Makes mapping easier.

Artboard 2 Featured Image

How Artboard Is Influencing Our 2nd Generation Products

In 2008, Mapdiva delivered Ortelius – the creative app for custom map design. Our drawing engine proved so rich and powerful that many of our customers encouraged us to build a general purpose graphic design app. When Artboard was born in 2011, we didn’t anticipate its impact our company.

“Simple. Powerful. Fun.” was our mantra for Artboard from day one. Since Ortelius is a more serious niche product, we didn’t anticipate how much Ortelius would be informed by this thinking. But “Simple. Powerful. Fun.” keeps us focused on the customer. It forces us to carefully consider each and every feature; to balance functionality with usability. It is simplicity and power that make Artboard a joy to use. Since Ortelius and Artboard are built on the same drawing engine, this naturally spills over across products.

That is why this year we will release Artboard 2 before Ortelius 2. Development of our next generation products is well underway, and it is interesting to see how Ortelius 2 is being informed by our development decisions with Artboard. As a sophisticated app, Ortelius is by its nature more complex. Yet Ortelius 2 will simplify the UI while increasing functionality. With both apps, we are paying attention to workflow, putting everything in reach, and giving you rich new features for even more to love.

P.S. We can’t yet announce exact release dates. We know it always takes more time and more coding than expected to make a project work. To quote an adage about software development, “the first 90 percent of the work is easy, the second 90 percent wears you down, and the last 90 percent – the attention to detail – makes a good product.”  Well, we’re in the last 90%. We’ll start posting sneak peeks soon!

Mapping-Layer-Opacity

Layer Transparency

Changing the opacity of all features on an Ortelius’ Mapping Layer is now easy as pie. Unlike the master opacity of individual styles, changing a Mapping Layer’s master opacity affects all features and respects the object stack order within the layer.

Tutorial Details

Program : Ortelius 10.9.8+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Easy
Topics Covered: Mapping Layer, Opacity
Estimated Completion Time: 2 minutes

Step 1

In the lower left Layer sidebar, click the ‘+’ to add a new Mapping Layer. Add features to your map as desired.

Step 2

With the Mapping Layer active, choose Layer > Attributes… and adjust the Opacity slider. Note, this feature is currently limited to the Mapping Layer layer type.

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Get Ortelius Software Updates

 Install Ortelius Updates
You may get the update automatically, or you may need to update manually.Open Ortelius and click Ortelius > Check For Updates… in the main menu. A dialog appears letting you know if an update is available. Click ‘Update Now’ to begin the update process.

To turn on automatic updates, click Ortelius > Preferences… in the main menu and check ‘Automatically Check for Updates’ in the Ortelius Preferences Advanced tab.

Arizona-View-overlooking-Pinto-Village_Bartlett

The Walker Party, The Revised Story Mapped with Ortelius

For over 150 years the accepted story about the Walker party’s 1861-1863 expedition through the Southwest was based on a handwritten manuscript by D. E. Conner, a member and assumed historian of the party. The manuscript was published posthumously in 1956 as Joseph Reddeford Walker and the Arizona Adventure. Long thought to be based on notes taken while underway, detailed research reveals that much of what Conner wrote was based on embellished writing and a generous dose of hindsight bias using observations written by others who were in the Southwest before the Walker party.

The Walker Party, The Revised Story is a fresh look at the party’s formation in California and route into New Mexico Territory, and an analysis of the adventures of these rugged men, including their:

• Flight from advancing Confederate troops in New Mexico Territory;
• Return to Santa Fe once the territorial capital was back under Union control;
• Obtaining passports to travel in the territory;
• Encounters with Apaches along the Rio Grande;
• Stops at forts Craig, McLane, and West;
• Questionable involvement in the capture and death of Apache chief Mangas Coloradas;
• Prospecting for reported “sands freighted with gold” near the headwaters of the Gila River;
• Passage by San Xavier del Bac and through Tucson;
• Approach to and encampment at Maricopa Wells among the Pimas and Maricopas; and
• Route to and up the Hassayampa River and discovery of gold in central Arizona Territory.

Why is “The Revised Story” an important book? Joseph Reddeford Walker and the Arizona Adventure by D. E. Conner is long out of print and largely unavailable, even at the finest libraries. However, assumed facts from Conner’s book have been widely quoted in many histories about the 1860s Southwest. These quotes have not always been consistent with what Conner wrote, aside from questioning whether Conner was right in the first place. Certain key episodes that Conner wrote about, particularly the capture of Apache chief Mangas Coloradas and the details of the Walker party’s ascent of what would become the Hassayampa River, both of which Conner seemingly made up to a large extent, have been perpetuated in the works of some highly acclaimed historians.

