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MAPublisher 10.2 Released

We’re excited to announce the release of MAPublisher 10.2 for Adobe Illustrator. The MAPublisher product team has been working closely with our customers to build these features to improve map design productivity.

MAPublisher 10.2

This update contains new features and performance improvements as well as fixes for reported issues. Some highlights are mentioned below, for the full release notes see below.

Filter layers and attributes with expressions on import. This feature that has been requested by many users in the past and we’re happy to say it’s finally here! While filtering attributes and geometry has been available since MAPublisher 10.0, the ability to filter specific layers and attributes using an expression was not available until now. This let’s you fine-tune your layer and attribute filter to only include (or exclude) specific data at the attribute value level. This improves Adobe Illustrator performance by reducing the number of map features and attributes being imported.  The Filter Geometry feature has been renamed Spatial Filter and it retains the same functionality. In addition, these filtering and simplification tools reside together in an improved user interface.

Simplify complex art on import. Another new import feature that reduces the amount of data is Simplification. It allows for the simplification or generalization of vector line and area data during data import instead of after. Using simplification during import reduces the number of map features and attributes being imported and improves overall performance. Simplification can be applied to all art together or applied separately to lines or areas and use either the Douglas-Peucker or Visvalingam-Whyatt method for removing nodes and vertices.

New support for WFS 2.0, AutoCAD 2018, and OGR formats. Several new formats are supported and updated in MAPublisher 10.2. The WFS 2.0 specification improves on a number of functionalities including response paging. More than 1,000 features can be loaded from a WFS server now. The AutoCAD 2018 format allows you to import and export version 22.0 DXF, DWG and DGN files. Read and write capabilities have been improved by updating OGR import formats (GML and PostGIS) and OGR export formats (GML and GeoJSON).

Overprint option for MAP Legend art. Overprint is essential in print production and reduces unsightly edges that could appear if printing plates are not perfectly aligned. MAPublisher generated art from Scale Bar, Grids and Graticules, and MAP Theme legends now have an overprint setting to ensure that art can be maintained as MAPublisher objects without having to expand art as separate objects, strokes, and fills.

MAPublisher 10.2 Release Notes

  • Filter layers and attributes with expressions on import
  • Simplify complex art on import
  • Import support for WFS 2.0 and AutoCAD 2018
  • Export support for GeoJSON and AutoCAD 2018
  • Introduces MAPublisher with a Simplified Chinese interface option
  • User interface and usability enhancements


Cartographer Chronicles: Mirian Isabel Say

Cartographer Chronicles - Mirian Isabel Say

Brazilian-based cartographer, Mirian Isabel Say, has two passions: making maps and traveling. Lucky enough to live in a large, diverse, and beautiful country as Brazil, she has extensively traveled through it to gain inspiration for personal growth and to find influences for her map designs. As an idealist, Mirian considers maps as works of art, not merely used to perform a singular function. Especially in a natural resource-rich country like Brazil, she believes that maps can help change the lives of its users, transcending the use of maps from a purely commercial purpose to a purpose that is appreciated and acknowledged.

For Mirian, the map design process is a huge personal journey, and having the right tools can be the difference between a published map and a map left unfinished on the computer. When Mirian began her cartography career in 1992, her choice of existing graphic design software was limited and didn’t include suitable tools specific to mapping. Even as the software improved, it didn’t support any of the commonly used geographic data file formats and she was limited to importing data that was not spatially referenced. For example, to accurately create a map scale by hand is very complicated—as any well-trained cartographer knows—and the functionality to do it digitally wasn’t available. Exporting to other cartography formats was not feasible since maps were not georeferenced. Symbols and labels were placed individually, often taking many hours of labour.

By 2004, graphic design and GIS software had become more advanced. Mirian learned about MAPublisher in-person at a GIS and mapping trade show and immediately liked how the many cartography and GIS tools were seamlessly integrated into Adobe Illustrator. She believed she finally found a cartography product that would be an all-in solution. When she returned home, she continued working in her existing graphic design environment, but continued to experience the many shortfalls of it. After some careful planning, she decided to take the leap and jump in headfirst to acquire MAPublisher and Adobe Illustrator.

