November 2014

Styling Your Map in Adobe Illustrator: Objects vs Layers

One of Adobe Illustrator's powerful yet occasionally confusing features is the ability to apply fills, strokes and Graphic Styles to art at either the Object level or the Layer level. This is extremely useful because you can effectively use Layers to set up symbology templates so that any art that is drawn on a Layer inherits its appearance from that Layer. Confusion often arises when users combine art styles at both the Layer and Object levels, and cannot figure out why their map does not look how they expect it to look. Most of the examples here are going to be based around using the Appearance panel to apply strokes and fills.


Where are Maps from the PDF Maps Store Saved on my Device?

Avenza Support often gets questions from PDF Maps users about where maps from the PDF Maps Store go once they are downloaded to their device. Usually this is because people want to move them onto their SD Card or copy them on to another device. Maps that are downloaded from the Map Store are locked to your device's internal storage. This protects a vendor's content from unauthorized copying and distribution.

One thing to remember is that if you are logged in to your free PDF Maps account any maps you purchase/download are associated with that account. This means that if you need to free up space on your device you can delete any of your maps and re-download them free of charge at a later date. If you need to use your maps on other devices, you can link up to five devices to your account and download your maps on to any of them.

Additionally, if you are loading maps from another source such as Dropbox, an internet URL or an email attachment you can set a storage location for these maps in the PDF Maps settings. This will not apply to maps downloaded from the Map Store.

More information about PDF Maps accounts, downloading maps and transferring them between devices can be found at this Avenza Resources Blog post.


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GDAL/OGR Scripts for Converting KML/KMZ Files Exported from PDF Maps to Shapefiles

Avenza PDF Maps has the ability to export user created features to KML or KMZ files for use in other applications. Avenza Forum user brymcbride helpfully created a script for Macs using GDAL/OGR to convert KML/KMZ into shapefiles for easy import into other GIS packages. Most GIS packages these days can consume KML/KMZ files, but the real strength of this method is its use of a SQLite database as an intermediate format in the translation process. This has allowed brymcbride to use some SQL formatting to adjust the resulting shapefiles attributes and create a user friendly link to any images that may be associated with a placemark, line or track captured in PDF Maps.

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