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Hello from Andrew

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Hello, my name is Andrew
I work in Philadelhia, Pa as the GIS Coordinator for a commercial Real Estate Firm, and have degree in Geogrpahy from Rowan University.
I Stumbled across this forum while researching ways to improve our cartographic output. We're running MapInfo and Regis to handle our demographic and market analysis. MapInfo handles our basic mapping needs fine, the label engine isn't great but meets most of our needs. From time to time however we have the need to do large scale high quality pieces and MapInfo just can't produce. I'm looking for advice and ideas on using something like Illustrator or freehand to produce these maps. MAPublisher looks good because it will allow me to have access to attribute info in Illustrator when labeling streets and highways. Any advice on this or is it not really any quicker than doing all the labeling by hand in illustrator. How do those of you using just Illustrator or Freehand or Corel Draw annotate their maps? Thanks and I'm glad I found this site, just searching through the old posts is very informative so far.


Martin Gamache

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Welcome Andrew.

I used MI in combination with Freehand and MAPublisher for a few years at my last job. It was a good combination because the mid/mif format is pretty robust and stores formatting attributes. I am now a big fan of exporting GIS layout outputs for finishing work directly to PDF or Illustrator format. Illustrator is quite good at opening PDF files, much better than FH or CD. This allows you to use the better labelling engine inside the GIS software by pre-labelling in the GIS and also avoids the extra steps of dealing with Mapublisher and in the Map Info case having to generate mid/mif files. For MI you may be interested in Map Text Label-EZ software:
Label EZ to improve your labelling.

The price point for SmartLabel is similar to a Mapublisher license but I would argue will be more beneficial since you already have a fully functional GIS and the ability to export to a format readable by a graphic program.



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Or take a look at Lorik Products:

Dry/Nuages, Cirrus and GISLink

Their Website might not be all informative. but Lorik Prouducts are widely used in Europe, especially for Street Mapping. Cirrus has an amazing automated text placement engine. I tested it a while ago, it worked roughly like Label-EZ. You define rules as complex as you like, the program starts working and presents possible conflicts and makes suggestions. Very good graphics output, very nice GUI.
DonĀ“t know the price, though.


Welcome to cartotalk!

Dennis McClendon

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We do a lot of mapping for real estate firms around the country, and mostly they use page-size maps. That means, for instance, that a metro area map will be only major highways and arterials, and so it will take a lot less time to simply place the two dozen road names in FH than to try to wrestle them out of GIS data.

In fact, the only thing we find worthwhile to get from GIS is demographic displays: choropleth shadings of census tracts or dots to show population density. For everything else, we find it quicker--and much better looking--to draw the few simple roads we need than to take away the dozens of roads we don't need.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics

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