Ortelius 2 Demonstration at the ICC2017

Art Kalinski from Geospatial Solutions visited the 28th International Cartographic Conference of the International Cartographic Association, held July 2-7, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Here he speaks with Jill Saligoe-Simmel of Mapdiva as she demonstrates Ortelius map design software for the Mac.

Artboard Rated Best Mac Drawing Software 2014!

Best Mac Drawing Software 2 years running!

“Artboard Mac drawing software offers ample features, tools and usability components to help you create any artwork you want for personal and professional purposes…

This vector-based application offers shapes that include stars, polygons, rounded rectangles, arcs, wedges and more. It has a series of palettes – including styles and clip art, a fonts palette and a colors palette – to help you easily create digital designs.

Artboard scored well in all of our rating categories – Features, Tools, Usability and Help & Support – with the most overall offerings of any product on our list. It’s the winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.

Mapdiva at MacWorld | iWorld January 26-28, 2012

We are attending Macworld | iWorld January 26 – 28, 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. If you are in the area we’d love to see you!  Drop us a line and we’ll send you a FREE guest pass. These guest passes are valid for registrations received through January 11, 2012, so let us know soon!

AAG Session: Geography on the Mac

Mapdiva is pleased to present the “Geography on the Mac” session at the 2011 Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA on April 12-16.

Geography on the Mac is becoming an increasingly viable option in the geography curriculum as technologies continue to change and evolve. While Mac market share has been steadily on the rise, particularly among student bodies, the platform has historically been weak in supporting geography-related tool sets. That landscape is changing with new software being introduced and the opening of the platform to support the Windows operating system (OS). This session is designed to showcase a variety of geospatial Mac OS applications that are being used within the academic environment as integrated classroom research and learning tools.


  • Gaige B Paulsen, Using GIS for Crime Analysis on the Mac (Cartographica)
  • Kazimierz Zaniewski, Mapmaking with Cartes et Données
  • Larry Biehl, MultiSpec for Remote Sensing
  • Daniel Strebe, Introduction to Geocart 3 Map Projection Software
  • Jill Saligoe-Simmel, Introducing Map Design with Ortelius for Mac OS

Sponsored by the AAG Cartography Specialty Group.

Join Us at the North American Cartographic Information Society Annual Meeting

10.07.10 Mapdiva co-founder Jill Saligoe-Simmel will join mapmakers, map users, map librarians, and map enthusiasts in St. Petersburg, Florida this October to talk about the thing we all love – maps! Jill will demonstrate Ortelius’ map symbol creation and sharing tools at Practical Cartography Day on October 13th. The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS), founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community. More information on the conference can be found on the NACIS website.

New Book: Principles of Map Design

In her recently released cartography textbook, Principles of Map Design (2010), Dr. Judith A Tyner provides a balanced discussion of the considerations regarding cartography software selection. Given that the needs of every user are unique, this is a valuable contribution for those considering which tools to use. As relatively new cartography software, we’re also thrilled to see Ortelius included in the review. Here is an excerpt from the book:

Choosing the Right Cartography Tool: How Will It Be Produced?

“The principles of design apply whether the map is drawn with pen and ink or a sophisticated computer, but one should have an idea of how the map will be made at the beginning.

Software for computer-produced maps is of four types: GIS, illustration/presentation, CADD (computer-assisted design and drafting), mapping, or some combination of these. GIS software is a powerful analytical tool with map presentation capabilities. With GIS, data can be linked to places and calculations can be made. As of this writing there are some design limitations and some types of symbol that are difficult or impossible to create using GIS. These problems will be solved at some point. By the same token, some symbols that are easy to produce with GIS cannot easily be created manually or with presentation software. Presentation or illustration software, such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, is used by graphic artists and allows for highly creative products. However, such software does not allow analysis, calculation, or linking data to locations automatically. If these capabilities are not needed, a presentation program can be a good choice. Like illustration programs, CADD doesn’t allow for analysis. There are some mapping programs, such as Microsoft MapPoint, that have limited GIS capability and allow some simple analysis and creation of maps, but do not allow much flexibility in map design and composition. Some recent mapping programs, such as Ortelius and MapPublisher, combine GIS and design (Figure 2.9). If one is using a dedicated GIS, combining it with a presentation program usually allows for the best analysis and presentation product” (p.26, emphasis added).

