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What's your workflow?

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#16
Adam Wilbert

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My work starts in ArcGIS (XP box) then migrates into a PDF workflow through Adobe's Creative Suite of software (Apple box).

It works quite well and I recently discovered the power of Apple's Automator!


What mapping-related tasks do you find Automator useful for?


yes, yes, I have the same question. (Maybe this should be a separate thread?) I've also just gotten into automator and writing my own apple scripts for Illustrator. So far, its simple file management (I wrote a script to sync the custom brushes/scripts/graphic styles/swatches/symbols libraries between my desktop and laptop) and basic illustration management (a couple scripts to create a standardized layer structure and colors in new files, and some export scripts that turn on and off layers before export to a variety of file formats).

But my workflow is identical to Matthews. Arc in XP (via parallels, its slow, but it works). Then everything else in Illy/Photoshop in OSX.

Adam Wilbert

@awilbert
CartoGaia.com
Lynda.com author of "ArcGIS Essential Training"


#17
woneil

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Bear in mind that I'm not a professional mapmaker -- I make maps as tools for my analytical work. But I do need quality maps.

I deal with the question of tools in parallel with that of the data. I actually get a fair amount of use out of Versamap, a very basic program which is handy because it is very fast and easy to use. For more complex maps I use Manifold, simply because it seems to be the cheapest general mapping software. Its main drawback is that it's terribly slow, at least on my system, and prone to hanging up or crashing.

I have a fair amount of Photoshop experience and use it for compositing, adjustment, and titling. Since neither Versamap nor Manifold offer graceful ways to export to Photoshop, I print layer-by-layer to PDF and then open the PDFs in Photoshop.

I doubt that my workflow would serve a professional cartographer at all well, but I think it's fairly proactical for someone like me who makes maps occasionally. It doesn't require a large investment in specialized software or demand that I spend a lot of time developing and maintaining special skills. As I say, Photoshop is well suited to my puroposes because I use it for other things as well.

I'd be interested in any comments anyone wants to offer. I've toyed with the idea of taking the time to master Illustrator, but have never been convinced it was worthwhile. I've also looked at a number of alternatives to Manifold, but have not identified any that seem clearly better for roughly the same price.

For output I rely on my laser printer. I've recently acquired an HP LaserJet CP2025dn which does a very nice job of double-sided color printing on A or A4 paper and can print 400+ pages in an hour, real-world speed. Since I rarely need more than a few dozen copies of any report and rarely produce reports running to more than 250 pages, this meets my needs well, and is a good deal cheaper than sending the work out. Using high quality paper the results are equal to those you would expect from a high-quality magazine.

For my very occasional needs for larger sizes I usually rely on an Epson Stylus Photo 1280, which will print at sizes up to 13"x19".
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#18
MapMedia

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I've been tinkering with the idea to use time management software, such as RescueTime
and track a few months worth of work to get a realistic view of which APPs I use to produce a map, duration of use, etc., from inception to delivery (usually over my ftp).
If others are into it, I could set of a Google sites page where we could share our results. Again, I hardly have time for time management :D

#19
rudy

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For now I gather GIS data in Manifold and clean things up there as much as possible. I autolabel in Manifold as well without paying much attention to where the text falls. It is all projected according to my needs, then exported in a layout (with lots of room around the edges) as an Illustrator file. From then on its Illustrator for making everything look pretty.

My ideal work flow would be ArcGIS from start to finish. I'm not a big fan of moving things from one software ot the other - there's always some clean required or something you need to watch out for. But, alas, ArcGIS is currently out of my price range . . . .




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