Options on Mac?
I introduced myself recently as a total newbie and people have encouraged me to try my hand at mapping.
I have a Mac and I was wondering if my options on this OS, as a newbie, are different? For instance, on this post here, someone is saying that Inkscape isn't all that great on Mac. That made me think I should ask about GIMP and everything else, especially since this thread dates back to 2008.
Well Inkscape is a vector program similar to Illustrator while Gimp is more akin to Photoshop. Gimp and PS both have the ability to do text quite well but the vector programs are scalable (meaning they don't have jaggies when zoomed in). How any of them fare on Macs I cannot answer as my knowledge is straight up pc.
on macs, we have OmniGraffle, which is a great program for mapmaking. Check out my site, http://4eyes.code66.se/ for examples of things done using OmniGraffle.
Also, Dundjinni, but their site seems to be gone for the past 48 hours, making me really worried.
I'm also using a Mac to do some map-making. I mainly use CC3/CD3/DD3 (campaign cartographer 3 and extensions) through Parallels and Boot Camp.
Dundjinni is java-based and runs on Mac.
For non CAD-based programs, you have of course GIMP (running through X11), Photoshop, and some others programs such as Pixelmator.
Inkscape runs well under X11. I don't use it for mapmaking, but it could do it.
I mostly used Inkscape for my vexillographic productions, but it's a perfectly decent tool for mapping on the Mac. GIMP has some issues on the mac, but inkscape is peachy...
I called an old friend and went to visit him and he showed me Campaign Cartographer (2 I think). It's very, very complicated for me. He then showed me Art Rage 2, which he doesn't use much but his kids do. It's extremely intuitive, the flip-side being you need artistic talent and I don't have much. I'm gonna check this further and fish around for info. I would have liked to use GIMP, pity it has issues on OS X.
Thanks for your help guys, I'm gonna keep checking out what's out there :)
I authored the post to which you linked. I keep a list of recommended OS X software. This is a general use list, but some of it is decent for mapmaking.
In my experience, GIMP on OS X doesn't suck any more than it does on other platforms (but, then, I think GIMP is mostly horrible interface-wise anyway, so take that with a grain of salt).
I haven't updated my list in years. One thing I should add is Pixelmator, which is inexpensive and quite nice.
Also, keep your eyes open for bundles like MacHeist or theMacSale. Pixelmator, for example, is sometimes offered in bundles like this.
Ortelius is vector-based map illustration software made exclusively for Mac OS. If you're interested in vector software for map making, you can view screencasts and try a no-expiry trial download from our website.
For raster, I also have Art Rage which as you've indicated is a great creative paint-type program. You could check out Scribbles for this as well - my whole family finds it very easy and fun to use (and easy to erase mistakes ;) ).
(+ the obvious disclaimer that I am affiliated with Mapdiva, LLC)