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Thread: Natural Earth Data: Free Vector or Raster Map Data

  1. #1
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    Default Natural Earth Data: Free Vector or Raster Map Data

    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.

    Those folks deserve a huge round of applause.

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    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.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    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 to SVG, it's not the most friendly interface in the world, but at least it's something!

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    I created the North America Roads supplement 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

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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    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 !
    Last edited by Redrobes; 07-29-2010 at 01:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    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/...cexplorer.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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Picture 1.png 
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    That's pretty cool. I see St. Louis, Chicago, Indy, and Cinci.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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    I can almost see my house
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  10. #10
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgouletfrancois View Post
    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/...cexplorer.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!

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