The Walker Party, The Revised Story is an important book because it is transformative. It sets the records straight and corrects widely used incorrect details.

“The book represents seven years of research and writing,” Pieter kindly remarks about our software, “Ortelius, the interpretation that it provides to my story, is part of the reason that I persisted.”

Book format: A quality paperback, 274 pages with a comfortable font size, 14 custom maps made with Ortelius software with detailed captions, an extensive bibliography, and an image of a mid-1800s painting spread across the front and back covers illustrating the period view north from the Pima-Maricopa villages, the view that the men of the Walker party would have seen in 1863.

Pieter Burggraaf retired as a writer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Pete has lived in Arizona most of his life and is a graduate of the University of Arizona. An avocational historian, he researches, writes and occasionally teaches about people whose lives and adventures touched historic Maricopa Wells and the Pima and Maricopa villages, at the confluence of the Salt and Gila rivers, a location he calls “The Junction of American Southwestern History.”

See more examples of this project in the Ortelius Users’ Showcase.

The Walker Party, Map 3, Across New Mexico and Arizona Territories and up the Hassayampa River, 1861-1863, Burggraaf, Written History Needs Maps

Written History Needs Maps

By Pieter S. Burggraaf, 2015

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.

– From the pen of Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911)

The telling of history needs illustrative maps. In a rather simple view, history is the movement of people across geography in the past. Henry Walker and Don Bufkin captured this idea in their wonderful reference book Historical Atlas of Arizona. According to these authors, “History is the story of man—his actions, his comings and goings, and his settlements. As most of mankind’s actions and travels and the places” where men and women settled are “controlled by natural settings—terrain, climate, geography, and even geology—an understanding of the land is essential to an understanding of history.”(1)

Unfortunately, in so many books today about historic events, and even many of the classic books of yesterday, the text usually screams for a map to illustrate where events happened and what the people of the times thought they knew about the lay of the land. In many written histories, the maps used seem to have been an afterthought with authors or publishers plugging-in whatever they could find. Many times, the maps used do not provide the details that are necessary to support the text where the maps are called out. Often the maps used are disconnected from the period of history being discussed. Or, large maps are crammed into a small book format rendering them illegible.

When I began writing The Walker Party, The Revised Story my goal was to put equal effort into the many maps that I felt the work needed. It took some time for me to get map-making right—almost six months—but I eventually taught myself some basic cartography and developed techniques that suited my limited skills.

So, I have created each map in this book to fit legibly on a book-size page. Where possible, I have based the background geography and the positions of rivers, towns, and other geographic locations upon a period map. Each of my maps includes notation about its source. In addition, some of the maps in this book include reproductions of the original hachures—the classic symbols for representing geologic relief in cartography—from the source map.

Readers who are familiar with the areas depicted on the maps in this book will undoubtedly find misrepresentations compared to today’s maps. These should not be considered errors as such, but rather indicative of the incomplete knowledge of the territories of New Mexico and Arizona at the time. This will help the reader understand why the people in this story were often off by many miles when describing where they were or where they were going, or in many cases simply had no clue as to their whereabouts.

Finally, I have written extended captions that enable each map to stand alone with its intended information. I believe that you will find the maps that accompany this revised, more expansive story about the Walker party very informative, and I trust that the text will be equally rewarding.

Notes for Written History Needs Maps:
(1) Henry P. Walker, Don Bufkin, Historical Atlas of Arizona, Second Edition (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,1986), iii.

Pieter Burggraaf retired as a writer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and is an avocational historian. He researches, writes and occasionally teaches about people whose lives and adventures touched historic Maricopa Wells and the Pima and Maricopa villages. This essay is excerpted from his new book, The Walker Party, The Revised Story: Across New Mexico and Arizona Territories and up the Hassayampa River, 1861-1863, available from Amazon.com, used with permission. Read about the book and view some of the maps in the Ortelius Showcase.

map draw rivers with tapered strokes

Designing Tapered Rivers with Flowing Styles

Ortelius has always had great tools to create smooth meandering rivers & streams. Now they can look even better with naturally tapering ends. We’ve added an expert Tapered Stroke component to the Style Inspector – you can use it to design your own creative map styles. Here’s how…

Tutorial Details

Program: Ortelius 1.7+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Draw a Line To Preview Your New Style As It Is Built

Draw a line on the Ortelius drawing canvas so you can preview your changes as you build a new style. Open the Style Inspector. Keep your line selected for the next step.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Create New Style and Add a Tapered Stroke

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Choose ‘Reset’ to create a new ad-hoc style ready for your use.

