GIS Tech News (#29)

15 Jan, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong

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Bridging the GIS Map Gap

Avenza's MAPublisher 7 transforms Adobe Illustrator into a mapmaking tool

GIS users are familiar with the gap that exists between the digital map and the paper map. The digital map, typically a derivative of geospatial databases, is usually interactive, dynamic and live. A cartographic masterpiece it is not. To transform the digital map into something fit to print, mapmakers often have to refine the digital output in other drawing and layout programs. Many aesthetic refinements -- such as positioning special symbols, flowing text labels along Bezier curves, applying gradients and adding vector objects -- are much more easily done in a graphics application than in a geospatial system. Among the tools commonly used are Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW and Macromedia FreeHand.

Avenza, a private Canadian firm based in Toronto, Ontario, is bridging the gap between digital and printed maps with a series of plugins: MAPublisher for Illustrator, MAPublisher for FreeHand and Geographic Imager (MAPublisher for Photoshop). Both MAPublisher and Geographic Imager run on Mac as well as Windows platforms. The latest in the series is MAPublisher 7 for Illustrator CS and CS2, released just a few weeks ago. Here, I'll offer a peek into how GIS professionals can use this new tool to transform digital data into a quality map. Read More >>

Spatial Technologies: Using Geospatial Data to Restore Wetlands

by James L. Sipes

Wetlands are important. They help regulate river flow, filter pollutants, absorb flooding overflow and provide homes to thousands of plants, animals and birds. Many people who live along the Gulf Coast believe that wetlands are important for different reasons. Last year the region was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, which caused billions of dollars in damage and displaced more than one million people. Many who live in the region discovered that wetlands could significantly reduce the impact of storm surges associated with hurricanes. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, every 2.7 miles a hurricane travels across wetlands or marsh can reduce storm surge by 1 foot, so one way to make the Gulf Coast a little bit safer is to restore the region's wetlands. Read More>>

Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.

ESRI California Regional Office User Group Meetings
January 16 - 18, 2007
Various California locations
ArcGIS user groups provide a forum for ESRI software users to share their experiences, exchange best practices, and learn about new technology.
Read more

MAP 3D 2007 Essentials Training Class
January 16, 2007 - March 5, 2007
Various California locations
This course is geared toward GIS Analysts, CAD Technicians, Civil and Environmental Engineers, Landscape Architects and Facilities Managers who are already working with Autodesk Map 3D and want to increase their return on investment, or for AutoCAD users looking for more GIS mapping functionality found within Map 3D 2007. Read more

2007 ESRI GIS Solutions Expos
Through January 25, 2007
Various California and Nevada locations
These free events showcase GIS applications, solutions and services developed by ESRI business partners for ESRI software. Read more

15th Annual Autodesk University
November 27-November 30, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference and exhibition offers hands-on training in the latest Autodesk products, as well as networking and learning opportunities with professionals from various industries. Read more

Visit the GIS Tech News archives to view current and past issues online.

New Cadalyst e-Newsletter from Hot Tip Harry
Cadalyst announces the newest addition to its line of e-mail newsletters, designed for AutoCAD power users and beginning programmers alike. Debuting January 23, Harry's Code Class: Tips for Programmers will offer insight and how-to for LISP, VBA and Object ARX programming for AutoCAD. Best of all, Harry's Code Class is led by Harry himself (a.k.a. Contributing Editor Bill Kramer, author of Cadalyst's popular "Hot Tip Harry" column). Don't miss a single issue -- sign up for Harry's Code Class: Tips for Programmers today! 

I'm Worth It
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. This month, we want to know if management is treating the CAD community well this year: Is your paycheck growing for 2007, or have you been overlooked? Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then watch for the results in Cadfidential in the February edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, offers a Web site packed with features, news, events and other information for users of geospatial technologies. Check out this latest news from

OTI Offers Power System Analysis Solution for ArcFM: Electric utilities can now access Operation Technology, Inc.'s ETAP power system analysis platform via Telvent Miner & Miner's ArcFM product. ArcFM is an ESRI-based GIS facilities management solution. This integration will provide the electrical utility sector with the platform to simplify power system analysis using data extracted from the GIS. Read more

BlueSky Maps Urban Heat Patterns in UK: BlueSky has been awarded contracts to create detailed thermal maps for eight local authorities across the UK. The thermal mapping will be used to identify buildings with high heat loss, and therefore potentially poor insulation; prioritize remedial action; and meet government targets for increasing energy efficiency and energy conservation reporting. Read more

Frankfort Plant Board to Use Fiber Manager: Frankfort Plant Board (FPB) chose Telvent Miner & Miner's Fiber Manager application to help manage its fiber optic network within its current ArcFM-based enterprise GIS. FPB has been using ArcFM to support the maintenance of its electric and water distribution system, and elected to expand it to include support for its fiber optic system. Read more

Autodesk and Oracle Join Forces to Bundle Map Creation and Sharing with Database Functionality: Autodesk today announced its elevated partnership with Oracle to provide customers with complete solutions for creating and sharing geospatial data within workgroups and across entire organizations. Read more