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#1
soboyle

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Just getting started with map making, and have some basic questions. 

My goal is to make maps of the areas where I am taking photographs, to identify locations on the maps, and also note details about what I find in these areas - buildings, foundations, old dams, canals, or particular wildlife - bald eagles spotted here, etc. The maps could be quite localized, a lake or valley, or quite large, an entire river system, from source to sea. 

Looking for a good place to start learning about map making. Any recommended books, websites that give an overview of the process and what software tools are usually used?

I'm a cad draftsman for my day job, so am familiar auto cad, pro engineer and other cad software. Also familiar with Photoshop, but have heard that vector is a better way to go when scaling maps, so may look into Illustrator, which I actually now have with the new creative cloud licensing of Adobe's suite.  

Thanks for any suggestions. 

 



#2
ProMapper

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Great to hear someone interested in making maps for a hobby.

 

If you want vector maps, better learn about GIS data and how it can be imported in Illustrator. Why I say about import of GIS data because tracing from existing maps is a time consuming and inaccurate method. Also lot of open source GIS data is available which can be easily used for your hobby task. Another important facet is that you would be most likely using geo-tagged photographs, then you need a software which can handle the geo-tags and place the photograph at the right spot. If you want to use Illustrator then Avenza Mapublisher is a good GIS import plugin but I do not know about tagged photograph support. You may ask Avenza about it or Hans van der Maarell, the admin of Cartotalk, who is a pro on Avenza products and conducts seminars and courses on them.

 

Hans if you read this post, can you tell us about Mapublisher handling of geo-tagged photos....

 

Anu

http://www.mapsandlocations.com



#3
Hans van der Maarel

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MAPublisher can handle georeferenced photos (i.e. top-down maps or imagery), but not geotagged ones (i.e. photos taken from the ground). However, if you can extract the location out of the EXIF data (FME can do that and there's probably loads more options to do that) and save that as either a GIS file or simply a list of coordinates MAPublisher can read that as point locations.


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#4
ProMapper

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:angry: sad, there is no end to software requirement for dealing with data available today. Isn't there some open source option to do that rather than expensive FME.....

 

Anu

http://www.mapsandlocations.com



#5
Michael Schmeling

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A good open source software is QGis:

 

http://www.qgis.org/


Michael Schmeling
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http://maps.aridocean.com
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http://www.indiecartographer.com

#6
soboyle

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Thanks for the info. I'm trying to decide which program to start with. Global Mapper has been recommended to me by Bob Garrison, who made a very nice map of St John in the USVI with it. Any recommendations there? Thoughts on Global Mapper? Michael mentioned QGis.

 

I should add that my final output will want to be in printed form, as well as online. For me this is as much a graphic exercise as it is a mapping exercise. I like the beauty of well made maps. My goal is to make maps which are highly personal to my photo projects, mapping areas which I photograph, where I find interesting subjects, and noting this on the map. So the map may be of a river, with indications of where I found a bald eagle, and the flight path it took after I spooked it from its perch. Mapping unique moments, so the maps become works of art in themselves. 



#7
frax

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I am not sure about Global Mapper for you, it is not as complete as some other packages - I would try first with QGis, it being free and all.


Hugo Ahlenius
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#8
soboyle

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Thanks, QGIS seems to be an excellent program. 

Looking for sources for vector data, specifically for the Housatonic River watershed in Western Massachusetts. I've been to MassGIS, but am looking for more data related to geology of the region. Any suggestions?



#9
mfarmer

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Great data source: US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Geospatial Data Gateway

 

http://datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov/



#10
soboyle

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Excellent resource, Thank you!






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