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#1
ArcMapper

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Anyone have recommendations for where to find data for southwestern U.S. I basically just want to make a fun map of some vacations out there. I also don't have ArcMap at home (just work). Any ideas for 'free' mapping software?

I guess I would need roads, buildings, states, etc. for Utah/Arizona/Nevada/etc...

For making maps, I'm really only familiar with ArcMap, so I'm also kind of curious what other programs I could play around with.

THANKS!!

#2
James Hines

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http://www.mapserver.org/index.html

If you select the right download link not only can you download mapserver but also Udig, OpenEV, Grass GIS, & QGIS.

"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."


#3
ArcMapper

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http://www.mapserver.org/index.html

If you select the right download link not only can you download mapserver but also Udig, OpenEV, Grass GIS, & QGIS.


Thanks. I also forgot to mention I'm using a Mac.

#4
Dennis McClendon

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Can you clarify a bit what kinds of maps you want to make and how they'll be used? Perhaps what you're looking for is merely a tablet of tracing paper and some colored pens. The computer equivalent to that is FreeHand, Illustrator, or Corel Draw.

You might also take a look at Ortelius. It's an illustration program optimized for mapmaking.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#5
ArcMapper

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Can you clarify a bit what kinds of maps you want to make and how they'll be used? Perhaps what you're looking for is merely a tablet of tracing paper and some colored pens. The computer equivalent to that is FreeHand, Illustrator, or Corel Draw.

You might also take a look at Ortelius. It's an illustration program optimized for mapmaking.


Well, yes, I'm looking at more of a fun/artistic map showing past roadtrips. But i would say I'm also trying to create a sipmle project in order to get familiar with some of these other programs. You can disregard my statement about using a mac, since I see now that these are all cross-platform.

But yea, in the future I want to make more complex maps and maybe do analysis, so I came up with a fun project to try. And you do have a good point about simply 'drawing'. Now I'm trying to figure out what all of those programs are capable of and which ones would be useful in the future.

#6
l.jegou

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Mac ports are disponible on the William Kyngesburye page here : http://www.kyngchaos...ftware/unixport

About free drawing programs i reccomend InkScape.

#7
ArcMapper

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All great suggestions! Thanks! I tried the trial version of Ortelius/Mapdiva last night and it SEEMS cool, but the shapefile compatibility seems to (pardon my french) really suck! I tried to import a shapefile and it can't seem to import the projection or the metadata or anything really. Not to mention, I couldn't even get the vector to show up. Seems cool once you can figure out what to do with it, but overall, it's like I'm used to a Corvette at work, but this was like using a go-kart. At the same time though, it looks very smooth and has a great interface if you want to make little play-maps.

I'll try some of the more 'real' programs soon. Thanks again. More recommendations, experience, advice welcome!

#8
Charles Syrett

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You've been using some curious expressions...."play maps", "pretty maps". For some of us, cartography is an actual profession. It was around long before GIS. ;) If what you're saying is you want to try some recreational mapping, then maybe something like Inkscape will do the job.

For professional cartographic production, where time is money, the software situation nowadays can present some challenges, depending on what your niche is. Generally speaking, Illustrator can't be taken seriously as production software for complex graphics; it's just too poorly designed. Unfortunately, it's the current industry standard, and the only drawing software that hosts the most recent versions of MAPublisher. The compromise is to use FreeHand with an older version of MAPublisher.

Hopefully, in the near future, some more efficient drawing software will be developed that will import all the existing formats (Illustrator, Freehand, Corel, etc.) plus read various GIS formats (also CAD!) without loss of attributes. Am I dreaming too much? :rolleyes:

Charles Syrett
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All great suggestions! Thanks! I tried the trial version of Ortelius/Mapdiva last night and it SEEMS cool, but the shapefile compatibility seems to (pardon my french) really suck! I tried to import a shapefile and it can't seem to import the projection or the metadata or anything really. Not to mention, I couldn't even get the vector to show up. Seems cool once you can figure out what to do with it, but overall, it's like I'm used to a Corvette at work, but this was like using a go-kart. At the same time though, it looks very smooth and has a great interface if you want to make little play-maps.

I'll try some of the more 'real' programs soon. Thanks again. More recommendations, experience, advice welcome!



#9
ArcMapper

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You've been using some curious expressions...."play maps", "pretty maps". For some of us, cartography is an actual profession. It was around long before GIS. ;) If what you're saying is you want to try some recreational mapping, then maybe something like Inkscape will do the job.

For professional cartographic production, where time is money, the software situation nowadays can present some challenges, depending on what your niche is. Generally speaking, Illustrator can't be taken seriously as production software for complex graphics; it's just too poorly designed. Unfortunately, it's the current industry standard, and the only drawing software that hosts the most recent versions of MAPublisher. The compromise is to use FreeHand with an older version of MAPublisher.

Hopefully, in the near future, some more efficient drawing software will be developed that will import all the existing formats (Illustrator, Freehand, Corel, etc.) plus read various GIS formats (also CAD!) without loss of attributes. Am I dreaming too much? :rolleyes:

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

All great suggestions! Thanks! I tried the trial version of Ortelius/Mapdiva last night and it SEEMS cool, but the shapefile compatibility seems to (pardon my french) really suck! I tried to import a shapefile and it can't seem to import the projection or the metadata or anything really. Not to mention, I couldn't even get the vector to show up. Seems cool once you can figure out what to do with it, but overall, it's like I'm used to a Corvette at work, but this was like using a go-kart. At the same time though, it looks very smooth and has a great interface if you want to make little play-maps.

I'll try some of the more 'real' programs soon. Thanks again. More recommendations, experience, advice welcome!


Have you opened Ortelius? I would say that it's good for play-maps, which wasn't a compliment. I consider cartography an actual profession too, as I have to adhere to very strict specs for the government, meeting tough deadlines everyday. That said, I was simply looking for some of the other programs that people are using. It's one thing to google GIS software....and quite another to talk to other fellow (intelligent) cartographers. Thanks for the info.

#10
Kathi

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Several friends of mine who all work with GIS a lot have recommended GVSIG (http://www.gvsig.org/web/), which is open source (comes for free) and reads shapefiles no problem. It's originally spanish but comes with an english manual. And there is a version vor Mac listed in the downloads section. These are second-hand reviews, though, I haven't had time to play with it yet.

Hope this helps,
Kathi
Cheers,

Kathi




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