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Suggested approach for automating delivery of GIS data updates to maps

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#1
gph

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Hello there,

I'm new to this arena and am looking for some suggestions as to how to achieve the following, using appropriate GIS software plus macros / programming as necessary (not the step-by-step - but pointers to the right software / combinations of software):

1) I want to create two map-based products a) a PDF-based Atlas that tracks the locations of certain places of interest around the world, both on a single global map, as well as as on maps for certain individual countries, and B) an online-based map, containing the same info, but allowing the user to zoom in, click for more info etc.

2) I would like to be able to update the tables in a simple database, spreadsheet or other file, on a monthly basis, and using either a macro, or some in-built feature, have the new info automatically update in the PDF Atlas online, with a minimum number of steps. Preferably it would be fully automated.

I am familiar with Adobe Illustrator so have been looking intently at the Avenza MAPublisher product, which looks great, including the geospatial PDF production capabilities and the online Maps API. but is there a way to set up this plugin, so that I can update the tables of GIS info, and have the files automagically update, including the online stuff?? Not looking for real-time updates - a manual (or timed) refresh would be fine. Oh - and I am using a Mac.

Thanks!

GPH

Edited by gph, 04 March 2012 - 01:53 AM.


#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I am familiar with Adobe Illustrator so have been looking intently at the Avenza MAPublisher product, which looks great, including the geospatial PDF production capabilities and the online Maps API. but is there a way to set up this plugin, so that I can update the tables of GIS info, and have the files automagically update, including the online stuff??


You can set up a template so that Map Themes will be applied to certain layers upon import. Each time your GIS data is updated, you open the template file, import the new data and the styles will be automagically applied.

Exporting might be a bit trickier, MAPublisher does offer an export to Flash and theoretically you could set that up in the template file as well so that all you'd have to do is run the exporter again.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
gph

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You can set up a template so that Map Themes will be applied to certain layers upon import. Each time your GIS data is updated, you open the template file, import the new data and the styles will be automagically applied.

Exporting might be a bit trickier, MAPublisher does offer an export to Flash and theoretically you could set that up in the template file as well so that all you'd have to do is run the exporter again.


Thanks so much for the swift reply. Question though - if I end up with 60 individual map files in my PDFs, I'd have to do this 60 times, right, if there was new data that showed up within the geospatial boundaries in each map? Maybe I need to look at Applescript or something to do this, if that's the case - have the script do all the opening, refreshing of templates / themes etc, saving and closing?

#4
Igor Brejc

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I'm new to this arena and am looking for some suggestions as to how to achieve the following, using appropriate GIS software plus macros / programming as necessary (not the step-by-step - but pointers to the right software / combinations of software):


One possible avenue you might want to explore is using Maperitive (http://maperitive.net/), since it was designed just for such automated tasks. The current version I'm finishing right now (and which I haven't released yet) allows writing Python scripts for map creation and exporting. It can generate bitmap tiles for web maps and can also export the map in the SVG format which can then be imported into Illustrator or Inkscape.

Reading the map data from a text file like CSV or shouldn't be a problem, I've already written some Python scripts to do that. What Maperitive currently lacks is the direct PDF export. However, there are command line tools which can convert from SVG to PDF.

It all very much depends on how complex your maps are and the level of control you need. If you're interested, you can contact me at igor.brejc at gmail.
Igor Brejc
author of Maperitive, an OSM-based mapmaking software




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