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#1
David Medeiros

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Hi all, I need some help on Arc to Illustrator exports. I'm at work where I don't have access to MAPublisher (trying to convince them to add it) and need to move a bunch of city base layers from Arc direct to Illustrator via the export map to AI option.

The issue I'm having is that when I use this option I get an AI file that is based on my window view not the data extent itself so when I'm viewing the area at it's full extent the resulting line work is very blocky, low resolution with not enough anchor points to smooth properly with the "simplify" command. In order to get a resolution on the line work that matches the data I need to zoom in but this results in an AI export of just what I'm looking at on screen, not enough extent.

Any tips on how best to do this without MAPub?

dave

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#2
eli

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Perhaps bump up the dpi of your export? ai likes things divisible by 72, so you could try 720.

#3
David Medeiros

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Perhaps bump up the dpi of your export? ai likes things divisible by 72, so you could try 720.


So I was just looking at this setting and yes it does seem to change the output, but why is a DPI setting effecting the vector output? It's as if Arc is looking at the screen image and reconverting back to vector on export to AI. Is there no direct to AI export that will take the full shapefile and output a 1:1 AI file?

I'll probably end up taking this all home and doing it in MAPub on my machine I guess.

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#4
David Deis

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I routinely export vector content from ArcGIS at 7200 "dpi". This seems to be high enough to extract any and all data points.
Dreamline Cartography
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#5
Martin Gamache

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I always leave my AI output resolution at 1440DPI and never have any problems with squiggles in my lines.

#6
Dennis McClendon

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Does it do this even if all raster imagery is turned off?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#7
David Medeiros

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Does it do this even if all raster imagery is turned off?


Yes, in fact there is no raster. It's not the issue where Arc converts the line work to raster on export which usually happens when making PDFs of your map with raster layers or transparencies.

Apparently Arc exports AI files by looking at whats on the screen rather than by the shapefile itself. It's a what you see is what you get even though it's outputting a vector file from a vector file. Makes no sense to me. The work around is as described above, set the DPI on export to the highest possible setting to get line features that more closely resemble the original line work. Even set ridiculously high (6000 dpi) you still get some weird effects around curved lines that look bad even when smoothed in illy.

I think the PDF to illy work flow preserves the original lines better but for me at my city job produces AI files that are very clunky and often crash my PC based copy of illustrator (I have less trouble at home on my Mac).

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#8
DaveB

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Found a post that might be useful on ESRI Mapping Center
Dave Barnes
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#9
David Medeiros

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Found a post that might be useful on ESRI Mapping Center


Thanks for that, it verifies what we were piecing together here I guess. I've heard the 72 dpi rule before but never paid it much attention since it never seems to effect the work I do, but perhaps this is a case where I should be sure to use it.

It's a clunky way of taking vectors from one system and moving them to another. All I can say is thank you MAPublisher!

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#10
DOT Cartographer

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Hello! I scanned this thread; hopefully the following isn't redundant. We've had tremendous luck w/this workflow:

From ArcMap layout window:
File > Export as pdf (300 dpi ok)--be certain to include neatline or other reference
From Illy:
File > open the pdf, Select All, copy
In project file, paste onto appropriate layer and release clipping mask
Line up neatlines/reference lines.

This is also wonderful for lining up grid ticks; Arc has a great grid generating vehicle in its Data Frame properties which translate easily to AI in pdf form.

Hope this helps!

#11
Kathi

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I've just read this all, and I'm quite surprised about it. I regularly export maps from ArcView to Illustrator, always using 300 dpi, and so far I've never experienced the output becoming blocky. Have you played with the advanced settings of the export dialog (where you ste "embed all fonts" and so on)?

The maps I export usially contain both raster background as well as vector data, neatline, coordinate grid etc. The paper size can be quite large (43 x 120 cm or longer), generating gi-normeous export files, which shrink to near nothing when re-saved in Illy. But then I usually don't do any generalizing in Illustrator.

Cheers,
Kathi
Cheers,

Kathi

#12
pfyfield

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The concept of DPI applying to vector data is a hard one to grasp, but that's how the export works. Just think of DPI as defining a grid to which all the vertices are snapped. I usually use 360 or 720 (I heard about the "multiple of 72" thing a few years ago). Or rather I did before we started using MAPublisher.
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#13
M.Denil

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As I understand, it is beacuse Arc uses the Windows Graphics engine to generate all output: to screen or to file. Thus everything is renered as if it was painted to a screen.
This is the reson for turning off polygon slicing when exporting - so your polygons are not shreaded into tall skinny blocks. Faster drawing is the reason for turning it back on after the export is done.

M.Denil




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