Maps online?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by shakespeare, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. shakespeare macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2002
    Portland, Maine
    I'm a graphic designer, and one of my clients has asked me to make a map of all the bookstores her company owns. All the stores are in New England. She wants interstates and connecting roads on the map as well.

    Are there EPS map files, or any other sort of downloadable map, that I could use for this? I'd like something a little better or higher resolution than the likes of Mapquest. And if it's at all possible, I'd like it to be in vector format.

    Is there anything like this out there? I can't seem to find it.
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    I don't think you'll find free vector art of detailed maps - that's a huge amount of work.

    You might be able to cheat if you can find PDFs of these maps and open them up in Adobe Illustrator. I've had to do that before and it works rather well.

  3. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    I usually scan a map in for something like this, then trace over it with a vector program like illustrator or freehand for the major road features I want. I suppose it could take a while to do all of New England though. I'm usually working with a much smaller area.
  4. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Map people are very protective of their work. They scrupulously avoid documenting formats, and most license agreements prohibit any kind of derivative work whatsoever. Delorme's software used to prevent copying a map to the clipboard. They would probably regard even tracing the map as a copyright violation. They are extremely paranoid. I doubt you'll find anyone who will license data to you legally.

    You could try using satellite imagery from the USGS. Another possibility is
  5. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    From what I understand, there are also national (U.S.) security. The vector maps are extreamly precise and there have been fears that they could be used for directing munitions. I kid you not on this, the people at MapBlast addressed congress on these issues.

    I beleave that both MapBlast and MapQuest will licence vector maps. If you wanted to do it on the cheap, I would generate severa of the free maps or use a purchaced map and create your own vector maps.

    If you have access to AutoCad decodeing try these people.

    None of this is cheap. Another option would be to contact the USGS and see what they could provide you (at a fee). They do more than provide just TOPO maps.

    There are probely licence free maps offered by the government, but I don't have the time to look for you.

    Good luck.
  6. shakespeare thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2002
    Portland, Maine
    Thanks, guys. What this quote suggests is what I ended up doing. I took outlines of the states from a clipart CD, matched 'em up with in Illustrator with my pieced together free maps, and then traced the roads away. I used FontBureau's Interstate Pi to throw in authentic highway logos and all that, and it looks fantastic - although it took me too long and was a bit illegal. Maps are fun to design, though - they're so rarely pretty, it's fun to make them so.

    Thanks again.

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