The Day 13 theme of the #30DayMapChallenge was more of a question: can you create a map in 5 minutes? Well, we were up for the challenge! Here at Avenza, we used this as an opportunity to teach our marketing team (with limited GIS experience) the basics of cartography. In the weeks leading up to this day, we taught them how to perform a few simple tasks in MAPublisher to create a basic map of South America.
Simplified Steps for Creating a Map
We broke down the process of making this map into five general steps for the purpose of simplicity.
The first step was to import country area data using the Import button on the MAP Toolbar. After import, the Artboard tool was used to adjust map boundaries to the desired position. The MAP View Editor could also be used to fine-tune the movement of the data.
The second step was to add a stylesheet to the countries using the MAP Themes button. From here a stylesheet was created by clicking the Add button and creating an area stylesheet. The stylesheet editor was then opened, and the style was assigned to the country layer. The Batch Generate Rules… button was very helpful in quickly creating categories for the data based on the desired attribute. For example, one map was created using the Population Density attribute. The categories were assigned a style based on a pre-selected colour ramp. Finally, a rule was created to create a grey style for the part of North America that attaches to South America.
Add a Legend
Using the hamburger menu button in the MAP Themes panel, step three included creating a legend for the map. Removing Rule 1 from the list and adding a title (if desired) were the only extra steps necessary here.
In step four, the goal was to add a label for the country names. We used LabelPro for this to make it quick and simple. We enabled leader lines to ensure all countries were labeled even if the label was too large.
Add Finishing Touches
Finally, we added a title and supplemental text and objects to the map. All of these elements were added to the document using native Adobe Illustrator tools.
Our process of creating a map in 5 minutes was recorded and condensed into a 30-second video. See it, and the other resulting maps, below!