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What’s New in MAPublisher 11.0 for Adobe Illustrator?

What's New in MAPublisher 11

We are very excited to announce the release of MAPublisher 11, the latest version of our MAPublisher extension for Adobe Illustrator. 

With MAPublisher 11, we are bringing forward full compatibility with the Apple Silicon processor, enhancements to the MAP Attributes panel, a revamped welcome screen, the ability to import OpenStreetMap file formats, a brand new set of MAP Erase tools, and several performance and bug fixes.

Here’s what you can expect with the latest MAPublisher 11 release:

Compatibility with the Apple Silicon Processor

We want to ensure our users enjoy a truly seamless experience whether they are using a PC or Mac computer. Our team has worked to ensure that MAPublisher 11 is fully compatible with the Apple Silicon chip, and as such we can declare that MAPublisher is officially supporting this processor.

MAP Attributes Panel Enhancements

An exciting feature for MAPublisher 11 is a number of enhancements made to the MAP Attributes panel. Users are no longer required to select all objects on a layer for them to appear in the MAP Attribute panel. Instead, all features appear by default, and users can toggle between showing all features or just their selected features at the bottom left corner of the panel. When all features are shown, selected features will appear highlighted in the attribute table.

Welcome Screen Revamp

MAPublisher 11 comes with a brand new welcome screen that appears upon opening the program. This window is equipped with visually appealing refreshed graphics, while maintaining access to the License Management window. It also features several new sections that increase discoverability for you, such as new features, help and tutorials, and other Avenza news or events. There is also a Get Inspired section to help inspire you as a mapmaker, which features articles from our website which highlight the excellent maps and stories of some of our most proficient users.

Importing OpenStreetMap File Formats

We are thrilled to announce that importing OpenStreetMap (OSM) file formats is now a possibility with MAPublisher 11! Whether you are importing a single file, or using the Multiple Data Import tool you can now select OSM and PBF file formats from the list of supported formats. The rest of the import process remains unchanged from the other file formats users are familiar working with in MAPublisher.

MAP Erase Tools

Many of our users have requested the ability to quickly erase unwanted or sensitive data from their maps. Thus, we are happy to introduce the new MAP Vector Erase and MAP Erase by Shape tools that come along with MAPublisher 11!

MAP Vector Erase Tool

With the new release of MAPublisher 11 comes a new tool known as the MAP Vector Erase tool. Functioning as an inverse version of the MAP Vector Crop tool, the Erase tool removes all data within a specified rectangle or ellipse shape.

MAP Erase by Shape Tool

The new MAP Erase by Shape tool functions similarly to the MAP Vector Erase tool, but it allows users to easily erase portions of MAP Layers using shapes other than rectangles and ellipses. Users can simply select the shape object they wish to use as the erase boundaries, and then select the MAP Erase by Shape tool from the MAP Toolbar. 

Both tools share the same customizable settings and advanced options. Like the MAP Crop tools, the MAP Erase tools can be applied to all layers within the document, all layers within a single MAP View, or just a single layer.

If you would like to learn more about the new MAPublisher 11 features or have any questions, please check out our Support Centre.

MAPublisher 11 is immediately available today, free of charge to all current MAPublisher users with active maintenance subscriptions and as an upgrade for non-maintenance users. 

Map Gallery Spotlight: Zain Madathil

Dubai Healthcare City Metro Station Map by Zain Madathil

In this Map Gallery Spotlight, we are highlighting another submission from the 2021 Avenza Map Competition. This bilingual map of the area around the Dubai Healthcare City Metro Station was created by Zain Madathil for Explorer Publishing. It is one of nearly 4,000 individual maps he has created for the Dubai Public Transport Map project. 

The map is easy-to-use and informative, providing information in both English and Arabic, and is accompanied by a detailed map index to categorize and highlight important points of interest and nearby attractions surrounding the station. The map utilizes careful design elements to make interpretation easy, including colour-coded icons and building footprints, platform-based direction markers, and a 500m radius walking distance indicator.

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

Dubai Healthcare City Metro Station Map by Zain Madathil
Dubai Healthcare City Metro Station Map by Zain Madathil
Dubai Healthcare City Metro Station Map by Zain Madathil

Making the Map

Madathil received data from his client in the form of points, lines, and polygons, and used the Avenza MAPublisher plugin for Adobe Illustrator to design the map. He used the Multiple Data Import tool to easily get all of his data into MAPublisher with a single import process. MAPublisher maintains the georeferencing of the data imported from almost any source, which allowed Madathil to focus on customization rather than data placement.

With nearly 4,000 maps in the series, the MAP Themes tool was important for Madathil to maintain consistent labelling across all maps in the series. After creating a custom branding MAP Theme stylization, Madathil was able to apply this to each map in the series as necessary. He also used the Map Attributes Panel to aid with customization of the attribute data associated with his map features.

Madathil simplified his labelling process by using our MAPublisher LabelPro add-on, which also allowed him to ensure consistency across the map series. LabelPro allowed Madathil to customize the style of his labels and apply rules to ensure they did not overlap important features or other labels. It also eased his application of both Arabic and English labels on the map.Finally, Adrain added an Index Grid and created an index and legend to complete the reference guide for the map using the Layout Tools.

For more information on using the MAPublisher LabelPro add-on, please visit our Support Centre section for this tool. Check out our other Map Gallery Spotlight blogs here!

Cartographer Chronicles: Julie Witmer

Cartographer Chronicles Julie Witmer Avenza MAPublisher

Julie Witmer’s road to cartography has not always taken the most conventional route, but in the past decade she’s already made her mark on the industry. As the owner of Julie Witmer Custom Map Design based in Kitchener, Ontario, Julie creates maps for a variety of client types, including municipalities, publications, and tourism. She applies her skills both in cartography and her previous fields of expertise to approach map-making in a way that encourages people to explore and connect with their communities. In this edition of Cartographer Chronicles we explore Julie’s story largely in her own words, including her journey to discovering a career in cartography, her experience with crafting maps so far, and how she envisions her business moving forward.

