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GIS vs Illustrator

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#1
Dustin Edge

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Hi Yong

I've thinking about this for sometime now....and would like to learn more about the benefits of using AI for the finishing touches. At what point do you take your map into AI? And what sort of extras do u get using AI?

Thanks in advance

Dustin
Kind Regards,

Dustin


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#2
frax

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Dustin, I hope you don't mind - I split this into a new topic...

I try to get the map into AI as soon as possible, I use ArcGIS to manipulate and align the data, then I just give things very marginal styling there - more to separate the layers. Working in a graphics programme makes it easier to do simple effects (glows/shadows), more power over color and fonts and it is much easier to directly mov/edit/correct small things.
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#3
James Hines

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The discussion is a bit more broad then just Illy vs GIS. In Illustator if you are willing to spend the money you can use MaPublisher as an extension.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#4
razornole

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I'm much like Frax in that I go to ai as soon as possible. For me I get all of my data from various sources. I create hillshades, dem, isohypse, project, and scale my data in ArcMAP, and then my data is ready to export. Of course I always keep an .mxd file in case I need to add additional data to my map. For me it is not just ai, but adobe creative suites. All my vector files are exported as ai files and all my raster are exported as pdfs (for use in photoshop). Then I bring my final raster (psd) and vector (ai) together in InDesign.l

To me adobe has much better/more powerful algorithms. Smoothing and simplifying is far superior, and text and labeling are much quicker. I also like the ability to save libraries (i.e. color palettes, symbols, paragraph styles, etc...) of which I have created myself in these programs. Of course the fact that everything is easily and quickly manipulated.

This is just a matter of opinion, but I can't stand the angularity and automation look of maps produced in a GIS environment. They always appear unfinished and raw to me.

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#5
jerseysbest

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Once I settle on the scale and the extent, I usually export out of ArcMap.

But all of my maps have LOTS of text on them so I do a rough layout in ArcMap to help with the scale and extent.

I keep the MXD on hand, because some data is updated very frequently, almost daily in some cases.


If you have the money, MaPublisher is nice, but I've run into too many problems with software compability (federal comps...) that its just not worth the hassle.

#6
Hans van der Maarel

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If you have the money, MaPublisher is nice, but I've run into too many problems with software compability (federal comps...) that its just not worth the hassle.


What kind of compatability problems?
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#7
rudy

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In my previous place of work, we tended to leave things in ArcMap as long as possible - possibly even for the entire project - if only because it made it more flexible to work on or modify later for other projects. We only used Illustrator for the real high end maps that required fancy effects. There is much that can be done in ArcMap these days that does not require the use of Illustrator. It might not be as intuitive or as easy to do but in the long run it is more efficient.

#8
David Medeiros

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I think it depends on what you want to get out of your map, what its purpose is and what the media is. If all you need is a GIS map, Arc will do good enough cartography for basic purposes and some extra effort will result in pretty good looking maps. However, in my opinion, if the map will be in a professional publication Illustrator is a big plus. It’s designed specifically for creating illustrations for publication and with MAPublisher is a very powerful and easy to use map tool. It handles the small details of editing and arranging a map much faster and with greater flexibility than Arc. Arc is only more efficient at cartographic layout if map design is not a major factor in the final product. If the maps you are creating will not be used as part of a high quality publication and you expect them to need to be updated regularly than keeping them primarily in Arc and only using Illy for minor post processing will be a better choice.

For my part I do primarily publication maps and rely on MAPub to handle the GIS. I occasionally use Arc to gather and pre process my data or to handle more complex analytical steps that MAPub can’t do. I would guess that on a project using both software packages, Arc takes up the first 10% of the project while Illy & MAPub do most of the remainder (I use a few other programs as well). If I Need more Arc work I can easily move data back and forth between the two.

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