Illustrator CS6 got some love for cartographers.
Just wanted to pass on something I noticed this morning.
I tried using Adobe Illustrator CS 5 to begin an extremely detailed vector based map last year. I quickly learned that Illustrator was pretty terrible for very large projects. I had out of memory errors and program crashes all the time.
It was so bad, I eventually ported the file over to Photoshop because Photoshop could handle the large vector layers better than Illustrator. Weird since Illustrator is designed for vector work. It was a funny day. I cursed Illustrator's ridiculousness for being 32 bit and only using 3GB of ram in a world where even the cheapest computers at Best Buy come with 8 GB.
Gladly, the CS6 release is 64-bit and can take advantage of much more memory. It also has some specific optimization for large file handling. I noticed in the Illustrator "what's new" page today, it actually says:
Handle larger files
Concurrent handling of large files is less likely to cause errors, like out-of-memory exceptions. Complex tasks, such as creating package designs, large-format graphics, or cartography, are better handled.
So... I may try this again.
I like to use the vectors to keep my borders detailed at any resolution.
That is good to know, I've often run into errors with larger files.
Guess I have something to save up for now.
The other feature I am happy about is gradients on strokes. Finally!
Thank you. I experienced the same problems you describe in CS4, it would be nice to actually be able to accurately trace a coastline etc. for very high-res output.