Principles of Map Design offers an authoritative, reader-friendly introduction of the core principles of good map design that apply regardless of the production methods or technical approach. The book addresses the crucial questions that arise at each step of map making: Who is the audience? What is the purpose of the map? Where and how will it be used?

Available through Amazon and Guilford Press.

Ortelius Earns “Excellent” Rating from ATPM

About This Particular Macintosh awards Ortelius map illustration software a rating of “Excellent” in their recent review. About This Particular Macintosh (ATPM) is a monthly Internet magazine created to celebrate the personal computing experience on the Apple Macintosh. The ATPM review included testing a wide assortment of Ortelius features, particularly the versatility of pre-packaged map templates. Ortelius receives the highest rating based on the overall usage, purpose, and documentation of the vector-based cartography software for Mac OS X.

Their conclusion? “Mapdiva has a winner on its hand. For now, Ortelius has found a niche market to fill. There are some Mac map-making programs out there, but none in the price range or that possess the features found in Ortelius. With the specific map tools found in Ortelius, it is easy to make maps, whether from templates or imported bitmaps, or even if you have to start with a blank page. You can take mapping even further by importing shapefiles, many of which are freely available on the Web. If you have a mapping need, Ortelius makes an excellent choice.” In his evaluation of Ortelius, reviewer Linus Ly continues, “there is much potential in using Ortelius as an educational tool.”

Ortelius Earns 4-Stars from Softpedia

Softpedia awards Ortelius map illustration software 4-stars, with its highest ratings for user interface and features. Softpedia reviewers thoroughly test software products following a series of characteristics and parameters, starting from the installation of the product and to the help system, with ratings based on aspects such as how well organized and intuitive is the products user interface and how useful and well implemented is the product’s feature set.

Softpedia’ Mac Editor, Alexandru Tanase, notes, “There are a lot of fine things about Ortelius. Fi[r]st of all, Ortelius comes with a lot of templates that can be used at any time. Also, Ortelius is very easy to use, has a simple interface, and most of the tools you need are available in the main screen. The graphics are good, the maps look great, and really challenge you to use the program and give it your best in order to create a work of art.”

Their conclusion? “If you like drawing maps, or you do this at the office on a regular basis, be sure to use or just give Ortelius a try. You may find that even the most difficult maps can be created in a record time with no headaches. So, if you are a young cartographer, I truly recommend this program. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.”

Ortelius Featured on A VerySpatial Podcast

10.04.09 A VerySpatial Podcast – Episode 220 interview with Mapdiva co-founder, Jill Saligoe-Simmel. In the interview Jill talks about the creation of Mapdiva, and the development of Ortelius, their newly-released map illustration program for the Mac platform.

Ortelius to Present at North American Cartographic Information Society Annual Meeting

09.29.09 Mapdiva co-founder Jill Saligoe-Simmel will join mapmakers, map users, map librarians, and map enthusiasts in Sacramento, California this October to talk about the thing we all love – maps! Jill will demonstrate Ortelius map illustration software at Practical Cartography Day on October 7th. The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS), founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community. More information on the conference can be found on the NACIS website.

Mapdiva to Present at Silicon Valley WebMapSocial

09.29.09 On October 6th, Mapdiva co-founder Jill Saligoe-Simmel will present at the WebMapSocial monthly meeting in Mountain View, California. Mapdiva is excited to be joining the WebMapSocial friends for a talk about the role of Ortelius in the map production workflow and a look toward the future. The WebMapSocial Silicon Valley Meetup Group is about sharing, teaching, learning, and networking around current and future web-related geospatial and social networking applications and technology.

Ortelius Earns Apple Staff Pick

08.25.09 In the wake of Ortelius’ recent release to the world, the software earns listing as an Apple Featured 3rd Party Download and Staff Pick. Ortelius is a vector-based drawing and cartographic design program made especially for map design and presentation. Through its drag-and-drop interface, Ortelius offers a creative solution for floor plans, landscape plans, scaled drawings, and a wide variety of high quality custom maps, as well as serves to address a lack of mapmaking software for the Mac OS X platform. Visit Getting Started for a video introduction to Ortelius.