Using Multiple Data Import


Use Multiple Data Import either before or after an Adobe Illustrator document is created. If no document is open, Multiple Data Import will open the New Document dialog box. See the previous Import Prerequisites section.

Using Multiple Data Import

Click the Multiple Data Import button on the MAPublisher toolbar or from the Adobe Illustrator menu File > Import Map Data > Multiple Data Import.


Multiple Data Import provides another method of importing map data into Adobe Illustrator. Its advantage over Import is that it can import data in multiple formats and coordinate systems. All data listed for import are displayed in the dialog box with information relative to their coordinate system. All imported files are reprojected to match a selected coordinate system.


Multiple Data Import is recommended when importing data that will require a coordinate system transformation that implies redrawing and path divisions (e.g. world data reprojected from European to North American aspect). Applying a coordinate system transformation during Multiple Data Import allows MAPublisher to split paths during transformation, which is not possible at a later stage. Divided paths are grouped as compound paths.


The Multiple Data Import dialog box displays added data, its coordinate system information and the number of features they contain in a data list. The lower part of the dialog box refers to the Destination MAP View settings.


The Add and Edit buttons open a dialog box similar to the Import dialog box. Refer to the previous section for information about character encoding, Format Import Settings and Delimited XY Text Data Settings.

Adding Data

Click the Add button to choose one or more files that share the same format and coordinate system. The Add dialog box functions the same as the Import dialog box, refer to the previous section for more information. Browse for data, then click OK to add the files to the data list. To add more datasets to the data list in a different format or coordinate system, click Add again.


Data List

All added datasets are listed in the Multiple Data Import dialog box. Listed features include the data source file name, the specified coordinate system and the number of features contained in the dataset.


Click a row in the data list to select a dataset. Click Edit to change the import parameters or click Remove to remove the dataset. The Edit dialog box provides the same options as the Add dialog box where users can modify the file name, path, format import settings or source coordinate system.


The Multiple Data Import dialog box displays the file name or the full path of the selected files depending on the settings specified in MAPublisher Preferences > Import MAP Data. Users can also choose to display the geographical extents of the data.


It is not possible to import multiple files with a mix of unknown and known coordinate systems. Therefore the unknown coordinate systems will need to be specified before import.

Destination MAP View

Even though Multiple Data Import allows data with multiple source coordinate systems to be imported, the destination MAP View can only have a single coordinate system. The Destination MAP View section has three methods to choose the coordinate system:


Based on imported data: Choose a dataset to base the destination coordinate system on. The coordinate system information is displayed below the Method drop-down.

Use existing MAP View in document: Choose an existing MAP View in the document with the desired coordinate system. Coordinate system information can be seen in the details box.

For the two options above, the Auto-scale option scales all the data (existing and incoming) to fit the artboard. If this option is not checked, the imported data may fall outside the artboard extents.

Create MAP View using editor: Specify the parameter for a new MAP View. Click the Editor button to open the MAP View Editor. In the Destination Coordinate system section, click the coordinate system link to select another coordinate system from a large list of existing system or to create a custom one. In brief, any data being imported to this new MAP View will be adjusted to the specified map scale, position, rotation, and coordinate system set in the MAP View Editor. See the MAP View Editor in more detail.


The data is imported as an individual Adobe Illustrator layer (or layers if multiple files were chosen) with an assigned feature type (point, line, area, or image) that matches the source data type. It is also now considered a MAP Layer. All MAP Layers are contained in a MAP View (existing or new) that designate how the data is displayed on the artboard (based on coordinate system, map scale, and artboard extents).


MAP Layers are named based on the file name or on the layer name in the source file. By default, the assigned feature type extension is used as a suffix (e.g. name_area) and when a layer name already exists, a suffix with a number (e.g.  name_area 1) will be used — this may be disabled in MAPublisher Preferences > Import MAP Data property sheet.


information Arcs and ellipses that require a transformation may not be transformed properly. It is recommended to import data with arcs and ellipses into a separate MAP View and transform it after.

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Last updated: 10/15/2019