Jump to content

 
Photo

MAPublisher advice needed

- - - - - MAPublisher Illustrator

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1
UpstateGIS

UpstateGIS

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cambridge, NY
  • United States

Good afternoon,

 

I'm looking for some insight on MAPublisher. Right now I do most of my work in ArcGIS and then bring pieces into Photoshop and/or InDesign to improve background images, labeling and layouts.  I have barely scratched the surface of Illustrator, but recognize that I need to make a significant effort to include it into my workflow.  So with that here are my questions:

 

1. How useful do people find MAPublisher over exporting vectors/rasters from a GIS source and manipulating/editing/labeling in Adobe (be it Illustrator or Photoshop or if anyone is crazy like me InDesign)? I already have an investment in my current software/workflow so I want to be sure that the investment in a new "tool" is going to be worth the added lift.  I can see that it would make some of my tasks more efficient, I'm just curious if we're talking a slight bump in productivity or it's a game changer.  

 

2. Is there a significant difference between version 9.4 and 9.5 - I have CS5.5 and wondering if I were to invest in MAPublisher if I need to also upgrade to CS6?

2A. A related question - is it worth upgrading to CS6 regardless?

 

3. Do people find the extra investment in LabelPro to be worth it, or are we talking only a minor improvement in what MAPublisher/Illustrator offer?

 

4. Any experience/advice on Geographic Imager - is it significantly useful beyond what ArcGIS/Photoshop is capable of doing?

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer,

 

-Rick



#2
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,178 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Note: I am a very enthusiastic MAPublisher user and also reseller, so it's quite possible I'm biased :)

 

1: I consider it to be a game changer. In the ideal GIS -> Graphics workflow you do all your data management in GIS and then import the raw GIS data into MAPublisher for the visualisation step. Since you're working with Illustrator (or in the case of Geographic Imager, Photoshop) you have all the power and freedom that that offers you with the added bonus of having some GIS tools, such as working at scale / in projection and working with attributes. When it comes to applying styles I find Illustrator a lot more versatile than ArcGIS.

 

2 and 2a: There's no real major differences, but lots of little improvements. However, one thing to keep in mind is that MAPublisher will not indefinitely support older versions of Illustrator. Rule of thumb is that a MAPublisher release supports the current Illustrator version as well as the 2 previous ones. So MAPublisher 9.5 supports CC2014, CC and CS6. I personally would recommend staying more-or-less current with your Illustrator releases too.

 

3: It depends on the kind of maps you make and the data you have. I find it very useful for labelling streets (provided I actually have street centerlines with the relevant attributes), even if you don't get 100% correct results, it is a big timesaver. There is a demo included if you don't have a licence so you can see what it'd do but it garbles all the labels.

 

4: Again it depends on what you do. I often have to work with big Georeferenced Photoshop documents (with a bunch of layers and effects). A major benefit of Geographic Imager is that it can retain the georeference even if you resize, resample or crop an image. There's a GI Basic option too that's a bit cheaper, alternatively there's some bundle options if you buy MAPublisher and Geographic Imager together so if you're considering getting it I would certainly recommend looking into those.

 

Hope this helps, if you have any more questions just ask.


  • Ted Florence likes this
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Ted Florence

Ted Florence

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto
  • Interests:Making great mapping software.
  • Canada

So as not to be promotional and self-serving, I will refrain from answering your questions #1, 3 and 4 and rather save those for folks like Hans and others to chime in on.

I do however feel that I can safely address your second question without raising the ire of the Cartotalkers.

 

So firstly, when you buy a MAPublisher license (unless it is a student license) you get a free year of maintenance (upgrades and support) included. So that means that even if you go with MAPublisher 9.4 now so as to be compatible with your Illustrator CS5.5, you can get version 9.5 for free whenever you do decide to upgrade Illustrator. In fact you could freely upgrade to any MAPublisher version that is released within that first year. So if money is an issue and you do not want to rush to upgrade Illustrator then you don't have to.

 

Secondly, the announcement of MAPublisher 9.5 in July is here: http://www.avenza.co...obe-illustrator

There you can see a brief list of some of the changes made with this release. Admittedly, the main purpose of this release was CC2014 compatibility but as always, we threw in a few extra items.

Since then there have been 3 dot releases so we are now at 9.5.3

 

And the only other thing to say is that as always you should try before you buy so feel free to grab our 14-day trials off www.avenza.com

And, if you want to try MAPublisher 9.4, please use these links as the ones you will find on our website are for v9.5:

http://download.aven...4/mp940mi-e.dmg
http://download.aven...4/mp940wi-e.zip

 

Cheers

Ted


Ted Florence

Avenza Systems Inc.

