Ortelius Labels Add Smarts to Map Design

09.17.09 Ortelius map illustration software for Mac OS X makes map design easier with special cartography tools, high-quality graphics, and hundreds of vector-based styles and symbols. One of the most powerful features of Ortelius is its innovative what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) labeling system.

Ortelius gives designers the ability to add labels using map attribute information from existing map data – information behind your map – such as from Ortelius’ royalty-free vector map templates, an imported GIS Shapefile, and from information added on-the-fly.  For the designer, smart labels can take countless hours off the time it takes to make a map, meaning higher productivity with top-notch results.The Ortelius labeling system includes the following features:

  1. Labels use map attribute information, such as road names, when that information exists behind the scenes,
  2. Labels are placed automatically based on cartographic conventions and can be adjusted for perfect positioning, and
  3. Label styles, including font, size, alignment, and color, go hand-in-hand with many map styles and support ad-hoc label styling.

Unlike labeling in drawing programs using hundreds of pieces of free text, Ortelius labels are tightly associated with a map’s features. When a map feature is moved, its label moves with it. When a label is moved, it adjusts itself to follow well-recognized cartographic conventions for label placement. This means road and river names automatically flow along the path of their line or curve. Point labels are placed in one of nine standard click positions, and can be free-positioned with leader-lines. Area labels are placed in the visual or geometric center of their polygon and can be adjusted to spread across an area. Unlike labeling within a GIS, all labels are immediately available for repositioning and ad-hoc styling, providing superior cartographic control.

Labeling using attribute information is ideal for quickly making simple or complex map graphics. To see intelligent labels in action, view Mapdiva’s video tutorials on their web site (Getting Started).

More About Ortelius Map Illustration Software:
Ortelius software is designed as a dedicated map graphics program for Mac OS X. Ortelius Standard Edition is available for $99 (USD). Introductory pricing of $79 is available until Sept 30, 2009. A free trial download is available from their website.