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Indexing Maps in Illustrator

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#1
Keith Map Service

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Is there an easy way to index street maps in Illustrator CS2 to a set grid?
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#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Is there an easy way to index street maps in Illustrator CS2 to a set grid?


The easy way would be MAPublisher.

The hard (but cheaper) way is a lot more involved. Illustrator has an option to output to .txt (copy and paste into a spreadsheet won't work as it will simply concatenate all values into a single text). From there, you could bring it into Excel and manually add all the grid references.
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#3
Keith Map Service

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Is there an easy way to index street maps in Illustrator CS2 to a set grid?


The easy way would be MAPublisher.

The hard (but cheaper) way is a lot more involved. Illustrator has an option to output to .txt (copy and paste into a spreadsheet won't work as it will simply concatenate all values into a single text). From there, you could bring it into Excel and manually add all the grid references.


Can you index maps with MAPublisher if it is not GIS data just an Illustrator file?
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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Can you index maps with MAPublisher if it is not GIS data just an Illustrator file?


Yes, all you have to do is set up a Map View, scale/projection doesn't matter, drag the text layer into it, create an index grid and off you go.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#5
MapMedia

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There is a script used by a few map firms. I therefore imagine it possilble to write your own or have someone write it for you.

#6
Greg

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One major problem with indexing in MAPublisher : Your labels cannot be broken up!

For example, if you have "George" and "St." in separate text boxes, it will index them separately.
I have spoken to the guys at Avenza a few times about this, but no solution exists, aside from re-typing all of your labels.

Hand indexing is by far the most reliable way, and it acts as a thorough spot check as well.

Another option would be to use the auto label feature, and index from there. Providing you have a proper attributes table set up...
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#7
Dennis McClendon

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Another vote for hand indexing, which allows you to decide which square(s) any particular label should be in.

I make a copy of the file, add visible guidelines on top, and lock all but the streetnames layer. Then I go square by square, marquee-selecting the labels and manually adding or deselecting labels along the edges. I paste those into a text editor where I use option-drag to quickly add =D-4 to all the labels I've just pasted in. When I'm finished, no labels will remain on the streetnames layer and I can sort the text editor document, aggregate multiple entries, and replace the = marks with tabs.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#8
sitesatlas

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I would think that you could:
- export the label and grid layers to a format you can open with Manifold or your favorite mapping application
- convert the grid lines to polygon/area objects and give them each a corresponding name (such as A1, A2, etc.) in the data table
- create centroids for the label objects so each label is located with only one grid square
- do a spatial overlay operation to copy the grid name to the label objects

Has anyone ever tried doing that?
Michael Borop
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#9
ProMapper

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Manual indexing is a tough and boring exercise. I had done a few maps for a client. It was only road names to be indexed so it took me just about three hours for each file. I just copied the text and pasted it on notepad. Then a little formatting, creating new line for each road name and copy and paste to excel. Then one needs to juggle the Excel data to produce the index, would be a little difficult if not comfortable with Excel especially using formulas etc.

Each map was 6by7 grid and only road names so it was easy, but if it has city names, place names and so on and each to be indexed then manual option would be much tougher. So you need to weigh the option of purchasing the Mapublisher at $1200 a piece or doing it manually if it is just a one time or not a very regular task.

If you have few files to be done then I can do the job for you. I have quite a bit of time on my hands right now, so will be constructively busy too.

Anu
http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#10
Hans van der Maarel

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I would think that you could:
- export the label and grid layers to a format you can open with Manifold or your favorite mapping application
- convert the grid lines to polygon/area objects and give them each a corresponding name (such as A1, A2, etc.) in the data table
- create centroids for the label objects so each label is located with only one grid square
- do a spatial overlay operation to copy the grid name to the label objects

Has anyone ever tried doing that?


Yes, that's how I did the circular grid on the Apeldoorn city map. Export a "text for index" layer as mid/mif, created the grid and exported that too, then an overlay in FME (or any popular GIS software for that matter) with some wizardry to condense duplicate entries.

If I'm not mistaken, plain Illustrator can export texts to DXF, right? So this would be a viable option, assuming you have access to GIS software.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#11
Fran├žois Goulet

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I would think that you could:
- export the label and grid layers to a format you can open with Manifold or your favorite mapping application
- convert the grid lines to polygon/area objects and give them each a corresponding name (such as A1, A2, etc.) in the data table
- create centroids for the label objects so each label is located with only one grid square
- do a spatial overlay operation to copy the grid name to the label objects

Has anyone ever tried doing that?


I started from geodatabase annotations (so already in ArcMap), but that exactly what I did and it work perfectly.

I never opened a dxf exported directly from Illustrator, but that what I would do. After that, Spatial Adjustment should do the trick to reference your layer.

#12
MapMedia

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Michael's process is correct for GIS apps.

If you are finishing in Illustrator, you will be repositioning many of the labels by hand, so will want to create your index from this. Again, I have heard tell of a AI script for this when I made maps for maps.com. Something they do on their side, not for freelancers. If you are adept at scripting, its worth looking into.

#13
Keith Map Service

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I am not too experienced with scripting. I am finishing the map in illustrator. I have access to ArcGis and Global Mapper. The Data is not referenced, so how will the Spatial Overlay method work as indicated by Hans?
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#14
Rick Dey

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Another vote for hand indexing, which allows you to decide which square(s) any particular label should be in.

I make a copy of the file, add visible guidelines on top, and lock all but the streetnames layer. Then I go square by square, marquee-selecting the labels and manually adding or deselecting labels along the edges. I paste those into a text editor where I use option-drag to quickly add =D-4 to all the labels I've just pasted in. When I'm finished, no labels will remain on the streetnames layer and I can sort the text editor document, aggregate multiple entries, and replace the = marks with tabs.


I'll go along with Dennis on this one. I prefer to have some precision and flexibility as to where a label is indexed. Those where the text crosses over a gridline should be shown in both grids (B-7,8) it gives the user a bit more of an advantage in finding the thing. I will say however that I also use MAPublisher as the first step in the process generating all the initial entries. Those are dumped into Excel where the changes are made. There is no doubt however that it is time intensive and tedious. When working on a new streetmap with 10,000 or more entries it can be welcome mind numbing monotony.
Rick Dey

#15
Unit Seven

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I am not too experienced with scripting. I am finishing the map in illustrator. I have access to ArcGis and Global Mapper. The Data is not referenced, so how will the Spatial Overlay method work as indicated by Hans?


If you can get your text back to straight line text. A single piece of text of each item to be indexed in the position you want it to be index too you should be able to export this as dxf. Bring this dxf into ArcMap and then geo reference it. From there a spatial overlay should eb able to apply grid values but you may want to convert text to a point layer first and do a sweep over the map to see that the point is sitting on the text position you want referenced.

Helps to create a raster of the final map and have this in the background as a reference to check where these points are sitting.
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