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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.

 

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.

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.

 

How to Distinguish Between Adobe Illustrator CC and CC 2014

Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud 2014 was recently released. Unfortunately the naming of the latest version has caused a little confusion among users because in many places (including Adobe.com), Adobe has simply called it "Adobe Illustrator CC" without the "2014".

To make it a bit more confusing, in the Creative Cloud App, the newest version of Illustrator is distinguished by the designation "(2014)". It is actually a completely separate install, not simply an update of the existing Illustrator CC. The icon used is also the exact same, so there is further confusion because in the past, the icon would change colour or design ever so slightly.

Improve Mosaic By Resampling Images in Geographic Imager

The Mosaic function in Geographic Imager merges multiple georeferenced images together to create a single composite georeferenced image. Though the goal of the mosaic is to create a single and seamless composite image, combining images with the Mosaic tool will often result in a slight shift of the imagery due to differences in the original pixel registration grid. This means that even when images are in the same coordinate system with the same spatial resolution, error can still be introduced because of a difference in the pixel alignment. Due to this, mosaicking processes in general tend to produce results that may be very close, but not exact. With this in mind, the results of your mosaic may be improved by resampling your images beforehand to the smallest unit of the resolution.

As an example, let's say we have an image where the pixel size is 2.00 metres. When plotting the X coordinates of every pixel in this image (using the top left corner of the pixel), the X coordinate value will be incremented by the number/distance of the pixel size. For example, if the X coordinate values were to start at 111.00, then the next pixel would be 113.00, 115.00, 117.00, and so on. It's important to note that these coordinate values are discrete, which means that the values could not be 113.22 or 115.77 because the origin of the coordinate in this case starts at 111.00 metres.

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