The MAP View Editor displays and controls the geospatial parameters of the MAP View (coordinate systems and scale on the artboard), the position of the data extents on the page (alignment and rotation) and provides a way to change the MAP View name. A preview pane shows and allows users to move the current MAP View relative to the artboard and to the other MAP Views in the document. The MAP View Editor is also where coordinate system transformations are performed. Transformations affect the data geometry on the page as map art is redrawn to match the new coordinate system properties.

Using The MAP View Editor


The MAP View Editor can be accessed as part of the Multiple Data Import dialog box or from the MAP Views panel:

MAP Views panel: Select a MAP View, and then select Edit under the Options arrow in the upper right corner of the panel. Alternatively, double-click the MAP View name in the MAP Views panel.

Multiple Data Import: Click the Create new option in the Destination MAP View section, and then click the Editor button to open the MAP View Editor.

Preview Pane and Configure Previews

By default, the Preview Pane displays the data extents with a green rectangle and the MAP View orientation with an arrow pointing north. To move the data on the page, click inside the green rectangle and drag the data to a more suitable position relative to the page. Use the Zoom In, Zoom Out and Center buttons to set the magnification of the preview. To move the page within the Preview Pane, click outside the MAP View extent and drag to move the page.


The Previews drop-down list changes the preview to Coloured boxes (previews up to ten MAP views, each with different colours as specified in the Configure Previews settings), Thumbnails (preview a reduced image of the document contents, including all MAP views) and Thumbnails & Boxes (shows both thumbnails and coloured boxes of up to 10 MAP views in the document).


information Due to Adobe Illustrator rasterization limitations, thumbnails cannot be created for very large MAP Views.


To configure the previews, click the Configure preview button. To adjust the colour of the current MAP View preview, click the colour chip and choose a colour in the colour picker dialog box. Layer visibility can be individually toggled under the Visible column. Use the Show All or Hide All buttons to toggle the visibility of the entire list. To toggle only the layers of a particular MAP View, right-click the MAP View to access a context menu that has the options to Show All or Hide All. Adjust thumbnail quality using the drop-down list at the bottom of the dialog box. Quality settings include: Low, Medium, High, and Very High.


MAP View Name

The current name of the MAP View is listed in the Name box, which can be edited. MAP Views are ordered alphabetically in the MAP Views panel, so changing a MAP View name may change its position in the panel.


The scale of the current MAP View is shown in the Scale box. For MAP Views in a projected coordinate system, the scale value is a real world scale (exact ratio linear distance on the page over distance on the ground). For MAP Views in a geodetic coordinate system (i.e. Lat/Long format in angular unit), the scale value is approximated using the common formula 1°= 111.353m (metres per degree at the equator). This is not an accurate number because the formula is only valid at the equator, but it is more intuitive for cartographic considerations.


The scale can be edited by typing in a precise value or by using the Up and Down arrows to increase or decrease the scale by 10% of the starting value. The Auto-scale button applies the scale to fit the visible data in the preview to the artboard or margins and centers the map on the page (see Preview Pane). Click the Auto-scale drop-down arrow to use either the artboard or margins as the scale extent.


A rotation figure can be applied or edited by specifying an angle in the entry field, or by using the arrow buttons. Notice that changes to rotation will be automatically previewed in the Preview Pane with the green rectangle and arrow depicting the new orientation of the data. Click the Reset Angle button to reset the angle to 0.


Click the Orient Data Up button to orient the MAP View based on True North or a custom coordinate (True North is calculated at the center of the data extents). To choose another custom coordinate to orient to, click the Orient Data Up drop-down arrow and select Configure.


The North Arrow Orientation settings allow you to provide an orientation to either True North or a custom coordinate, such as Magnetic North (since this may change over time). The Method drop-down provides two more orientation options: Great Circle and Compass. Use the Great Circle method when you need to orient using the shortest distance based on a globe. Use the Compass (rhumb line) method when you need to orient using a Euclidean space (e.g. Mercator projection).



During the import process, MAPublisher sets the page and map anchors so that the lower-left corner of the artboard coincides with the lower-left corner of the map extents. The page origin (0,0) is located in the upper-left corner. Three positioning settings are available to precisely move MAP Views around the artboard. The Quick alignment tab provides an alignment control grid with nine preset map extent positions relative to the artboard. Click one of the positions (center-middle, lower-left, upper-right, etc.) to align the MAP View to the artboard. The Fine-tuning tab shows the lower-left X and lower-left Y value boxes which change the position of the lower-left corner of the data extents (in document units). The MAP Locations tab provides the ability to position MAP View extents by matching MAP Page locations and MAP World locations accordingly.


Editing the lower-left corner position does not affect data integrity. It simply means that the data is shifted on the page but the corresponding real world coordinates remain unchanged.


The Page Anchor does not always coincide with the lower-left corner of the map extent. When manually registering an Adobe document, users can also enter a specific position using the MAP Views panel options menu Specify Anchors.

