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Mapping Canadian Capitals for Canada Day

Canada Day Map MAPublisher

Avenza was founded and headquartered in Toronto, and as such, we pride ourselves on being a Canadian company with a global reach. This year we have celebrated by creating a map highlighting the names and capital cities of each province and territory of Canada using MAPublisher

Using the MAP Point Plotter Tool to Plot Canadian Capital Cities

This blog will detail how we quickly and easily plotted points to represent the capital cities of Canada and its provinces and territories using the MAP Point Plotter tool. Firstly, a MAP Point layer must be created and selected before opening the MAP Point Plotter tool. This is the only layer type that can be used with this tool, for obvious reasons. 

There are several different ways in which addresses and coordinates can be entered into the MAP Point Plotter tool. This blog will highlight a few of the common techniques.

Using a Point’s Address

The simplest way to plot a point is by entering its address, following a specific-to-general granularity format as seen in the examples below. After opening the tool, the Address tab was selected and the following cities were plotted using MapQuest to locate these addresses:

  • Victoria: 1 Centennial Square, Victoria, BC V8W 1P6
  • Edmonton: Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2
  • Regina: 2476 Victoria Ave, Regina, SK
  • Winnipeg: 510 Main Street, Winnipeg
Canada Day Victoria Plot Address

Using a Point’s Coordinates in Decimal Degrees

Another way to plot points is to use coordinates, by selecting the Coordinates tab. There are several different coordinate formats accepted by the MAP Point Plotter tool. We entered simple decimal degrees by selecting Decimal degrees as the format and using these coordinates:

  • Whitehorse: Long: -135.056839, Lat: 60.721188
  • Yellowknife: Long: -114.371788, Lat: 62.453972
  • Iqaluit: Long: -68.519722, Lat: 63.748611
Canada Day Whitehorse Plot Coordinates

Decimal degrees with a compass direction can be entered similarly to the previous step by using negative or positive numbers to indicate the hemisphere of the point or the compass direction can be indicated by using a letter. The follow cities were added to the map in this manner: 

  • Toronto: 43.6532° N, 79.3832° W → Long: -79.3832, Lat: 43.6532
  • Québec: 46.8139° N, 71.2080° W → Long: -71.2080, Lat: 46.8139
  • St. John’s: 47.5615° N, 52.7126° W → Long: 52.7126W, Lat: 47.5615N

Using a Point’s Coordinates in Degrees Minutes Seconds

Coordinates that are formatted as Degrees Minutes Seconds, can be added using various delimiters, such as spaces, dashes, underscores, colons, or d (degree), single quote (minute), double quote (second). We entered the last 3 provincial capital cities using these formats:

  • Halifax: 44° 39′ 3.8520″, -63° 34′ 57.6732″ → Long: 063 34 57.6732W, Lat: 44 39 3.8520N
  • Charlottetown: 46° 14′ 19.9968″, -63° 7′ 44.9976″ → Long: -63-07-44.9976, Lat: 46-14-19.9968
  • Fredericton: 45° 57′ 53.9748″, -66° 38′ 46.7952″ → Long: 066d38’46.7952″W Lat: 45d57’53.9748″N

Using MAP Locations to Plot a Point

Points can also be plotted from previously created MAP Locations (to learn about this tool, visit the MAP Locations page in our Support Centre). This is how we plotted a MAP Location for Ottawa on our map. In the MAP Point Plotter tool window, we selected the hamburger menu and selected Plot MAP Locations. Then we selected our MAP Location for Ottawa and set the Destination Layer to Existing… and added it to the Capitals MAP Point Layer. After clicking OK the point was added to our map!

Canada Day Ottawa MAP Location Add

Finally, we used other MAPublisher finishing tools to stylize and complete our map so it would be ready to post on this blog just in time for Canada Day!

For more information about the MAP Point Plotter tool, check out its documentation page in our Support Centre!

Map Gallery Spotlight: Evan Applegate

Map Gallery Spotlight San Francisco Bay Area Map by Evan Applegate

In this month’s Map Gallery Spotlight, we are showcasing an honourable mention of the 2021 Avenza Map Competition. This relief and land cover map of the San Francisco Bay Area was created by Evan Applegate of The Map Consultancy. The map shows the lakes, rivers, forests, grasslands, croplands, wetlands, and urban areas of the Bay Area. Applegate created the map as a dedication for two of his friends who were married on a beautiful cliffside north of the city. The North Bay Area is known for being the least urbanized part of the Bay Area, and housing the Napa and Sonoma wine regions. 

The map highlights various natural features throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, such as elevation peaks, water features, and some landmarks. It also includes 50-meter bathymetry contours. The shaded relief details the varying elevation of the region, colour-coded to display the borders between forests, grassland, farmland, and urban land. The location of Applegate’s friends’ wedding, Slide Ranch, is identified on the map.

Select the images below to see a detailed look at Evan’s map

Map Gallery Spotlight San Francisco Bay Area Map snippet by Evan Applegate
Map Gallery Spotlight San Francisco Bay Area Map snippet by Evan Applegate
Map Gallery Spotlight San Francisco Bay Area Map snippet by Evan Applegate

Making the Map

Applegate pre-processed his data in QGIS, GDAL, and Adobe Photoshop, and then used the Avenza MAPublisher plugin for Adobe Illustrator to composite it all together. This is made easy by the way MAPublisher retains the georeferencing of the data imported from other GIS software. Data that does not have any georeferencing when it is imported, can also easily be georeferenced using MAPublisher’s Georeferencer tool.

The finishing touches were also added to the map using MAPublisher. The Label Features tool was heavily used in the placement of labels, saving Applegate several hours of manual labeling. Using this tool, label settings can be applied and multiple layers of data can be labeled at once if desired. Finally, labels are added to the map under one Text layer, to ensure organization. 

Stylistic elements of the map were touched up using native Adobe Illustrator tools, MAP Layout tools, and a graticule was added.

Check out our other Map Gallery Spotlight blogs here!

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