Add a Tapered Stroke Style Component from the drop-down list by clicking the “+” button. You won’t be using the Fill and Stroke Style Components so they can be removed from the list by clicking the “–” button. Next, we’ll adjust the settings on your new style.

Make Adjustments

Make_Adjustments.png

Adjust the line width of your river style. From upstream to downstream your river widths will become wider (or thicker). Plan on creating a set of 2 or 3+ stroke styles of varying widths that can be “nested” in your river hierarchy, the upper-most being your tapered stroke.

For example, this tapered style will represent the upper-most river segments that will flow into other down-stream river segments. We’ll create a 3-pt width tapered stroke to flow into a 3-pt width (non-tapered) segment, and then a 4-pt width (non-tapered) segment.

Click the color well to open the Colors panel and choose a new color. You can also adjust the percent and type of taper – we’ll keep the default settings as they work really nicely for rivers. Then uncheck the “Right” setting so your stroke is only tapered on one end.

HINT: When you draw your rivers in the direction from upstream to downstream the taper will be the upstream end. You can always choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Reverse if you need to flip the direction of the taper.

Add Style To Library

Add_Style_To_Library.png

As desired, click at the top of the Style Components list to return to the main Style Inspector window. Type in a name for your new style and click the “Add Style To Library” button. You’ll be prompted to assign the style to an appropriate category and the style will be saved to the Library.

Your new styles are ready for use. Choose a tool, such as the Freehand Track, pick your style from the Styles & Symbols palette, and draw.

Joining Tracks for Smooth Transitions

Joining_Tracks_for_Smooth_Transitions.png

HINT: To make a smooth transition between two tracks of varying line widths or styles, select the tracks and choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Join or use the CMND-J keyboard shortcut. A smooth transition will be automatically created between line styles. Smooth transitions apply to connectable tracks, not regular paths.

Random Map Fills

Randomized Patterns Make Interesting Map Fills

Randomized patterns can add texture and variety to an otherwise flat map. This is an especially good effect for representing features with naturally occurring randomness, such as ground-cover and forests. Ortelius has several tools in the Style Inspector to help you make awesome randomized patterns.

Tutorial Details

Program: Ortelius 1.6+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 25 minutes

Start with a Shape

wpid-Start_with_a_Shape.png

Create a shape to be used for your pattern. Here we’ll use the Regular Polygon tool with a nice green fill style to make a shape. You could use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to make a similar shape that isn’t quite as symmetrical. In the Geometry panel we’ll adjust the shape to have 6-sides, turn on the “Star” shape option and adjust the “Tip” setting to about 70%. We end up with a clover-like shape that we’ll use to represent a tree.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Make a Sandbox for your New Pattern

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Use the Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle for your sandbox. We’ll play in here and you’ll be able to see your pattern as you are creating it. With your sandbox selected, open the Style Inspector and choose ‘Reset’ to reset to the default style. For now your rectangle looks like a dull grey box – but don’t worry, it’s going to get exciting fast!

Add a Pattern Fill

wpid-Add_a_Pattern_Fill.png

Click the “+” button to add a new Style Component. You’re going to add a “Pattern Fill.” Now, click the shape you made earlier and copy it (CMND-C, right-click > Copy, or Edit > Copy in the main menu). Then paste the shape into the image-well for your Pattern Fill by clicking ‘Paste Image’. With the default settings you are going to get a nice evenly spaced pattern like you see here.

Randomize Pattern

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Now, let’s have some fun. You can go ahead and turn off the existing Fill and Stroke by disabling them (un-checking) in the Component list.

We hated to do it, but “Rand” stands for randomized. Why? It’s a long word and we’ve simply run out of room. Okay. So, the best way to get familiar with how these settings work is to play with them. Just keep in mind, very small and closely spaced patterns start using a lot of memory and may slow things down a bit. To get this particular look, we changed the Scale setting to 60%, Spacing to 0, Rand Spacing and Rand Scale to 100%, and Rand Angle to 25%.