Set Source Coordinate System

In most cases, the MAP View source coordinate system is initially assigned during the import process if the imported data file contains such information. To view the properties of the source coordinate system, click the info button.


If no coordinate system is assigned during import, the MAP View source coordinate system displays [No Coordinate System Specified]. In order to scale, rotate or transform the MAP View, a coordinate system must be specified. Click the coordinate system link to open the Specify Source Coordinate System dialog box (explained below). Alternatively, use From File to set the source coordinate system using an external file (e.g. WKT, MAP, PRJ or TAB).


information If you are referencing an ungeoreferenced Adobe Illustrator file, it is not enough to specify the source coordinate system to reference your map, you'll also need to specify appropriate map and page anchors.


In some rare cases, the source coordinate system may have been wrongly assigned during the import process (due to a wrong manual selection or file issue). In this case, users may want to specify another coordinate system. This should be done with caution as data integrity may be lost if the current coordinate system is mistakenly overwritten. Changing the source coordinate system does not affect the data geometry on the page. To specify a new coordinate system for a MAP View, use Perform Coordinate System Transformation.

Perform Coordinate System Transformation

To transform a MAP View from one coordinate system to another coordinate system using the MAP View Editor, click the Perform Coordinate System Transformation check box (the MAP View must contain data and a source coordinate system for this option to be available) and use an option to choose the destination coordinate system:


Specify a coordinate system from the MAPublisher database: click the Destination coordinate system link to open the Specify Destination Coordinate System dialog box.

Specify a coordinate system used by another MAP View in the document: click the Same as check box and select the appropriate MAP View in the drop-down list. This does not affect the page position.

Load coordinate system from file: click the Load coordinate system from file button to set the destination coordinate system using an external file (e.g. WKT, MAP, PRJ or TAB).

The Preview Pane displays the new data extents for the transformed MAP View, however the thumbnails view is not available until the transformation is finalized by clicking the OK button in the MAP View Editor.


Some coordinate system transformations require a datum shift. When this is the case, MAPublisher selects the most appropriate datum transformation. This can be edited by clicking the Specify button in the datum shifts frame and selecting another datum transformation (see appendix A2 and Avenza Projections Guide.pdf for more information).


information Coordinate system transformations can also be performed in the MAP Views panel. Simply drag a MAP layer from one MAP View to another MAP View of a different coordinate system.

Specify Coordinate System

The Specify Source/Destination Coordinate System dialog boxes allow users to select, copy and edit coordinate systems and associated parameters from the MAPublisher coordinate systems (Geodetic Data Source). The MAPublisher Geodetic Datasource is explained in depth in Appendix A2.


Coordinate systems are divided in two categories: Geodetic and Projected. For convenience, they are sorted in sub-folders by continent > country > sub-division (e.g. state or county). The *All* category lists all systems with no sorting; the *Recent* category lists the last 10 systems recently selected; the *Search* category lists the result of a coordinate system search. The MAPublisher coordinate systems may also contain custom systems.

New MAP Views

After clicking the New MAP View button, the MAP View Editor opens for users to set the name, coordinate system and page scaling of the new MAP View. After a new MAP View is created, the Specify Anchors option from the MAP Views panel must be used to define the tie-in point between Map Anchor and Page Anchor. Map Anchor coordinates can be entered in any chosen coordinate system (for example, latitude and longitude in degree for projected map). This functionality is explained in detail in Georeferencing an Adobe Illustrator file in appendix A1 General Tips.

Lat/Long Order

Change the order of latitude and longitude from the Lat/Long order drop-down to either Longitude, latitude or Latitude, longitude.



When the map scale changes, the point size, stroke and text font are maintained by default. To alter how scaling affects these options, click the Options button in the MAP View Editor dialog box. In the Options dialog box, under the Scaling section, adjust the options to your preference. Rotation options are also available. Maintain point and text rotation by enabling the options.


Multiple Artboards

MAPublisher can manipulate multiple artboards in the MAP View Editor. When a document contains multiple artboards, the MAP View Editor dialog box has an additional option to select the Active artboard. When choosing the active artboard, the preview pane displays the number of each artboard. The current active artboard is shown in white, while the others are covered with a dotted pattern. The Quick alignment and Scale calculations are based on the active artboard dimensions.


To move the data extent (green box in the preview pane) from one artboard to another, change the Active artboard value to the artboard where the data is to be moved, then click the Auto-scale button or one of the Quick alignment grid positions.


information Adobe Illustrator allows users to move artboards. However, this action does not preserve georeferencing (same effect as moving art on the active artboard). Instead of moving the artboard, use the recommended workflow as follows:
1. Create a new artboard at the desired position on the canvas.
2. Open the MAP View Editor and move the MAP View from the initial artboard to the new one.
3. Delete the initial artboard.

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Last updated: 4/5/2019