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Vector Format Notes

Maps are essentially lines, text and fill patterns, and these are best depicted in a vector environment. Maps often contain a tremendous amount of information, and vector format delivers unsurpassed clarity for small font sizes, delicate boundary lines, and intricate coastlines.

Vector format maps are "resolution independent", which means they output at the highest resolution of any printer or output device. You never have to worry about producing a low resolution image.

Working with vector format maps can be as simple or complex as you need. Whether you are creating a simple web graphic or a complex trade show display, a vector format map will give you a great looking image.

 

Even small details are legible on vector maps

 

Resizing a Vector Map

Another important advantage of vector format is that you can resize maps, larger or smaller, with no loss of quality. No need to worry about poor resolution or bit mapped "jaggies". Once you resize a vector map, you can rasterize it to suit web site, video or broadcast requirements. 

To resize a map, use the Scale Tool. Select all so the entire map is selected. Using the Scale Tool dialog box, enter a percentage value for your new scale in the dialog box that appears. Be sure that you are using "Uniform" scaling so that the proportions of the map remain intact.

It's easy to resize vector maps smaller or larger



Separate Area Objects Enhance Creative Map Design

There's a great advantage when the political areas of a map (eg. counties, states, and countries) are drawn as separate objects. This allows you to select any object, then manipulate the object independently from the rest of the map. 

By editing objects independently, you can perform all sorts of design treatments to a map. For example, you can color code states to show sales information. You can copy and paste to create custom region maps. If you want to emphasize certain areas, you can add drop shadows or bevels. When it comes to editing objects, the possibilities are endless!

 

Select the object, then use fill or stroke to change color



 

To create a custom region map, select and group objects



 

Add a drop shadow to emphasize an object



 

Or use a bevel to attract attention



 

It's easy to add color or fill patterns to a black and white map

 


 

Here's an example of using graduated fills with selected objects



Use an Inset Map to Help Orient Your Viewers

Often it's helpful when talking about a specific area to create an inset map. The background map contains a rectangle showing that illustrates the location of your subject area map.


 

Europe Map shows the location of the detailed map