My Account     Contact Us     Cart

Articles

Working with Custom Highway Shield Symbols and Label Features

MAPublisher offers a variety of labelling options, ranging from the MAP Tagger tool used for hand labelling single pieces of art, the Label Features tool for automatic attribute labelling, and MAPublisher LabelPro™, a separately licensed advanced labelling engine.

MAPublisher LabelPro ships with nearly 100 highway shields from across North America into which attribute labels can be easily placed. Although LabelPro does not support adding custom symbols to its existing symbols library, the following instructions outline a manual method for adding a custom highway shield to your map, along with placing text on to this shield.

First we must setup our custom shield. This can be drawn in Adobe Illustrator, or produced from a pre-existing image brought into Illustrator using the File > Place menu option. For this exercise I have taken a highway shield I found online from York Region Ontario, and using Adobe Photoshop removed the highway number from the shield.

Working with MAPublisher for Adobe Illustrator

Once the shield is drawn and sized appropriately and placed in Illustrator, simply use the Selection Tool to drag the symbol into the Adobe Illustrator Symbols panel. Be sure to name the symbol, as you will need to access the symbol from a list later on; I named mine “York_Shield”

Our next step is to produce our feature labels. Using the Label Features tool, choose to label with the “Don’t follow line, create point text” option selected. Once the labels are placed on the map, use the Adobe Layers panel to select the labels and use the Paragraph panel or the Control Toolbar to centre justify the labels. This step is important for easily lining up our shields with the labels.

Label map features

We now need to create a point layer with a point corresponding to each label. This is easily done by using the MAP Attribute panel option menu to “Export Attributes..” of our newly created Feature Labels MAP Text Layer. Be sure to choose export all attributes under Options: Scope, and to check “Include column names on first line” as we will be using the hidden MAPX and MAPY attribute columns when importing this data back into the map as point data.

Export map attributes

Next, use the MAPublisher Simple Import tool to add the newly created .csv file of referenced attribute information. When prompted by the Settings dialog, choose the MAPX column as the column containng X coordinates, and MAPY for Y coordinates. Once the data is imported, if it has not been added to the MAP View containing your line and text layers, add it, and specify the coordinate system if necessary.

MAPublisher Settings

With the imported point data selected, open the MAP Attribute panel and right click a column heading to access the Show/Hide Columns > Show All option. double click the #Style column and change the style to your shield symbol. Use the Apply Expression tool in the option menu to apply the symbol to every item at once.

Apply expressions

Alternately, a MAP Stylesheet can be built to apply the symbol only to art with a specific range of attributes. In the Adobe layers panel move your label layer above your symbol layer.

If text and symbol do not line up as desired, the symbol geometry will need to be altered. If you are using CS5, doubble click the shield in the symbol panel to enter isolation mode, here you can drag the symbol to respecify the anchor point so that your symbol lines up as you would like it. If you are using CS3 or CS4, you will need to add some invisible art (no stroke/no fill) just below or above the symbol to adjust its extents, and where exactly the symbol’s centre point is located. As well, symbol and text rotation can be edited globally by changing the #Rotation attribute in the MAP Attributes panel.

MAPublisher highway shields

Geographic Imager 3.2: Introduction to Terrain Shader, Part 3 – Applying Terrain Shader to multiple DEM files

If your workflow involves Terrain Shader, specifying a DEM schema is an important step, especially when dealing with mulitple DEM files.

When importing a single DEM file, Geographic Imager converts elevation values to gray scale values. For example, if the elevation range in your DEM file is between 0 and 2500 meters and the “Auto-stretched” option is selected, this range will be converted to the Adobe Photoshop gray scale range between black and white. As shown below, the black color is assigned to the lowest elevation value (0 meter) while the white color is assigned to the highest elevation value (2500 meters). For elevation values between 0 and 2500, Geographic Imager calculates and converts them into gray scale.

Import DEM File - Auto-stretched

In this example, we’ll use six DEM files of one geographic region. Many datasets are distributed as tiled DEM files. Each of them is next to each other and the goal is to create a colorized DEM image from those six files.

