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Poll: What software do you use most often to do the bulk of your map DESIGN work.

What software do you use most often to do the bulk of your map DESIGN work.

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#16
François Goulet

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I'm wondering how many folks use AutoCad Map 3D for map creation. I'm in first year Carto at COGS and we have a course on it. Does anyone prefer this program to others? Can anyone outline the strengths of AutoCad in mapping?


I often use AutoCAD, but we don't have Map 3D... Anyway, we use it more for GIS than mapping... Once everything is drawn, we export it in ArcGIS or import the dxf in Illustrator for mapping. We find it much easier that way.

#17
Unit Seven

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Interesting topic and a difficult answer which also depends on your view of design—most people seem to consider design the prettying up of a product but personally I consider it more the planning stage where most of the real design decisions come about. In the case of cartography coming up with scale, coverage, data sources—all of this I previously did in Microstation but now do in ArcMap (or sometimes Arc Scene). As for the production which is making it look pretty and some design decisions I am equally split between Arc, Photoshop, Illustrator (and others but these are my regulars) depending on the type of job.

Interesting to see what others are using—I used to use Corel a lot but have since moved to Illy and the rest of the Suite I have usd freehand in the past but mostly just for freehand supplies and never managed to feel at home it.

Soooo I would have to say most of what I would term design the work would be done in Arc but a lot of the jobs the style/look/special effects and production is in Illy.

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#18
Soocom1

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Hello... New user here... And a fascinating question to ask.

I am an Autocad monkey, and have been doing cartography with Autocad for about 4 years now.

Because I have a degree in drafting, the Autocad product comes naturally to me.
There are problems with Autocad map in its current form (Map 2009) but huge advantages over older versions and especially when it comes to using A-Cad over ESRI, (I use both daily) I still migrate back to Autocad.

There are so many graphical manipulation aspects that puts Autocad hands down for use on maps your going to change.

HOWEVER!!! I will also admit that the Autocad is limited in the Geo-spatial analysis area, and needs heavy work there.

There are bugs in the version I use (2008) and alot of limitations that Autodask needs to work on. (i.e. certain label features.) Otherwise, being a cad monkey, I just like the Autocad over ESRI.

Thanks..

PAG
Architects design things,
Engineers build things,
and Cartographers tell them where to go.

#19
P Riggs

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Just curious why Canvas GIS doesn't get a mention here? I know it fits in Other app, but its more GIS oriented than just AI or Corel?
regards Richard

I Checked with ADC, who owns Canvas now, being that the software combines GIS and the illustration capabilities of Adobe Illustrator and it sounded perfect for cartography. The one huge element missing in the program is that it does not have the capability to generate a street (for that matter, any other item on the map) index. The combination of MapPublisher and Adobe Illustrator can but it is quite pricey once it is all set up.


I was considering Canvas, but as of version 11 it is Windows only. Mac is out. And me with it. I'll stick to Adobe Illustrator and wait to see what some of the new Mac GIS/Cartography softwares are like.
Philip Riggs
Decorative-Maps.com

#20
haris179

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And what about ERADS IMAGINE???

#21
christiansltd

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We use the following and are very happy, however i do like the look of Canvas 11 + GIS.

Autocad map 3d 2010 - It is excellent and most problems from earlier editions have been sorted.
Autocad Raster Design - again excellent product
Coreldraw & AI

We do have some esri products but Autocad map 3d 2010 wipes the floor with it and is now redundant.

#22
Fritzer

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I'm wondering how many folks use AutoCad Map 3D for map creation. I'm in first year Carto at COGS and we have a course on it. Does anyone prefer this program to others? Can anyone outline the strengths of AutoCad in mapping?

The reason I ask is because learning doesn't come easy to someone unaccustomed to the program, as the commands can be elusive, buried in menus and sub-menus, coloring and queries are overly complicated - the list goes on. I'm looking for a silver lining here, something to act as a cushion while I bang my head against the wall that is AutoCad Map 3D!


I used Map 3D where I used to work. You are right, it's overly complicated and many of its functions are buried. I honestly can't think of a time that it came in handy or couldn't do what ArcMap already can do. The folks at Autodesk talked it up. I believe it's easier if you already know a good deal about Civil 3D and other Autodesk applications. It has a long way to go to be intuitive and reasonable.

