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How to update map in Illustrator when the source layer in ArcMap is updated?

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#1
Juliet

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I am just getting started in Illustrator so maybe there is an obvious answer to this question that I just am not seeing...

I have a map I created in ArcMap. I exported it to .ai to bring into Illustrator for finishing. One of the layers in my .mxd is a layer of region boundaries that will be changing a few times per year. I would like to be able to bring just this one layer into my Illustrator file without having to reimport the whole thing each time I need to update.

In ArcMap, I turned all the layers "off" except my boundary layer and another boundary layer I can use to line up with. Map extent has not changed. I export this to .ai but I don't know what to do next.

Can someone please point me in the right direction?

Arigato.

#2
razornole

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Hello Juliet,

I do this all the time. The most important step in my workflow is with ArcMAP. I layout my mxd file to a set scale (say 1:100,000) and the set the document up to the same size as my Illustrator document (say 8.5" x 11"). ArcMap will create a clipping mask when it exports as an .ai. I use these clipping path to line up my layers in Illy.

In Illy I will open my master document and then open the new layer I just exported from ArcMAP. Then I just copy the entire layer (including the clipping mask) and paste it into my master document. Then it is just a matter of lining up the clipping masks.

I'm sure others have better ways, but this is what works for me. The main thing is to never change the document/mxd layout in ArcMAP. If I have to manipulate the data layer in ArcMAP, I won't do that from my .mxd.

I'm pretty sure this is clear as mud, so if you have any questions let me know.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#3
David Medeiros

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If your so inclined (and have the money) MAPublisher will handle this very well. Because your AI file is geo-referenced any new layers you pull in from Arc will drop directly into their correct location, scale and alignment with the rest of your AI map. You can bring them over directly as shape-files and all you have to do is change the style to reflect the layer it's replacing.

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#4
Tim Stallmann

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Yeah though just to re-iterate what kru said, doing it manually usually isn't so much of a problem so long as you make sure the extent of your map layout in ArcGIS never changes (since otherwise re-aligning things, especially in a projected coordinate system) is a major pain. I usually set the data frame properties to use a fixed extent once the initial layout is complete, after one too many times when I accidentally used the data frame pan-and-zoom tools instead of the layout ones in ArcGIS and blew away the extent I'd been using in my AI file...

#5
Fran├žois Goulet

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I've done an entire atlas (about 110 maps) using the same workflow as kru.

It works very well. In the layer palette, you could check the "Paste remembers layer". That way, if you export let's say a "Boundary" layer, it will have the same name in Illy and it will be pasted on that same layer when you'll re-import your boundary.

#6
Robert2009

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Does anyone have a website that allows me to understand from GIS to Illustrator ? Are there any exmaples that can I see what it looks like ?

Thanks

PS I have photoshop on my machine but it looks like Illustrator is the preference to use from GIS to Illy ?

#7
ceicher

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Hi Juliet/All,

Because I've been working for ESRI in this area since the last century... ; ) I have a follow-up question.

Easier handling of data updates is one advantage of "doing cartography" directly within GIS software.

I'm pretty familiar with what ArcMap offers and does not offer for cartography, but I'm interested to hear why you/your organization use the ArcMap-to-Illustrator workflow.

Thanks in advance,

-Cory

#8
razornole

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Hi Juliet/All,

Because I've been working for ESRI in this area since the last century... ; ) I have a follow-up question.

Easier handling of data updates is one advantage of "doing cartography" directly within GIS software.

I'm pretty familiar with what ArcMap offers and does not offer for cartography, but I'm interested to hear why you/your organization use the ArcMap-to-Illustrator workflow.

Thanks in advance,

-Cory


Hello Cory,

For me the simplest answer is in the power of InDesign, or better yet the creative suites package of Adobe. The communication between Illy, PS, and InD is invaluable. To answer you question more specifically the graphic capabilities of ArcMap can not come close to the power of Illy. One of the main styles of my cartography is to make it look like it didn't come out of a GIS environment. That keeps my maps separated and unique from 99% of the GIS Technicians who create maps and call themselves cartographers.

I love ArcMAP, but it only constitutes 25% of my workflow, only the first 25%, acquiring data, scaling it, projecting it, and finally exporting it. From there it is on to Illy to clean up the vector mess that ArcMAP exported, PS to clean up the raster mess that ArcMAP exported, and then InD to bring it all together and add text columns and graphics.

Hope that helps,
kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#9
David Medeiros

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Hi Juliet/All,

Because I've been working for ESRI in this area since the last century... ; ) I have a follow-up question.

Easier handling of data updates is one advantage of "doing cartography" directly within GIS software.

I'm pretty familiar with what ArcMap offers and does not offer for cartography, but I'm interested to hear why you/your organization use the ArcMap-to-Illustrator workflow.