Any major changes to a workflow including one that involves new software can be difficult at the beginning. Mirian began to adapt from her older graphic design software and learned the new MAPublisher toolsets through Avenza resources and working with the Avenza Support team directly with questions about workflows and best practices. “My type of work is not very common in Brazil and there are few engineers and cartographers who do it. Many years ago, I received professional critiques that my maps were beautiful but not accurate enough. Today, I’m very glad to say that I can create maps just as beautifully and more importantly keep them accurate.”

Vulnerabilidade      SJDR

Mirian’s style of mapping is an immersive experience. When hired to produce indigenous and environmental maps for the Brazilian state of Acre government, she researched the region’s geography, read about its natural resources, and made a trip to visit to explore the culture, people, and food. She says she hopes that others can also see the human side of geographic space as she portrays it in her maps and that maps can provide not just information, but social change. She believes that her connection to and experiences of places make her a better cartographer. When she created the official tourism map for the City of Rio de Janeiro, her home city, she wanted to be “in the present” and decided to explore areas of the city intimately by foot to visit museums, beaches, and landmarks. The City also helped her understand the scale of the area by helicopter – a definite highlight in her career. The result was an appreciation of the city’s colour palette expressed on her map. “The sea was light blue, the green forests were intense, and the rock formations were magnificent. Rio de Janeiro is a very sunny and cheerful city so I used cheerful yellowish-green colors.”


Mirian continues to produce maps for many clients and has had her maps featured in several publications. She has also taught several post-graduate cartography courses at universities and lectures on cartography techniques and the importance of using the best cartography tools available.


Geographic Imager Channel Management and Multispectral Images

The Channel Management tool in Geographic Imager is excellent for quickly making false-color composites from multispectral images in Adobe Photoshop. In this blog, we’ll take a look at Channel Management and see how it can be used on LandSat 8 imagery.

Most satellite providers supply a tile or scene as several images while each image captures a different wavelength of the satellite’s electromagnetic spectrum. The LandSat 8 satellite instruments measure in the visible, near-infrared and shortwave infrared portions of the spectrum. Its images have 15-metre panchromatic and 30-metre multi-spectral spatial resolutions. Here is a list of all LandSat 8 band names, bandwidth, and resolution.

Band # | Type Bandwidth (µm) | Resolution (m)

  • Band 1 Coastal Aerosol | 0.43 – 0.45 | 30
  • Band 2 Blue | 0.45 – 0.51 | 30
  • Band 3 Green | 0.53 – 0.59 | 30
  • Band 4 Red | 0.63 – 0.67 | 30
  • Band 5 Near Infrared (NIR) | 0.85 – 0.88 | 30
  • Band 6 SWIR 1 | 1.57 – 1.65 | 30
  • Band 7 SWIR 2 | 2.11 – 2.29 | 30
  • Band 8 Pan | 0.50 – 0.68 | 15
  • Band 9 Cirrus | 1.36 – 1.38 | 30
  • Band 10 TIRS 1 | 10.6 – 11.19 | 30 (100)
  • Band 11 TIRS 2 | 11.5 – 12.51 | 30 (100)


Before starting, you can download some sample LandSat 8 imagery here and follow this tutorial.

To create different band combinations, we’ll first need to combine images into one image and then use Channel Management to assign band combinations.

1. In Adobe Photoshop, open all of the 30-metre resolution images:

  • Band 1 – Coastal Aerosol
  • Band 2 – Blue
  • Band 3 – Green
  • Band 4 – Red
  • Band 5 – Near Infrared (NIR)
  • Band 6 – SWIR 1
  • Band 7 – SWIR 2
  • Band 9 – Cirrus


When using Landsat 8 imagery, file names have a _B and the band number as a suffix (e.g. LC80450292013225LGN00_B1.TIF). Note that Band 8 wsa not used because it is has a different resolution.

Now that the band images are open, we can continue to combine the images into a single image using the Adobe Photoshop Merge Channels feature to store the spectral information. Each channel is grayscale which can be used to store different information.

