Trying to learn more about cartography and utilizing Illustrator for final touches has been very educational (really). Last week’s map was a first version and I wanted to improve it because I knew that I had created a decent map but it was too busy with labels. After I took my professor’s advice and made some minor changes (using ArcGis), I then exported the map as a .AI file for use in Illustrator. Making changes in Illustrator allowed me to pump up the effects that I wanted to create but could not in ArcGIS. It was frustrating at first but I finally was able to achieve the look and feel that I was looking for that I couldn’t do on the 1st map. Allowing my brain to grasp the program as well as being very patient in manipulating the desired labels and symbols. The rustic look was obtained and it felt as if I had moved a mountain. The same mountain that is set in ArcGIS that makes the final rendering of a map so hard to be satisfied with.
The flexibility of exporting from ArcGIS and making changes in Illustrator really gives you a more “readable” map. Glad I pushed through the program and made headway. I have added both maps, version one and version two for you to see the difference between the two. If you get to a point of frustration, hold on and push through, it isn’t the easy things that allow us to learn and grow, it is the hard and difficult things that stretch our mind and allow us to learn. So, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Here is a link to the pdf versions: