Best program to create spatially accurate and good-looking city map for printing?
Firstly... WOW! Just found this forum tonight and there is a TON of interesting stuff here. I recently began using Gimp for work (no previous digital art/design experience) and it's been a great experience. Also, I've always been a geography geek and I'm hoping to take both to the next level by learning about GIS and design in order to make my own map. Much thanks for reading this!
I want to make my own city map (specifically Paris) as a gift to the girlfriend before she visits later this year. I would like for it to be aesthetically pleasing and as professional as possible since I'm planning to make a foldout map-sized professional print of the final product and perhaps place it inside a notebook containing other useful travel things.
At first, I thought of hand-drawing the map, but figured it would be much too time-consuming to draw every street in Paris by hand. Then I considered using Illustrator or a similar image creation/editing program to fill in the details of an available map. But, I think using some sort of more professional mapmaking software with GIS capabilities would actually be best, since I'd like to accurately place landmarks, sights, museums, and other destinations of interest, as well as metro stations, street names, and the other bread and butter features of a good city map.
So, what are your suggestions for a good program (or perhaps a combination... GIS-capable program followed by editing in GIMP, for example?) to use? One which allows accurate placement of features and landmarks, has color and style palettes and tools to customize the appearance, and exports to large, high quality image files for large-format printing.
I'll keep browsing the stickies and perhaps testdriving a free program or two, but in the meantime I very much appreciate your input!
Well, there are a number of GIS packages available. I've been writing some notes on using QuantumGIS http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...-for-using-GIS It's been on hold while I compete in the current guild Challenge though.
After that, you might want to use a vector graphics editor rather than a raster one like The GIMP to do any final graphics work. Inkscape is a good choice.
Great, thanks for the tips! I just read up on the differences between raster and vector graphics, which I had been unaware of before. I realized I've primarily used raster graphics before and vector seems more conducive to illustrating map features and printing the final piece. So thanks for that enlightenment! And I've seen Quantum GIS mentioned elsewhere too so I'll definitely go try it out.
Originally Posted by Hai-Etlik
There is also City Engine which is worth looking at, but quite expensive. City Engine can work with Open Street Map data.