MAP Views

Making a Map Without Knowing What the Final Extent or Scale Will Be

Ever have the problem that you want to make a map and you are waiting on the final extent or scale, but you want to get started adding data and working on the layout? Here are a couple of tips to make your life easier.


Defining the Projection or Projecting the Data?

Have you ever imported data that doesn't quite line up how you'd expect? It may be that you've fallen victim to a common workflow error when importing GIS data. Some file types such as CSV can be used for GIS data but don't contain coordinate system information. When you are importing data from this format, you first have to define the correct coordinate system.

In this example, we're going to look at the common mistakes people make and how to avoid them. We'll start with a world map in the Robinson projection.

Robinson map

Import KML Placemarks Into PDF Maps Using Dropbox

Avenza PDF Maps 1.4 has more new features for you to explore. One new feature is the ability to import your own KML points for use on a map. These points can represent anything from your favorite restaurants to GPS waypoints of your weekend hike. If you have MAPublisher, you can take full advantage of this feature by creating your own points with your own attributes. In this example, we'll be exporting points of interest to a KML/KMZ file from a Toronto map that we created in MAPublisher.

Toronto Map with KML Symbols

Identifying the coordinate system or projection of a non-georeferenced map

In a previous blog, we discussed about how to georeference Adobe Illustrator document using MAPublisher. To recap, below are four of the required items to to make georeferencing possible:

  1. The scale of the map in the Adobe Illustrator document (e.g. 1 : 25,000,000, etc.)
  2. Details of the coordinate system the data is in (e.g. World Robinson projection, WGS84 geodetic system, WGS84 UTM Zone 32 N, etc.)
  3. The XY coordinates of one tie-in point in the coordinate system of your map in the Adobe Illustrator document
  4. The map's rotation angle.

We found that the most tricky information to collect is the coordinate system of the map. It can be very easy if it is clealy indicated in a map like this:

Item 2: Coordinate system of the map

Georeferencing an Adobe Illustrator document with MAPublisher

If you are using an existing Adobe Illustrator file that was created without the use of MAPublisher, then it does not contain any geographic parameters. The following step will enable you to georeference your Adobe Illustrator document and ultimately create an attribute-rich, accurate scale and world grid structure for your map. Please familliarize yourself with the main MAPublisher functions and in particular those in the MAP Views section of the MAPublisher User Guide (chapter 4) before proceeding.

Before beginning to georeference an Adobe Illustrator file, you must be in posession of the following information:

  • The map scale in the Adobe Illustrator file (e.g. 1:25,000 etc.)
  • Details of the coordinate system the data is in (e.g. World Robinson projection, WGS84 geodetic system, WGS84 UTM Zone 32 N, etc.)
  • The XY coordinates of one tie-in point in the coordinate system on the map in the Adobe Illustrator document
  • Finally, the MAP rotation angle value.


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