When Map Quality Matters ®

www.avenza.com

 

Cartographic and spatial imaging solutions for Adobe Creative Suite

Mobile mapping solutions for using, selling and distributing maps to mobile devices

 

 

 

mp_logo.gif    gi_logo.gifpdf-maps-icon.png
 


#4
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,312 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

Good afternoon,

 

I'm looking for some insight on MAPublisher. Right now I do most of my work in ArcGIS and then bring pieces into Photoshop and/or InDesign to improve background images, labeling and layouts.  I have barely scratched the surface of Illustrator, but recognize that I need to make a significant effort to include it into my workflow.  So with that here are my questions:

 

1. How useful do people find MAPublisher over exporting vectors/rasters from a GIS source and manipulating/editing/labeling in Adobe (be it Illustrator or Photoshop or if anyone is crazy like me InDesign)? I already have an investment in my current software/workflow so I want to be sure that the investment in a new "tool" is going to be worth the added lift.  I can see that it would make some of my tasks more efficient, I'm just curious if we're talking a slight bump in productivity or it's a game changer.  

 

2. Is there a significant difference between version 9.4 and 9.5 - I have CS5.5 and wondering if I were to invest in MAPublisher if I need to also upgrade to CS6?

2A. A related question - is it worth upgrading to CS6 regardless?

 

3. Do people find the extra investment in LabelPro to be worth it, or are we talking only a minor improvement in what MAPublisher/Illustrator offer?

 

4. Any experience/advice on Geographic Imager - is it significantly useful beyond what ArcGIS/Photoshop is capable of doing?

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer,

 

-Rick

 

 

1) MAPublisher is a BIG help in working with raw GIS data files directly in AI, but I don't know if it's a game changer. If you already have ArcGIS, you can work around not having MAPub by exporting from Arc to AI files. But it can be tedious. MAPub certainly makes the work flow much easier. Add to that some of the extra controls that MAPub gives you around creating attribute driven selections and styles in AI.

 

The real benefit will come from intensive map production in AI, if all you are doing is touching up ArcGIS layouts you don't really need it. If you are doing a lot of production mapping with AI and using Arc just to set up the files for importing into AI then MAPub could be areal help. It also makes exporting your maps to GeoPDF or interactive web formats a snap.

 

3) I have not needed LabelPro and I personally think the price is out of line with what it provides. It might be a good investment if you were constantly producing very label heavy documents with thousands of labels per map (think detailed city street maps or parcel maps).

 

4) What do you need to do with your images? Imagery in a GIS to publication workflow is usually just for background information and if you already have Arc this can be handled quite nicely by Arc and MAPub (which imports geo refed rasters). If you are looking to do transformations, overlays, shaded relief outside of Arc I'd recommend Natural Scene Designer as an alternative. I think Geographic Imager is better suited to handling production that involves a large raster library and no other GIS software in the workflow, so figure you could use MAPub and GeoImager together and drop Arc for production.

 

I know I sound like I'm being critical of MAPub, I'm not. I love this software, it makes a huge difference in my work, but you need to measure it against the work you do to see if it's really needed. For me once Avenza drops CS6 support I'm probably done making maps. I can't imagine working without it, but I can't afford Adobe's new price structure with CC for what I make in money off my maps each year.

 

I'd follow the links Ted gave you a run the trial version to see ho you like it. Have a map set up ready to go so you can really dig in and see what it can do for you.

 

Good luck!

David


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

www.mapbliss.com
@mapbliss

#5
Nichodemus

Nichodemus

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • United States

I am a fairly new user of MAPublisher, only having used it for the past year or so. But if you are finding that you are at the limitations of what you can do with ArcMap or just AI/Indesign, MAPublisher is the next step. I used to do a lot of maps in InDesign. My Indd file would have layers of typically Illustrator exports from ArcMap as well as PDF's tediously stacked on top of each other. Problem is, as you know, you get 3/4 of the way through the map and decide you need to change the scale or extent. Well, there is no way to do that easily without MAPublisher. Setting up themes is easy with MAPublisher, as well as using the Themes to set up your symbols. To me, it is a game changer. (I will gladly give up ArcGIS before I give up CS+MAPublisher.) Having said that, your usage may or may not warrant the expense of MAPublisher. Its not cheap, but there really aren't any other programs out there that do what it does. Check out the trials. Also, look for the videos on youtube.

 

As for LabelPro, we have it at work. I love it. It does a great job with labels. But it really is rather expensive given what it does. When I need it, I really need it. But 90% of the time I don't need it.



#6
tangnar

tangnar

    Master Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina
  • Interests:Rivers, Urban Design, Geomorphology, Bicycling, Outdoors
  • United States

I'm with most everyone on the 'depends on what you do' response and to compare the cost vs benefit of it. We use it to produce geologic maps quickly and efficiently because it is a major part of the workflow for symbology and layout.  I don't know that it'd be that beneficial for just touching up. 

 

My other perspective is from a GIS data management side of things. Sometimes, the organization of data/metadata has been slack because much of the work was done in AI with MAPublisher for paper maps products. This is easily solved by having a standard workflow, but it's a consideration if you create/maintain data.



#7
UpstateGIS

UpstateGIS

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cambridge, NY
  • United States

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the info/advice. I'm going to take the trial version for a spin and see how it works out. Sounds like I should be able to get a good feel using CS5 and MAPub 9.4 without jumping up to 6/9.5 for now.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: MAPublisher, Illustrator

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->