Creative Suite for Cartographers at IMTA
Today I am in sunny Estoril, a small town just North of Lisbon (Portugal). Why am I here? Well, for the International Map Trade Association (IMTA) Annual Conference & Trade Show, of course.
The International Map Trade Association is the foremost worldwide organization of the mapping, geospatial and geographic information industry.
I presented three sessions on Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, of which two were geared towards migrating from QuarkXPress to InDesign, and from Freehand to Illustrator. All sessions included information specific for cartographers, who, by the way, are users that tend to push Illustrator to the max.
During my research to prepare for the event, I had an information exchange with Ian Giblin (a Sr. Software Quality Engineer at Adobe) who pointed me to two very interesting solutions that may be of interest to cartographers. But they are very cool for designers too:
1. Concatenate is a plug-in filter for Adobe Illustrator that connects two or more paths into one continuous path. You can tell it how close the endpoints should be to combine the paths, how close to tangent the endpoints must be, and whether to average the endpoints and control handles together. It's especially useful for cleaning up CAD drawings and EPS files that have been converted to Adobe Illustrator or, for example, connecting and filling state/country borders in vector map files.
2. Then there are these Scripts by Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, who works at The Washington Post as a staff cartographer.
One of the Scripts that I find awesome, especially if you regularly open legacy AI files or convert documents from Freehand, is the "Fit to Text Box to Text Content" Script. This allows users to quickly reveal text that is overset or reduce text frames to the minimum.
There is also a very useful "Find and Replace Graphics" Script.
Thank you Ian for these useful links.