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ArcGIS 9.3 (with maplex) verses Map Publisher 8.0

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#1
yusha

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Hi everyone,

I am a possible entrepreneur for the mapping services business. I was looking for a software to start, with primary focus on map quality. Now the question is what is the core difference between publishing a map with Arcgis 9.3 with the maplex extension and the map publisher 8.0 software? both publish maps but what is the difference.

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I am a possible entrepreneur for the mapping services business. I was looking for a software to start, with primary focus on map quality. Now the question is what is the core difference between publishing a map with Arcgis 9.3 with the maplex extension and the map publisher 8.0 software? both publish maps but what is the difference.


MAPublisher is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator (so you'll need that as well) and it comes with an extra-cost labelling engine, Label Pro, whereas ArcGIS is a stand-alone application, but Maplex is an extra-cost item there too. Both of them can indeed be used to publish maps, but which one is better depends a bit on the kind of maps you want to produce and the data you're producing them with.

In my experience (but I've been a MAPublisher user, and reseller, for much longer than I've been an ArcGIS user, so take all this with a grain of salt) the combination of MAPublisher with Illustrator is much more capable of getting your map to look *just right* than ArcGIS is. Both can apply styles based attributes, no contest there, but sometimes your perfect map look can't be caught in strict rules. There's sometimes a little fuzziness involved. This becomes obvious in the little details like text and symbol placement.

This doesn't mean you can't produce a great map in ArcGIS. Check the Map Gallery, lots of people have done so already. It means that for me, personally, the freedom that MAPublisher and Illustrator allow me is a key factor that helps me get the most out of my map design.
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#3
David Medeiros

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Ditto everything Hans said, and I will add that Illustrator is designed from the outset for digital publishing. For me there is no contest, Arc takes much more work to get a polished look. If you look over the map examples in the ESRI Map Books you will see that many of the better examples list Illustrator and Photoshop as software used in addition to Arc. It's fairly typical for Arc output to go to Illustrator for final touches when destined for higher quality publication. If you don't need to do major spatial analysis on a regular basis this is a good reason to simply start with Illustrator in the first place (IMOO). Good luck.

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#4
jrat

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I am a ArcGIS user only. The Maplex extension only gives advanced control over lables. It also seriously slows down draw time. If you are looking to make web maps Maplex is a good start but you will eventually switch to annotation for full control. Maplex comes at no extra cost if you get the ArcInfo licence of ArcGIS. Also if you are just buying ArcGIS you will want to get 10 not 9.3. ESRI is getting better with allowing cartographic changes to your maps (Look into representation). However I think that the illy or ps finished maps look better. ArcGIS can get you a very good start.

#5
yusha

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Thanks Everyone for the detailed info on Map Publisher and ArcGIS. I did do searching and see a striking difference in the map quality produced by ArcGIS and Map Publisher. I agree with all of you. my main task will be creating maps, and yes the features that illustrator offers are much more distinct than ArcGIS can offer. the main difference i believe is adding graphic elements, swatches and effects like shadows, brushstrokes.

Nevertheless, ArcGIS is not specifically intended for making maps but offers very powerful tools for GIS operations. If i do go with ArcGIS i will be using it more or less, just to make lines.

So thanks everyone for the feedback. It Really helped me out!!!!!!! :D




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