Thanks in advance,

-Cory


Hello Cory,

For me the simplest answer is in the power of InDesign, or better yet the creative suites package of Adobe. The communication between Illy, PS, and InD is invaluable. To answer you question more specifically the graphic capabilities of ArcMap can not come close to the power of Illy. One of the main styles of my cartography is to make it look like it didn't come out of a GIS environment. That keeps my maps separated and unique from 99% of the GIS Technicians who create maps and call themselves cartographers.

I love ArcMAP, but it only constitutes 25% of my workflow, only the first 25%, acquiring data, scaling it, projecting it, and finally exporting it. From there it is on to Illy to clean up the vector mess that ArcMAP exported, PS to clean up the raster mess that ArcMAP exported, and then InD to bring it all together and add text columns and graphics.

Hope that helps,
kru


Ditto... :)

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#10
Matthew Hampton

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For me it comes down to handling color, the user interface, and the toolbox. Illustrator handles the CMYK colorspace with aplomb, provides an enjoyable work experience, and has an immense set of tools that can articulate subtle cartographic nuances quickly and easily.

That said, ArcGIS 9.3 does have a sophisticated analytical and cartographic toolset, but its graphic engine has a lot to be desired. If creating production-quality maps are your intention then follow the aforementioned AI workflow, but if having a live link to data (that changes often) is desirable - then learning ESRI's cartographic tips and tricks would be worthwhile. If you want to satisfy both desires, choose MapPublisher or choke down license fees for both ESRI and Adobe.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#11
ceicher

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Hi all

My personal opinion is that GIS/ESRI/ArcMap has a lot to offer here. I had prepared a long-ish reply, then sat on it... thought twice about posting, then came back and said, why not. Hope that I can avoid the "wall of text" effect (http://www.urbandict...rm=wall of text), and I hope that this educates, intellecutally stimulates, etc.

-------------

First, here's a summary of some of the reasons mentioned to use this workflow (and sure, there are others out there):

1) With InDesign, Illustrator, and PS, Adobe offers a really powerful graphic suite

2) high quality symbology (way beyond "GIS maps") is really important for what you do

3) when moving vector and raster data from ArcMap to Adobe, there's a mess to be cleaned up
-not a reason to keep this workflow, actually a pain point related to keeping it

4) color not well-enough supported in ArcMap

5) Illy/PS GUI prefered to ArcMap (better usability)

6) specific tools are missing from ArcMap

-------------

And now to ask some follow up questions

1) Yes, ESRI isn't in the business of competing in general with the full Adobe graphics suite, but we can improve the ESRI-Adobe workflow for high-end cartography.
-one way - fix your pain points in 3).
-another way - reduce or eliminate work the 2nd system.

2) Do you use (ESRI terminology): Representations? Symbol Levels? Symbol Level Masking? In your opinion what's missing from ArcMap vector symbology?

Moving to 5). What if you had a GUI components like this?

Attached File  ColorPalette_ESRI_b.PNG   40.88KB   132 downloads

-you work with this configurable tool palette, instead to menus and tools all over the GUI
-you use this sortable/filterable "layers list" instead of the Table of Contents!

6). What vector tools do you rely on heavily in Illy?

Putting 2), 5) and 6) together, it seems like these improvements could allow some of you to do more of your vector editing in ArcMap.

-------------------

And now for a vision

What if you could have properly "finished" vectors and text, coming out of ArcMap with 4) correct CMYK or SPOT definitions (this is possible, maybe some tools need to be better documented?).

Here at ESRI Switzerland we developed:
-the GUI components shown above
.and.
-A number of ArcMap vector editing tools designed specifically for cartographers (not really shown).

We're using these tools on individual projects here, but we think there's a market for selling these tools to people like you.

What do you think? Would you use tools such as these? What gaps do you see?

I am interested to hear/learn more.

Thanks for your time.

-Cory

#12
eli

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Juliet - if you haven't moved the layers in AI, nor changed the extent in ArcMap, you can export just the one layer from ArcMap. You can copy and paste it into your working AI file using Paste in Front (or Paste in Back). PiF and PiB should maintain the extent and line it up for you. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Cory - I think you may have missed the point on kru's "vector/raster mess" comment. I would say that there are still the same messes that exist in ArcMap, but it's easier to fix them in Illy than in ArcMap.

Personally, I love AI for the text handling and graphics engine - neither of which ArcMap can compete with yet. And frankly, I wish they wouldn't try - there is so much more than could be improved in the software to make it an even more powerful GIS. So, while your GUI looks interesting, I probably wouldn't purchase it over the other extensions for the software, especially since the price point probably wouldn't compete with Illustrator given that it's an ESRI product. :P




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