Avenza Resources Blog

PDF Maps for Windows Phone Beta Available

You have all been vocal in your support for a Windows Phone version of PDF Maps so we're excited to tell you that the Beta is now available to the public. As a tester, you get to have a direct influence over how PDF Maps looks and feels. Be sure to submit any feedback and issues of your experience with as much detail as possible so that we can make improvements to the app. We highly recommend sending screen shots, crash logs and detailed workflows for any issues you come across.


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Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1 Known Labeling Issue and Workaround

Compatibility issue with Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1

On October 6, 2014, Adobe released Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.1, a point release with some new features and updates.  It was confirmed that as a result of this update, an issue with Actions was introduced by Adobe.

This issue affects all Actions relating to text on a path, not just those within MAPublisher. When applying a recorded action to text on a path, the result is incorrect. Several MAPublisher labeling tools rel y on Actions and that is the reason some users are experiencing this labeling issue.

After reviewing the issue, a message was sent to Adobe and they are currently working on fixing it. While Adobe has acknowledged the issue and has indicated that a fix is coming, it is not expected to become public until the next major release of Adobe Illustrator.

We have developed the following explanation and work around to help you.

Download a PDF of this blog post.


FME - MAPublisher Compatibility

There are several interactions between FME, Adobe Illustrator, and MAPublisher that are important for the MAPublisher FME Auto plugin to function correctly. When multiple versions of FME and Adobe Illustrator are installed on a single machine, you should be aware of compatibility issues.

Compatibility 1: FME version vs FME Auto plugin version

Compatibility 1
(Click for larger version)

The FME version that the FME Auto plugin is built against needs to be the same or older than the FME version it is installed for. FME ships with the FME Auto plugin that is compatible with that version. If MAPublisher is installed afterwards, the plugin will be overwritten. MAPublisher comes with plugins built against all supported versions of FME.

Troubleshoot issue:

If the FME Auto plugin is built against a newer FME version than the FME version installed, it won’t load and won’t be available in the list of writers. If the FME Auto plugin is built against an older version of FME, it will work, however, a warning will be issued to the FME log. This should not be an issue unless the FME plugin is manually copied into the FME folder.

 

Using MAPublisher FME Auto to Load Raster Layers into Adobe Illustrator

The MAPublisher FME Auto add-on connects the analysis and processing capabilities of Safe Software's FME Desktop with the cartographic design and publishing environment of MAPublisher and Adobe Illustrator. Since MAPublisher 9.5, it has been possible to import georeferenced raster layers as well as vector data. This adds an extra layer of power and convenience to the FME and MAPublisher integration. The ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) power of FME can be used to pre-process raster images and load them into MAPublisher where they can be overlaid with cartographically styled vector layers.

Raster Layer in Adobe Illustrator
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Creating Pattern Fills for Cartographic Styling

Creating repeating patterns for cartographic styling is easy in Adobe Illustrator. We are going to look at how you can create a pattern for use in symbolising areas of wetlands or marshes.

Map Using Pattern Fills
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Using MAP Themes to Automatically Style CanVec+ Data on Import in MAPublisher

Creating multiple maps that share cartographic styling is a common requirement for MAPublisher users. The most effective way to accomplish this is the use of MAP Themes. MAP Themes are a collection of thematic cartography tools designed to increase productivity by automating how styles and symbols are applied. Creating a number of MAP Themes based on regularly used layers with standard attribute schemas can greatly reduce the amount of time spent styling maps.

This guide will walk through creating and setting up MAP Themes to automatically apply to the appropriate layers upon import. If done correctly, rather than seeing this:

Unstyled CanVec+ layers
(Click for larger version)

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.

Top Reasons to Create a Free PDF Maps Account

#1 - It's free!

PDF Maps accounts are free for personal use.

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