The Silver Lining: it seems to draw, and redraw rasters and vector line work fairly quickly. I think it might be good as a quick digitizing tool among other things as you become more familiar with it.

Good Luck! (You'll need it...)

#23
D. Fraser

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I've been using the Illustrator/MAPublisher combo for awhile. I'm relatively new at GIS cartography, but have been drawing maps in Illy for 12 years. I'm a graphic designer by trade (20+ years) and I'm the sole designer/cartographer at my company. Since I work on projects that include cartography, advertising and editorial content, the less software I use, the better. Illustrator with MP/Photoshop/InDesign does the job for me.

As for the cost of Adobe + MAPublisher, I already have to spend the money on the Creative Suite so it is only one more application that I need. MAPublisher is expensive for anyone (whether they be 1 seat license or 100 seat licenses) but having less stops in the design process (ie, drawing in one app and styling in another) can save a lot of time over the course of a year. Especially when you have to make corrections, tweaks or whatever edits need to be made to the map during the course of a project. The profit on one project a year covers my licenses for four machines and that, for me, is the cost of having a profitable business.

D.

#24
ajay

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I have restarted this poll to increase it's visibility and because I wanted change the choices to be more representative.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Maps often pass through a number of applications before they are finished. I would like to know which application people use most often to do the bulk of their map DESIGN work.


You've got to update this list Nick. Users of axpand don't need to go through multiple applications to finish a map or a multiple-page book or atlas project. axpand brings best of both worlds together - GIS and graphic design software, has high automation functionality like generalization, labeling, grids and labels, name indexes, etc. - all critical to cartography work. Statistics are available from users showing extremely high level of time-cost savings using axpand. Best of all - axpand on Demand is the first Software as a Service solution for database cartography that offers monthly subscription, enables collaboration on complex map projects and crowd-sourcing. Runs on Mac or Windows or mixed using Java-enabled browser and a BB Internet connection. Ping me if you want to know more.

#25
yanhong

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i use Corel Draw often ,but with low effiency, so i am trying to find out which software is best to design and publish excellent maps.

#26
cristen

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I'd feel bad for bumping such an old post, but it's pinned!

Any updates from the last two years? What about tools for interactive maps - comments on stuff like TileMill, Mapbox.js and associated javascript libraries?

Are you guys all using the same tools you said you were using 2-5 years ago? ;)

I wish MAPublisher were remotely affordable, I enjoyed my trials very much...

#27
mtang

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yes, i would like to know which software for map drawing. Many thanks.



#28
Lui

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I can just confirm usage of OCAD as my primary software. Hard to beat with all color options.


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#29
scott_guam

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I put my layers together in ArcGIS and tweak my maps with Inkscape (which is free and opens pdfs). This has made the quality of my maps really stand out compared to what I see in other, much bigger, environmental companies’ reports here on Guam. Of course, the main driver of quality for my maps has been the forums here at CartoTalk  :D



 



#30
Nichodemus

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I do most of my day-to-day general use maps in ArcMap like I always have, but starting a few years back, the more complicated maps that needed extra graphics, tables, text, etc would be imported into Adobe InDesign (as a pdf), where I'd add the extras. You still can't do tables in a layout very well in ArcMap, and ArcMap gets flaky as you bring in more elements.

 

In the last year, for the fancier maps, I've begun to just use ArcMap to get my layers together (clipped or queried or whatever other GIS operations I need to do), and then use MAPublisher + Illustrator to actually make the map. And I still sometimes do the final layout in InDesign.

 

For the web, although we have the option to use ArcGIS Online as part of a statewide organization, I still lean towards Mango Maps. It's easy to use, quick, and I've had good support from the creator of the site. Right now its free. I like that you can password-protect your maps there.

 

Only other software I typically touch is Visual Nature Studio 2 for hillshading. The program won't even run on Windows 7 64bit. I have to run it on XP in a Virtualbox virtual machine software. They have a VNS3 out now, but you are talking about a lot of money for that.






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