Note, in the Inspector you may be seeing units expressed in “cm” or “km” or something rather than “pt” (points) as you see here. You can change your display units by choosing View > Display Units > in the main menu and selecting Points, Drawing Units, or Map Units.

Suppress Clipped Images

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But what about those shapes cut in half along the edges of our rectangle? That doesn’t look very natural.

Click to enable the “Suppress clipped images” option to keep most images from getting artificially clipped at the edges of a shape. Here we see how it looks on an irregular shape (right-click to quickly Copy Style and Paste Style onto a new shape). Sweet.

When you’re satisfied with your new style, click on Style in the components list to name it and save it to the Library.

Experiment

wpid-Experiment.png

Now that you understand how to make a randomized pattern, go ahead and experiment. For example, you can also use existing images and even Ortelius symbols as the basis for your pattern. Clicking “Image file” in the Style Inspector pane will let you select images from a file on your computer rather than pasting your copied graphic. In that case, small images with alpha-transparency (i.e., no white background) work best.

Here we’ve used the Symbol Stamp tool to add a tree symbol to our canvas. We then copy the symbol and paste it into the Style Inspector to create a different pattern. Since we don’t want these upright trees placed at funky randomized angles, we’ve changed the Rand Angle setting to zero. We’ve also upped the Scale back to about 60% since the image is pretty small already and this pattern does start to slow things down a bit. While for a small area like this or simple effect you could as easily use the Symbol Stamp tool and place symbols individually, it’s easy to see how handy randomized patterns can be.

You’re on your way to creating interesting map fill styles. Have fun!

Weather Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

Weather Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius

Ortelius delivers with a selection of fully editable weather map styles and symbols. The collection includes cloud, rain, wind and “weather front” linear styles and symbols.

To edit built-in styles, Clone a style and customize it to suit your project.  Built-in symbols can provide a quick starting point for creating custom symbol collections. Note, some symbols are made from multiple objects and should be detached from their symbol master, then ungrouped before editing.

These are just some of the styles & clip art among a wide assortment of fully editable vector map symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License Media provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.

Water Features Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

Water Map Styles Included with Ortelius

The Ortelius collection includes water features map styles, including man-made features such as pools and spas, rivers, streams, oceans, and marshes.

To edit built-in styles, Clone a style and customize it to suit your project.

These are just some of the styles & clip art among a wide assortment of over 1700 fully editable vector map symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

To Get This Collection

This collection is included with the Ortelius software for Mac OS X. Don’t have Ortelius? Try it free!

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License Media provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.

Ordinance Survey Styled Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

UK-Style Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius

The Ortelius collection includes over 100 map styles and symbols based on thoughtfully designed Ordnance Survey (OS) maps.

To edit built-in styles, Clone a style and customize it to suit your project.  Built-in symbols can provide a quick starting point for creating custom symbol collections. Note, some symbols are made from multiple objects and should be detached from their symbol master, then ungrouped before editing.

These are just some of the styles & clip art among a wide assortment of over 1700 fully editable vector map symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

To Get This Collection

This collection is included with the Ortelius software for Mac OS X. Don’t have Ortelius? Try it free!

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License Media provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.

Trees and Plants Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

Trees and Plants Landscape Design Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius

Ortelius delivers with dozens of trees and plants styles and symbols perfect for landscape designs. The collection includes ground cover, hedges, plan-style trees, and UK-style vegetation classification styles and symbols.

To edit built-in styles, Clone a style and customize it to suit your project.  Built-in symbols can provide a quick starting point for creating custom symbol collections. Note, some symbols are made from multiple objects and should be detached from their symbol master, then ungrouped before editing.

These are just some of the styles & clip art among a wide assortment of over 1700 fully editable vector map symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

To Get This Collection

This collection is included with the Ortelius software for Mac OS X. Don’t have Ortelius? Try it free!

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License Media provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.

Road Shield Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

Highway Sign & Shield Map Symbols Included with Ortelius

Ortelius delivers with dozens of international road and highway map signs and shields. When these special symbols are snapped to tracks that have route number attributes defined, the road shields are automatically labeled. Shields can also be labeled manually on-the-fly.

Built-in symbols can provide a quick starting point for creating custom symbol collections. Note, some symbols are made from multiple objects and should be detached from their symbol master, then ungrouped before editing.

These are just some of the styles & clip art among a wide assortment of over 1700 fully editable vector map symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

To Get This Collection

This collection is included with the Ortelius software for Mac OS X. Don’t have Ortelius? Try it free!

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License Media provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.