Regarding layers, sometimes I cheat...
When I say, Xara isn't a memory hog, I have to clarify, that some effects placed in layers upon layers, does get memory intensive. Often I cheat, by taking the most memory hogging layers, and export that portion as a transparent PNG (multiple layers selected), delete the actual layers then import the converted layers to place on the map.
Its smart to keep the pieces as a separate file, in case you need to go back and make some changes. Cheating is often a part of the creation process to make things work more smoothly.
Shipping to Canada from US is not expensive
I've shipped maps to Canada via US Mail and UPS, both relatively inexpensive, in the $10 USD range. I ship maps in a mailing tube. I've got regular clients in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnepeg.
Originally Posted by Sigurd
Just so you know, I charge $2.99 per square foot for color printing, thus a 24 x 36 map is priced at $17.94 per map. ($4.50 more for lamination.)
Regarding uploading files, I can create a temporary FTP directory allowing you to FTP upload, give you a temp password. Or you can find any of several sites dedicated to temporary upload and storage of files for online access. Both ways work fine.
For the challenge, if there is one using this, I'd say upload a lower res version for posting and voting, or an extremely compact JPG version at 300 dpi. Be sure to have the ability to export at the preferred resolution and dimensions for the map, if you win.
Even though I suggested 300 dpi...
Even though I suggested 300 dpi for the map resolution. It really depends on how small your smallest text and or lineart objects are, as you could get away with and quite successfully staying at 200 dpi or even 150 dpi. It really depends on your map and what's on it.
Another thing mentioned earlier in this thread. Once you've got your layers placed on the map - flatten the image or export portions of your map as individual PNG/JPG/TIF files then composite the whole thing.
A flattened, layered map should be significantly smaller than 200 MB.
I deal with lots of maps at 300 dpi/24 x 36 that is less than 100 MB - it depends on how you save it, flatten, etc. Seriously consider a compressed JPG file as your final map for lowest, but still high quality, resolution.