View Full Version : I'm new here and new to cartography

03-04-2013, 06:27 PM
Hi. I need to create a digital map of a UK city , eg Leeds, showing city boundary and post code sector boundaries. For each of these areas I will need to insert text and designate a different colour.
After taking a look at this website, my little project seems very basic , but I am a complete novice and would appreciate any help.I have been advised to keave a post here by an academic!!. I have some free image editing software and MS Office app (Paint.net,Inkscape, Photoshop Elements) . The maps I am trying to create can be bought commercially but are quite expensive.
Do I hand draw the map, scan the image and then use other software?? I am unsure.

As an aside, this site is fantastic and has stirred a lot of intrigue is starting to create fantasy works!!!!

Many thanks for any help to get me started :)

03-04-2013, 06:52 PM
If you have access to a map, I would scan it, then using a vector app like Inkscape (Xara in my case) recreate the map with your own stylistic elements (so it doesn't look like an exact copy of what you started from). Once this is done divide each specific post code sector into a variated color scheme to differentiate each sector - then apply your text labeling. Pretty straight forward I would think.

Oh, and welcome to the Cartographers' Guild!


03-04-2013, 09:18 PM
Postal services tend to be really nasty about use of postal code data so getting a hold of that postal code data will probably be quite difficult or expensive, and you'll probably get in trouble if you try to publish/distribute it. The rest of the data should be easy to get from a source like OpenStreetMap or Natural Earth depending on your particular license requirements. Don't simply trace over an existing map unless you have explicit confirmation that it is public domain, or has been licensed to you under terms suitable for what you are doing.

Generally, to work with real world map data, you need a GIS rather than graphics software. Once you have it in the form you want, you then export to an image and can finish up with graphics software if necessary. There isn't really a way to make such software "easy" without making it so restricted as to be near useless.

03-06-2013, 02:44 AM
Thanls GP.
Once I have scanned a map image, are there drawing tolls (in Inkscape or Xara) that I use to 'copy' the boundaries in a different layer- if so. m i then able to format eash sector -sorry but I did say I was a novice - I am prepared to get Xara if it can really help[ me with this.
Thanks again and thanks for the welcome to CG!!

03-06-2013, 10:22 AM
While there is a vectorization tool in Xara, I wouldn't copy an outside map verbatim, rather I would completely redraw the map, buildings, street plan in your own digital line work, so that your map is now completely your own. Copyright law applies to existing maps, so don't make your map an exact copy of the one you reference - make it close to match your city, but not exactly match the map. Once your map is ready, you can draw shapes apply variated colors to each one to differentiate each sector as stated in my previous post. That's how I'd do it anyway.