Portage La Prairie map by Julie Witmer using MAPublisher

Cartography became Julie’s third career path after a decade as an archaeologist and nearly 15 years in IT. 

“I’ve always loved maps – collecting them during my travels – but it never occurred to me that it was something you could do for a living. After I was laid off from BlackBerry in 2011, I decided to go back to school. And when I saw that Fleming College offered a GIS Cartography program, it was like a light turned on.”

After graduating from Fleming’s Cartographic Specialist program, Julie worked to build her cartography career the way she envisioned it.

“At Fleming when we talked about the kind of work we wanted to do, I kept saying ‘I just want to make pretty maps.’ I knew that I didn’t want to work in a cubicle farm or for a large company again, but I did work for almost a year for an archaeology company in London, Ontario, making a dozen maps a day for reports. It was hectic but I loved that it combined my interests.”

“I still wanted to work for myself and decided to be a freelancer. It was tough going for the first few years, but in the past 2-3 years (with a temporary slowdown for the first wave of the pandemic), my business has grown to what I envisioned.”

Vaughan Ontario map by Julie Witmer using MAPublisher

Julie has designed maps for a plethora of local and international clients spanning many different types of organizations, and she tailors her approach to fit each of them uniquely.

“Over the years I’ve worked on cycling maps for municipalities, tourism and trail maps for visitor guides and tourism-focused businesses, maps for non-profit organizations for planning and education, and a LOT of book maps.”

“When people contact me about making a custom map, I’ll arrange a project consultation to get more information about their project – content, style, size, media, timeline, the purpose of the map and its intended audience.”

South Algonquin trails map by Julie Witmer using MAPublisher

Many of Julie’s clients, especially municipalities, often come to her with their own datasets for her to use. If not, she’s a fan of Natural Earth or OpenStreetMap data.

“For [OSM data] I use QGIS and the QuickOSM plugin to download data for the coverage area. For everything else (Natural Earth, WFS or WMS services), I’ll grab the data in MAPublisher and spatially filter it to my map view.”

“I create a very simple layout map to establish the coverage area and scale, and then work on the first design draft. Sometimes we have a few revisions with minor style or content tweaks. When my client has approved the final draft, I send them the print-ready image files.”

Craft Gin trail map by Julie Witmer using MAPublisher

Julie is an avid and experienced MAPublisher user, as it plays a role in all of her projects. Her history with the program goes back to her time at Fleming.

“I first used MAPublisher at Fleming and I loved it! The archaeology company was an ESRI shop, but when I started my own business I went back to MAPublisher. I love that it’s a local company (well, almost local to me – in Toronto, just down the road from Kitchener). Avenza’s support is amazing, and they are constantly adding new features and incorporating feature requests from customers like me.”

“MAPublisher is the tool that I use most often, pretty much every day. Even if I use other tools to acquire and clip vector data, or manipulate raster images, everything ends up in MAPublisher where I do all the design work.”

She has begun using Avenza Maps in her work, both for collecting and recording data and offering her maps using the Avenza Map Store.

“I recently started creating local park facilities maps and adding them to Avenza Maps. I use the app to track my route while exploring these parks, because often the municipal or OSM datasets don’t include all the trails. I’ve encouraged my clients to use Avenza Maps, too. So far I’ve added a few cycling and tourism client maps to my vendor page, which provides a great value-add for end users.”

Kayak Shack map by Julie Witmer using MAPublisher

When asked about her favourite map that she has created, Julie finds it hard to answer that question with just one map!

“It’s hard to pick a favourite map – it’s usually the one I’m working on. I’ve had fun creating a map of a motorcycle tour across the southwest US, a book map showing the route and shipwreck of a Dutch merchant ship, maps of the Roman Empire, a large poster map of Micronesia, a tour map for a kayak rental business, and a series of maps for a documentary film about an Indigenous nation in British Columbia. And so many others! I love when my clients give me free rein to come up with a design. But on the other hand, if my clients have a clear picture in their head, it’s very rewarding to bring that picture to life.”

Julie was kind enough to share with us some of the map projects we can expect to see from her in the near future, and other tasks she’s engaged in to streamline her map design process.

“Last year I worked on dozens of maps for an atlas of American history (coming soon), as well as quite a few projects for books, cycling and tourism maps, and more. Right now I’m working on a map of the eastern seaboard Fall Line; a map of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve for their website and brochure; city maps for Sharon, Pennsylvania; and several book map projects – military histories, historical fiction, maps of the Mediterranean and England, and the US midwest.”

“I’m [also] currently learning how to add FME to my workflow to help streamline some parts of the map creation process, and would like to play more with terrain imagery in Natural Scene Designer.”

Julie Witmer sitting at a computer using MAPublisher

Finally, Julie finished off our interview by providing advice for anyone wishing to pursue a career in freelance cartography like her.

“If you want to start your own cartography business, I would first recommend starting it part-time as a side hustle and building a portfolio and learning about marketing and everything else that goes with running your own business. I did it the hard way and there were many times that I thought about getting a salaried job, but I love what I do and I definitely didn’t want to end up back in a cubicle! For many years it felt like I had to keep my foot on the gas, working insane hours, but it’s finally paying off. It’s still harder than working for someone else, in some respects, but the rewards are worth it. I love being able to provide my clients with custom maps that show what’s important to them. And my boss lets me take more than 2 weeks of vacation!”

Learn about more about Julie by visiting her website!

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