How to get Open Street Map data into Adobe Illustrator with MAPublisher
The following tip is courtesy of Hans van der Maarel of Red Geographics.
For many areas on Earth, OpenStreetMap is a viable alternative to commercially offered data sources. However, it is not always easy to process. This blog tutorial explains the steps needed to load OpenStreetMap data into MAPublisher.
1. Download and install QGis, this is a free GIS application, available for Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Make sure that after the installation finishes, you activate the OpenStreetMap plugin (Plugins -> Plugin settings).
2. Go to OpenStreetMap in your Web browser and zoom in to an area of interest. Keep in mind that downloads from the OpenStreetMap website are limited in the number of exported objects, so for larger areas you will have to combine multiple downloads yourself, or look for other options (for example Geofabrik or Cloudmade).
3. Go to the export tab and pick OpenStreetmap XML. Save this file as map.osm (it may take a few minutes).
4. Open map.osm in QGis. Tick all options. Note: this uses the "Load OSM from file" option in the OpenStreetMap plugin.
This results are shown in three layers: points, lines and polygons. Note that the OpenStreetMap export will not crop objects, but you can do this later on in MAPublisher.
5. Export these layers one by one. Right-click and choose "Save as shapefile".
6. The three shapefiles can be imported into Adobe Illustrator using MAPublisher. After reprojecting, scaling and cropping we've ended up with the raw OpenStreetMap vectors in Adobe Illustrator, with all attributes still maintained.
7. Once within the data is imported successfully, you may now use any of the MAPublisher and Adobe Illustrator tools to style and customize the map in any way you want.