Collected 6 dem files

When dealing with multiple DEM files, you will need to consider the elevation range of the each DEM file. In other words, the elevation range in each DEM file will be slightly different.

table: elevation range in each DEM file Chart: Elevation range in each DEM files

Option 1: Using the “Auto-Stretched” option for multiple DEM files

When importing multiple DEM images and using the “Auto-stretched” option, click “Apply to All”…

Dialog window: Import DEM file - auto stretched

Every one of the DEM images will be converted to the gray scale between black and white.

graph: stretching the gray scale to every image file

As a result, you can get the maximum contrast in each image. However, you will not be able to mosaic or apply Terrain Shader to those six images because each DEM has slight differences in elevation and an all encompassing schema like the”Auto-stretched” option will not work.

DEM images opened with Auto-stretched

Option 2: Creating a DEM schema by specifying a range

In order to apply Terrain Shader to multiple DEM files, you will need to assign one DEM schema to each DEM image you would like to share the same schema.

Step 1: Identify the elevation range amongst multiple DEM files

Explore the DEM files and find out what the elevation range is for each one. Then note which are the lowest and highest values among all DEMs. For this example, the lowest elevation is 0 m and the highest is 3,231 meters.

Finding the range among multiple DEM files

Step 2: Create a new DEM schema for your dataset

Choose File > Open and select multiple DEM files. Once the Import DEM file dialog box is open, click the Add button to open the “Edit DEM Schema” dialog box.

Create a new Schema name (e.g. “my study area”). Simply enter the lowest and highest elevation value found in Step 1.

Dialog window: Edit DEM Schema - specifying the range for the DEM schema

Step 3: Apply the DEM schema to your datasets

When you’ve created a new DEM schema, it will be available in the “Select Schema” drop-down list. Choose the new schema and click “Apply to All”. This selected schema will be applied to all the DEM files being imported.

dialog window: Importing DEM file with the same schema

After the import process is completed, the images are ready for Terrain Shader.

All the DEM files imported with the same DEM schema

When one of the imported DEM file is the active document, click the “DEM” tab in the Geographic Imager panel. It shows the DEM schema name, the DEM value range, and the actual elevation value available in the currently active document. Click the “Calculate” button if you do not see the statistics (actual elevation value range of the active document).

Geographic Imager Main Panel

Step 4: Apply Terrain Shader to your DEM files

Since each DEM has a schema, a mosaic can be perfomed and then Terrain Shader can be applied to the mosaicked iamge.

DEM files mosaicked and Terrain Shader effect is applied

Geographic Imager 3.2: Introduction to Terrain Shader, Part 1

The upcoming release of Geographic Imager 3.2 introduces a new feature called Terrain Shader, used to apply color gradients and shaded relief to imported DEM images. Color gradients can be exported so that you can use them for other images or share them with other people.

You might want to take a look at our brief video about the Geographic Imager Terrain Shader on our Avenza YouTube channel.

In this blog, I’ll show you a quick workflow with Terrain Shader using one of the files from the Geographic Imager tutorial folder.

1) Open the DEM file called Yukon Water.dem from the Geographic Imager Tutorial Folder in Adobe Photoshop. Geographic Imager will automatically detect the file type so that you will see the “Import DEM File” dialog box(below).

When your workflow involves Terrain Shader, it is important to select an appropriate schema in the Import DEM file dialog box. For now, we’ll use the option “Auto-stretched”. We’ll return to this dialog box when we talk about an advanced use of Terrain Shader feature in another blog.

Importing a DEM file

After the DEM file is successfully imported, you will see the geospatial information, the DEM schema and the value range information in the Geographic Imager panel. The panel has been redesigned and improved for version 3.2 (We think it works really well!)

Geographic Imager Main Panel: displaying the information of the dem file just imported

2) Click the Terrain Shader button.

Terrain Shader icon on Geographic Imager Main Panel

In the Terrain Shader dialog box, on the left side, you can see the elevation range of the DEM file. There is a large preview image at the centre of the dialog box.

