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Setting Up a New Map

Ortelius offers you the flexibility to set your drawing canvas dimensions, drawing units, map scale, and more, including the ability to save settings as your personal default for new drawings.

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Setting Up a New Drawing

Set your drawing canvas dimensions, drawing units and more, including the ability to save settings as your personal default for new drawings.

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Artboard 2 Featured Image

Get Started Drawing

Drawing in Artboard is easy – simply pick a tool, choose a style, and draw.

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Color Regions and Territories Map Styles Included with Ortelius for Mac

Map Color Regions Styles Included with Ortelius

Ortelius’ Styles & Symbols palette is loaded with “Color Regions” – styles based on ColorBrewer color ramps that are proven qualitative, diverging, and regional color schemes for mapping. 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.

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Setting Up a New Map

Ortelius offers you the flexibility to set your drawing canvas dimensions, drawing units, map scale, and more, including the ability to save settings as your personal default for new drawings.

To Open the Drawing Setup Dialog:

To_Open_the_Drawing_Setup_Dialog1.png
  1. Open the Drawing Setup dialog by choosing File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.

Related Topics:
Index Grid Layer
Graph Paper Layer

To Change Drawing Units:

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Under the ‘Map Size’ section, choose your preferred drawing unit from the drop-down menu (millimeters, centimeters, meters, inches, feet, yards, points).

To Edit the Map Canvas Size:

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Under ‘Map Size’, enter the width (w) and height (h) of your desired canvas size in the current drawing units.

To Add (or Remove) a Color Background:

The background of the drawing canvas can be set to be either a solid color or image.

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Under the ‘Map size’ settings, click the ‘Background:’ drop-down list and do one of the following:
  • Click a preset background image fill.
  • Click ‘Color’ to open the Colors panel and choose a background color.
  • Click ‘None’ to remove a background color or image fill.

HINT: Rather than adding a colored background for the entire drawing canvas, you can add one or more Border Layer(s) containing any fill or stroke style that is applied to the map area. See Adding a Border Layer for a Frame (Neatline) or Background for more information.

To Subtract Printer Paper Margins:

When creating a drawing for the printed page, your drawing area may be slightly smaller than your paper size due to paper printer margins around the edges. Optionally, Ortelius will subtract your printer page margins from the entered drawing canvas width and height. Paper margins are based on your current printer settings.

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Under the ‘Map Size’ section, check ‘Subtract paper margins’.

To Access the System Page Setup Dialog:

For printed works, Ortelius provides easy access to the Apple system Page Setup dialog. Use this menu to change printer paper size and orientation.

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Under the ‘Map size’ settings, click the ‘Page Setup…’ button.

To Set Map Area Margins:

To_Set_Map_Area_Margins.png

The ‘Map Margins’ define a sub-area within your canvas within which you will draw your map and graphics. This is also the area to which graph paper and index grid will be applied if you use them. For example, 0 (zero) map area margin will size the map area the same as the drawing canvas (no margin). If you will be using an index grid or have elements such as scale or map title outside of the map area, be sure to set map margins appropriately.

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Under the ‘Map Margins’ section, click into the the boxes and enter the top, bottom, left, and right Map Margins (margins are displayed in the current drawing units).

To Set Units of Measure:

To_Set_Units_of_Measure.png

Ortelius drawings use “real-world” units of measure.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  • Choose File > Scale… from the main menu.
  • With a ruler placed on the canvas using the Ruler tool, double-click the ruler to open the scale dialog.

2. Under the ‘Map Scale and Units’ section, choose the type of units that you want to use for measuring on-the-ground distances from the drop-down list.

HINT: Imperial units, such as feet and miles, are common in the United States, metric units, such as meters and kilometers, are common internationally.

To Set Map Scale:

To_Set_Map_Scale.png

Whether it’s your backyard or an entire continent, when you create a map you are representing features on the earth. Clearly, in order to represent the features on a map, they must be reduced – or scaled – from their true size to fit on the map canvas.

Map scale is often defined as the ratio of a single unit of distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground (for example, one inch on the map may represent one mile on the ground).

  1. Do one of the following:
  • Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  • Choose File > Scale… from the main menu.
  • With a ruler placed on the canvas using the Ruler tool, double-click the ruler to open the scale dialog.

2. Then do one of the following:

  • Under the ‘Map Scale and Units’ section, choose a common map scale from the drop-down list.
  • Enter the numbers manually to represent map scale.
  • Define a custom map scale by calibrating distances of known objects that are being drawn (for example, when tracing an aerial photograph or existing map). Choose the Ruler tool. Press and drag the ruler onto the map canvas along a feature with a known distance (for example, a scale bar on a reference map or side of a building on a reference image). Double-click the ruler to open the scale dialog and enter the corresponding ground distance for the ratio. See the related topic: Using the Ruler Tool.

HINT: When drawing features using map units, Ortelius automatically expresses distance in largest whole units in the ruler. For example, a distance over 5280-feet is expressed as miles. To express distance only in the set units, uncheck ‘Always express distance in largest whole units’ in the map scale dialog.

To Pre-scale Symbols and Styles:

Drawing Setup allows a “pre-scale” to be set which is applied to styles and symbols when they are placed on your map The default value is 100% and typically does not need to be changed.

The value is a property of the document, and is used to work with certain mapping specifications where symbols and styles are scaled up in certain situations. For example, some mapping standards have specifications for symbol sizes depicted at a certain scale (such as 100% symbol size with 1:15,000 scale maps), and larger sizes when the scale is enlarged (such as 150% symbol size with 1:10,000 scale maps). In this instance, the pre-scale setting can be changed to 150% and will apply to the entire document.

To Use Your Custom Map Settings as the Default:

  1. Choose File > Map Size & Units… from the main menu.
  2. Customize the drawing settings.
  3. Under the ‘Map size’ settings, click the ‘Set As Default’ button.

To View Different Display Units While Drawing:

A document’s measurement display units can be viewed as points, drawing units, and map units. The setting is persistent, is saved with the document, and affects display of all user interface-related to distances, as well as the display of dimensions.

  1. Choose View > Display Units from the main menu.
  2. Choose the document’s display units from the list (Points, Drawing Units, and Map Units).

Method Design Lab uses ovals and other rounded shapes throughout their design

A Graphic Design Primer, 1: The Elements of a Design. Noupe Article.

Whether intro for beginners or as a refresher for those looking to brush up on the basics, this graphic design primer explains the various elements of a design in a clear, digestible way. In this article, author Cameron Chapman reviews the seven basic elements of any design: Line, Form, Shape, Texture, Color, Value, and Space. Read more