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Import .axl or .shp files to Illustrator

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#1
akaElizabethG

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I am looking for a utility to import .axl or .shp files into illustrator. I know MaPublisher works for this, but I was looking for an inexpensive or free solution. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

#2
Martin Gamache

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What tools do you have available? There may be some free Shapefile to DXF converters out there and that would be one way....I dont know of any stand alone tool...some of the free geo-viewers (ArcExplorer comes to mind) with acrobat or Ghostwriter may be able to create a PDF... you will probably need to get your hands dirty with GIS. There are numerous free GIS utilities discussed in a few threads on this board most of them can be made to spit out an illustrator compatible file. Manifold is an affordable GIS that can ingest a variety of GIS formats and export illustrator or PDF or CAD formats that Illustrator can read. Alternatively any number of the cartshops listed in the Resources section can do this for you very cheaply....and very fast.

Good Luck.

#3
Andrew

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Hi there,

You mentioned shapefiles and axl files so I assume you are using ESRI products??
Anyhoo I am using ArcGIS 9 and in ArcCatalog you can right click on a shapefile and export to DXF. I just had a quick look at adobe illustrator site and their more recent versions support DXF imports, for older versions I would assume there is a plug in floating around somewhere out there.
Also if you are using a older version of the ESRI software you might be able to get a script from the ESRI site that converts shapefiles to DXF or an illustrator friendly format.

Hope this helps a bit.
Andrew

#4
Martin Gamache

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You mentioned shapefiles and axl files so I assume you are using ESRI products??
Anyhoo I am using ArcGIS 9



Andrew, If you are using Arc 9 you can export any map layout directly to an illustrator or PDF file. That is by far the quickest and best way to get any shapefile(s) into Illustrator. My advice to Elizabeth assumed that she only has access to the shapefile and no GIS software.

#5
akaElizabethG

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The only ESRI product I have is ArcExplorer. I use it to find street names from shape files. However, I am trying to import the shape files into Illustrator to compare/trace the information on my existing map. I tried printing to pdf from ArcExplorer but it took all the curves out of the lines-made a strong zigzag effect on the rivers.

#6
Martin Gamache

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You can also try to cut and paste into illustrator using the EMF format from Arc Explorer...it depends on the version you are using though.

#7
Matthew Hampton

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Another free option is to download ESRI's ArcVoyager. http://www.esri.com/...on/voyager.html


This is a special product built from ArcView 3.0a (made for Macintosh). I don't know about the restrictions for use but I tested it and you can output pict files which can be brought into AI. It's a step way back into the dark ages of GIS (8 years ago), but sometimes the old methods can yeild the simplest solutions.
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#8
frax

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you won't have any luck importing axl files though, that is just a simple specification on the map layout (colors, classes, layers etc) in xml format.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#9
Andrew

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You can also try to cut and paste into illustrator using the EMF format from Arc Explorer...it depends on the version you are using though.

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I think Martin is right, copy to EMF from ArcExplorer might be the only go. I had a look and ArcExplorer 2 is the only version I can find with this functionality.
you can get it at:
http://www.bossintl....m/StormNET.html

Look under "ESRI ArcExplorer GIS" heading and download the "ESRI ArcExplorer version 2" file.


Once installed the option is located under the edit menu called "copy to EMF".

Hope this is a step towards the solution




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