Making inroads…

Recently I was at a cartograpy convention, it was a fascinating experience. Years ago I made informational maps when I was a CAD guy and was starting to play with GIS systems. My how cartography has changed since then. I learned over lunch that the process has changed from building up information to create a map to a process of deleting data until you have what you want.


Modern mapmaking now starts with GIS data from state or local government that includes way more information than you really want. The task nowadays is to remove the unwanted data from the map to reduce clutter and focus on the desired information.One of the tasks these Illustartor users have is to create linked networks of nodes to create the streets and highways we see on a map. Consider how a highway is typically depicted: a pair of parallel lines. What’s an easy way to create this appearance _and_ have the roads intersect?I had a brainstorm late last week about building intersectifng of roadways. I started experimenting with multiple strokes, graphic styles, and Live Paint groups.Building Roads with AICS2 and Live PaintStart a new AI fileCreate a lineDuplicate the stroke in the Appearance paletteChange the top stroke to white and 3ptChange the lower stroke to desired color and 7ptCreate a graphic style from this example line– so far that’s just buiding a graphic style with multiple strokes…Here’s where the fun begins:Create a network of roads (I drew a bunch of random intersecting lines and shapes with a solid stroke and no fill).Select the roads that you want to intersect and use Object > Live Paint > Make command.Use the selection tool and double-click on the Live Paint group (double gray bars now appear around the road network, you’re now in isolation mode).Use the Selection Tool to select the roads.Apply the graphic style you recently made.–Presto! Intersecting roads.If you expand the Live Paint group, you can use the Direct Selection tool to pick the intersections of the lines and move the intersections.