe Illustrator. Again, just because there is a huge gap in the version of MAPublisher (MAPublisher 5 for the Freehand and MAPublisher 7.6 (..or 8.0 to be released soon), the attribute information (contents and records in the attribute table) may be lost. However, if you open any Freehand document in Adobe Illustrator, the layer structure will be the same as the one in Freehand (original file). What you will have to do is to georeference the layers with MAPublisher in Adobe Illustrator. Then, you can export the map layer as the file format as you wish (.shp, .mid-mif, .tab, .gml, .kml, .dgn, .dxf, .dwf, .e00, .gen) :) But again.. keep in mind that this method is appropriate when you do not care about the attribute table...

I hope this information helps.

Happy Mapping,
Kimi :)

Avenza Systems Inc.
124 Merton Street, Suite 400,
Toronto, Ontario, M4S 2Z2, Canada
Webpage: http://www.avenza.com

#6
Fran├žois Goulet

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Our version of MaPublisher 5 for Freehand always crashes when we are exporting to shp. We can only export to mid/mif... If your export doesn't work, try another format, just in case.

#7
mrfaize

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Thanks guys for all the suggestions. Certainly something to consider.

#8
Kevin McManigal

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Went through all this a few months back. The folks at Avenza wrote a tutorial that was super helpful. Its posted on the fourm here:

http://www.cartotalk...amp;hl=freehand

In the end, I could never get the projections to line up. The Freehand shape files would not line up with any other GIS data. If you get it going, let me know.

Kevin
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