2. Go to View > Channels to open the Channels panel. In the panel options menu, select Merge Channels. In the Merge Channels dialog box, the Mode will automatically default to Multichannel because there are eight channels. Click OK.

The Merge Multichannel dialog box will immediately appear. In this dialog box, we’ll specify each image to use for each channel. It’s very important to assign a channel to the according image. In this case, the naming convention of the images makes it easy because the images are in the correct order. In addition, when combining multiple images, it is good practice to ensure that all the images have the exact same image size and are georeferenced the same.

3. Notice the “Specify Channel 1” text, you’ll assign the Band 1 image to it. Click the Image drop-down to display all the images that are compatible to be merged. Select the first image which ends in _B1.tif and click the Next button. For “Specify Channel 2”, select the image ending with _B2.tif and click Next.

4. Repeat the steps for the remaining images until all eight channels have been assigned an image, ensuring the channel number matches the image band number. The only exception will be Channel 8 which uses Band 9 – Cirrus (_B9.tif) because we didn’t include the panchromatic band 8 which has a higher resolution and different georeference.

The images are now merged into a single image in Multichannel mode. Since an image in  Multichannel mode is not compatible with Geographic Imager, it will have to be converted to Grayscale mode.

5. Go to Image > Mode > Grayscale. This will assign the first alpha channel (Band 1 – Coastal Aerosol) to use the Grayscale colour space.

6. In the Channels panel, rename all the channels to their corresponding bands.

  • Alpha 2 -> Band 2 – Blue
  • Alpha 3 -> Band 3 – Green
  • Alpha 4 -> Band 4 – Red
  • Alpha 5 -> Band 5 – NIR
  • Alpha 6 -> Band 6 – SWIR 1
  • Alpha 7 -> Band 7 – SWIR 2
  • Alpha 8 -> Band 9 – Cirrus


Renaming channels makes assigning band combinations easier in later steps. It is recommended to save this image as the source for all band combinations and use Save As to create a new images when saving band combinations.

7. In the Geographic Imager panel, click the Channel Management button.

The Channel Management dialog box shows the current colour mode is Grayscale.

8. Change the Color Mode to RGB Color.

Now the fun begins, we can easily create any band combination. A traditional color infrared image (CIR) is band combination 5-4-3. This refers to what band is assigned to the RGB channels, respectively. CIR is good at determining the health of vegetation; the cell structure of leaves strongly reflects near-infrared light and the stronger the light sensed, the healthier the plants are.

8. Assign Band 5 as the Red channel, Band 4 as the Green channel, and Band 3 as the Blue channel.

9. Click OK to complete the process.

We now have a image which can be used to determine healthy vegetation which is shown in bright red. This makes it easier to determine different types of vegetation making it easier to identify crops and wetland.

Some other common Landsat band combinations are:

  • Natural Color: 4-3-2
  • False Color (urban): 7-6-4
  • Color Infrared (vegetation): 5-4-3
  • Agriculture: 6-5-2
  • Atmospheric Penetration: 7-6-5
  • Healthy Vegetation: 5-6-2
  • Land/Water: 5-6-4
  • Natural With Atmospheric Removal: 7-5-3
  • Shortwave Infrared: 7-5-4
  • Vegetation Analysis: 6-5-4


Another band combination of 6-5-2 can show how healthy vegetation is.

10. Use the History panel to go to the previous step.

This will reset the Channels so that another band combination can be configured easily.

Another great way to make non-destructive edits is to use Adobe Photoshop adjustment layers. Adjustment layers layer can be used individually or in combination to adjust settings such as levels, exposure, contrast, brightness, hue, and saturation to make it easier for the human eye to identify features. It is not recommended to alter an images resolution if it is going to be used in third-party remote sensing software.

There are several options when saving an image like this and it depends on whether you want to maintain the channels or not. When the channels aren’t needed, GeoTIFF is a popular format and is compatible with most spatial software applications. In the TIFF save options, you can uncheck the option for Alpha Channel and Spot, which will prevent saving the alpha channels and will create a saved copy. You can also simply save it as a PSD file (a default reference file will be created) and with all the alpha channels intact. Note that including channels will increase the size of the file.

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