Terrain Shader Main Dialog Window

3) Click the check box beside “Apply Color Map” to apply a color gradient to the DEM image.

You can select one gradient from the preset gradients from the dropdown menu. Or you can edit the color gradient form the existing one. Click the pencil icon next to the preset dropdown menu. In the Edit Color Map dialog box, you can modify the gradient scheme. You can change colors, add ramps, adjust the ramp position, ….etc.

Editing Color Scheme

4) Click OK to apply the modication.

5) Another great function with the Terrain Shader is to apply the shaded relief effect at the same time. Click the check box beside “Applly Shaded Relief”.

You can adjust the angle of the source light and the intensity of the contrast. You can see how the settings affect the DEM image in the preview.

Applying a shaded relief effect

6) The DEM is stylized with a color gradient and a shaded relief effect.

colorized dem image with a shaded relief effect

Stay tuned for Introduction to Terrain Shader, Part 2

Geographic Imager 3.2: Introduction to Terrain Shader, Part 2 – Creating shaded relief

In a previous blog, we showed you how to create a shaded relief image from an imported DEM file by using either our JavaScript to automate all the processes or through a manual method.

With Geographic Imager 3.2, you can produce a shaded relief image using the new feature Terrain Shader quickly and easily with just a few clicks.

We will use the Rocky Mountain.dem file available in the Geographic Imager tutorial folder.

1) Open the Rocky Mountain.dem file in Adobe Photoshop. As mentioned in the previous blog, selecting an appropriate DEM schema is an important step before using the Terrain Shader. For this image, we will choose the “Auto-stretched” option, which will give you an optimum result in Terrain Shader.

Import DEM File dialog window

2) Click the Terrain Shader button on Geographic Imager main panel.

Terrain Shader Icon

3) In the Terrain Shader dialog box, uncheck the “Apply Color Map” option and check the “Apply Shaded Relief” option.

Terrain Shader Main Window

4) In the Apply Shaded Relief settings, adjust the light source angle and intensity.

As you adjust the settings, use the preview image to get a sense of what your image will look like.

Terrain Shader: Apply Shaded Relief

Now that a shaded relief image is created, lets tweak it a little and make some adjustments.

Shaded Relief Image right after Step 4

The shaded relief image looks dark. It is because the blending mode of the shaded relief layer, #GI Shaded Relief Layer, is set to “Overlay” (the drop-down menu in the Layers panel).

5) Highlight #GI Shaded Relief Layer and Change the blending mode to “Normal”.

Layers panel: changing the Blending mode to Normal

Alternatively, simply turned off the visibility of the original DEM layer “Rocky Mountain.dem” in the Layers panel.

Layers panel after Terrain Shader is applied

You will get the same effect. The shaded relief now shows the crisp shading effect.

Shaded Relief Image after the original DEM file is made invisible

6) If you want to change the brightness and contrast of the produced shaded relief image, you can simply add an adjustment layer in the Layers panel.

Layers Panel: Adding an adjustment layer

Simply adjust the brightness and contrast values in the Adjustments panel.

Adjustment Panel: adjusting contrast

Now, the shaded relief image is ready for your map!

Adjusted shaded relief image

As always, when you use Geographic Imager, all the georeference information is maintained while you work with Adobe Photoshop and Geographic Imager functions. This is a great advantage when dealing with geospatial datasets.

Georeference information displayed on the Geographic Imager Main Panel

One quick note: If you want to use a shaded relief image with MAPublisher in Adobe Illustrator, you may save the shaded relief image with spatial reference information. Before saving the image, go to Image > Mode > 8 Bits/Channels. It will convert the image from 16 bits to 8 bits, which is necessary when working with images in Adobe Illustrator.

Changing the image mode from 16 bit to 8 bit

To place the image in Adobe Illustrator, use the MAPublisher “Register Image” function to align the image with your vector work.

Using these steps will add a nice texture to your map.

Privacy Preference Center

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?