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ravells
07-28-2010, 01:18 PM
This is REALLY exciting.

Free vector and raster map data at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110m scales

Great for alternate earth maps, and also great for making fantasy maps by mashing up vectors of different countries....the possibilities are endless.

You can find it at the Natural Earth Data website (http://www.naturalearthdata.com/).

Those folks deserve a huge round of applause.

tgouletfrancois
07-28-2010, 01:29 PM
I collaborate on that project and the people responsible for it are great. I'm a GIS Specialist/Cartographer and it's the best dataset available. You have to be able to open data in shapefile format though. There's plenty of good free GIS software available out there, but I'd be happy to help.

ravells
07-28-2010, 01:34 PM
Arghh! Shapefile! Do you know if there is any way that you can convert the shapefile into other vector formats like .svg, .eps , .ai or similar?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being one of the collaborators on the project, it's magnificent!

Edit:: I found this converter, from ESRI Shapefile (http://www.carto.net/papers/svg/utils/shp2svg/) to SVG, it's not the most friendly interface in the world, but at least it's something!

HandsomeRob
07-28-2010, 03:40 PM
I created the North America Roads supplement (http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-cultural-vectors/roads/) that they offer... so any mistakes that you find in it can be blamed on me.
(I do wish they used a picture of the actual data, however, because the image they use for it makes it look like crap).

My coworkers did quite a bit of work on other parts of the Natural Earth Vector dataset as well.

-Rob

Redrobes
07-29-2010, 11:49 AM
This sounds brilliant. I first thought 1:10m was 10 meters and I knew that couldn't be right. Its 10 million so this is all for small scale mapping but even so its very interesting.

If their pics are crap then can anyone upload some rendered pics of a sample part of it ? I don't have GIS software but I know that you can get a shapefile converter as a Perl module to do it.

Edit -- I see from Ravs link that it is using the perl module to do it. Actually that wrap up of it looks pretty nifty - good link post !

tgouletfrancois
07-29-2010, 01:07 PM
Arghh! Shapefile! Do you know if there is any way that you can convert the shapefile into other vector formats like .svg, .eps , .ai or similar?


You should be able to open the shapefiles and export your map in pdf with Quantum GIS (www.qgis.org). It's a free opensource GIS. From there, you should be able to separate the layer in Illustrator. Also, ArcGIS Explorer, a free shapefile viewer (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer/arcexplorer.html) should be able to do that as well as long as you have a pdf printed installed

For my part, I vectorized land features in North and South America for NE.

HandsomeRob
07-29-2010, 01:38 PM
If their pics are crap then can anyone upload some rendered pics of a sample part of it ?

Here's pretty much the same area that they show in their image, but using the actual data.

Ascension
07-29-2010, 03:37 PM
That's pretty cool. I see St. Louis, Chicago, Indy, and Cinci.

Steel General
07-29-2010, 05:08 PM
I can almost see my house :D

ravells
07-29-2010, 07:40 PM
You should be able to open the shapefiles and export your map in pdf with Quantum GIS (www.qgis.org). It's a free opensource GIS. From there, you should be able to separate the layer in Illustrator. Also, ArcGIS Explorer, a free shapefile viewer (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer/arcexplorer.html) should be able to do that as well as long as you have a pdf printed installed

For my part, I vectorized land features in North and South America for NE.

Fab! That was exactly what I was looking for (until Redrobes writes a program with a nifty GUI which doesn't involve me having to back to my DOS days!)

Cheers toolet!

Redrobes
07-30-2010, 06:42 AM
Hah LOL, I wouldn't hold your breath ! Monks and I work on the Me-Dem project and all of those tools like GeoTerSys are command line based and hung together with ImageMaghick, Perl and GnuMake. Its a brilliant system, rock solid with total control - but I am forever being told that I need to do a GUI... I was really pleased when I saw it was command line :)

At mo I am writing a program for a customer and I am using the navteq GIS data. They have Paris and Chicago as their two demo bits of the world which is free to download except you have to agree on a click through not to use it for anything but testing. So with this data set thats really cool to use as back drops for the map visualization as I have been using google to keep checking the data. The problem with google is that tho they have the lat long in the link which you can get at its still a bit approximate. This might be able to give a set lat long box of image which is properly aligned without fussing with the links and guessing the corners.

Black Barook!
08-12-2010, 03:18 PM
After being sent to the site by a member, I spent the next half hour downloading ever single thing that could be of use to me. However I just discovered that all the files can't be read by any of the Adobe programs that I have. Are there any Mac programs available to open these files?

Gamerprinter
08-12-2010, 05:04 PM
Mac won't do it, you need a GIS program to export this out, read the first page of this thread, there are links to several free GIS apps here to turn their data into PDFs which you can extract the layers as TIF, JPG, whatever.

GP

ravells
08-12-2010, 05:12 PM
It does have raster images as well...

drjill
08-15-2010, 11:00 AM
After being sent to the site by a member, I spent the next half hour downloading ever single thing that could be of use to me. However I just discovered that all the files can't be read by any of the Adobe programs that I have. Are there any Mac programs available to open these files?

There are a few quite good Mac GIS programs that work natively with shapefiles. You should become familiar with the basics of GIS to take advantage of any of them. qGIS (http://www.qgis.org/wiki/Download) is a great open source app - I use it regularly (made for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux). Cartographica (http://www.macgis.com/) is a new commercial Mac OS GIS app that looks promising (though I have no personal experience with it). MyWorldGIS (http://www.myworldgis.org/) is a nice application developed primarily for education - it has some surprisingly powerful analysis features (my review (http://drjill.net/tools/my-world-gis-for-the-mac/)) for an edu app and is relatively easy to use. GIS programs can have relatively weak cartography rendering but would be capable of manipulating (for example, clipping out areas of data) and exporting for further use. Ortelius (disclaimer of relationship here) is a map illustration app native to Mac with great cartographic rendering and imports shapefiles, though the current Standard Edition does not geo-register layers (this means you cannot import several layers and have them automatically align or change the projection - you can manually align layers). We are developing a Pro Ed that will have this functionality.

I also help with editing the NEV administrative boundaries. It is indeed a great data set made specifically for cartography. The different scale data are simplified accordingly and all layers at each scale "fit together" nicely. The shapefiles compliment (and inpired by) the great raster datasets of Tom Patterson's Natural Earth (http://www.shadedrelief.com/natural/). If you search through shadedrelief.com you'll find a number of CS3 format files for download. Definite kudos to the visionaries to create it and make it public domain, and the volunteers and NACIS (http://www.nacis.org/) to build and support it.

Hope this helps.

Black Barook!
08-19-2010, 07:10 PM
Thanks Gamerprinter, Drjill. I decided to use qGIS for the mac and it seems to crash. I assumed it was because I didn't download the frameworks and such, so I did. While trying to install those, one of them won't install due to a lack of GDAL. So I Googled it, got it and I don't know how to install it since there isn't a DMG file anywhere...

drjill
08-25-2010, 03:18 PM
Thanks Gamerprinter, Drjill. I decided to use qGIS for the mac and it seems to crash. I assumed it was because I didn't download the frameworks and such, so I did. While trying to install those, one of them won't install due to a lack of GDAL. So I Googled it, got it and I don't know how to install it since there isn't a DMG file anywhere...

I've had good luck with the stand-alone installation (http://www.kyngchaos.com/software/qgis) 'all in one' bundle for Mac OS X is provided for "new users." In fact, I highly recommend it for all but very technically-minded and advanced users.