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Software/workflow suggestions needed (Historical maps)

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#1
graph

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Hello everyone. It's my first post here and unfortunately I will have to start by posting a question in an issue I am currently facing

I am working as editorial and graphic designer for a Greek publisher. One of our latest projects is a book that will contain 2-3 historical maps of Europe. The problem is, the company can't afford to pay for an illustrator to do this and there is also the possibility of having to use more maps in future publications.

To solve this problem we are looking for the fastest possible way of designing detailed maps that are easily adjusted to our needs. I already know how to work with Adobe programs, mostly Illustrator, but my coworkers believe there must be a software that fits our needs better. What kind of software would you suggest we try? If there is a software especially designed for maps, does it make your work fast enough compared to Ad. Illustrator that it is worth buying it?

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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There's MAPublisher, which is a plug-in for Illustrator. It will allow you to import geographical data and work at a specific scale and projection.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#3
graph

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Thank you very much Hans!

In order to get more opinions, I will reform my question into less words: is it wrong to make maps on an everyday bacis using Adobe Illustrator? Does it take too much time compared to another, faster software? If yes, what software would you prefer for such a job? Which program do pro-cartographers use?

#4
frax

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Who would you get the data that you would put into the maps?
Hugo Ahlenius
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#5
graph

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Who would you get the data that you would put into the maps?


Hm, if I get the question right, one of my coworkers is a historian and since he will be the one to show me what short of information we'll put in.

#6
Hans van der Maarel

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is it wrong to make maps on an everyday bacis using Adobe Illustrator?


I certainly hope not, otherwise I'm in a lot of trouble ;) Illustrator with MAPublisher is my primary map production platform, and I'm sure there's many others here that use the same combination. Another popular application for map production is ArcGIS.

Which is the fastest is not easy to say, as "speed" depends on a lot of external factors as well, such as the size and level of detail of the maps as well as the data that you're putting into it. But most importantly, it depends on the cartographer that's using the software. Since you are already familiar with Illustrator it would be a good idea to give MAPublisher a try.

What you are looking for is kinda like the holy grail of cartography: (cheap) software that allows maps to be produced fast, with a high level of detail (and also a high level of accuracy I assume) and that are still easily editable.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#7
Charles Syrett

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I doubt that your historians will be giving you GIS data to work with -- more likely if you get any kind of map from them, it will be paper, or a scan. That being the case, a lot of your billable time will be in redrawing the material you've been given, and you wouldn't need MAPublisher.

It really does depend on the project. I've been using GIS (and MAPublisher) more and more, because there's more (and better) data available all the time. But a lot of the time it makes much more sense just to draw by hand.

Charles Syrett
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Who would you get the data that you would put into the maps?


Hm, if I get the question right, one of my coworkers is a historian and since he will be the one to show me what short of information we'll put in.






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