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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

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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

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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

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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.

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.

General Cultural Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

General Cultural Map Symbols Included with Ortelius

The Styles & Symbols palette contains over 150 general, cultural and leisure styles and symbols, such as city point symbols, schools, and cultural attractions. To edit built-in styles, Clone a style and customize it to suit your project.  These symbols are among the wide assortment of over 1700 fully editable vector symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

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.

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.

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.

Boundaries Map Styles Included with Ortelius for Mac

Map Boundary Styles Included with Ortelius

Ortelius includes numerous pre-designed map boundary styles, such as community, county, parish, state, national, park, forest boundary lines and more. 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.

Tourism Parks and Recreation Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

Tourism, Parks and Recreation Map Symbols Included with Ortelius

Ortelius software ships with over 500 tourism, parks, and recreational map symbols, including the full set of U.S. National Park Service (NPS) recreation map symbols. Each symbol is unique, and with Ortelius’ advanced styling system symbols are easily customizable. Designed for tourism, parks, and recreation, they include symbols for accessibility, pedestrians, transportation, fishing, boating, hiking, sight-seeing, food, lodging, winter recreation, water recreation, and more.

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.

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.

Basic Styles Included with Ortelius for Mac

Basic Strokes & Fills Included with Ortelius

Styles define the look of your shapes and paths. Though Ortelius goes way beyond simple fill and stroke, we include them too. The built-in collection includes dozens of basic line and fill styles. Select a style in the Styles & Symbols palette and begin drawing, or drag styles from the palette onto existing path objects.

Alternatively, use built-in styles as inspiration to create your own unique styles in Ortelius’ expert Style Inspector. Choose a style and open the Style Inspector, then click ‘Clone’ to make a copy without affecting the original. Make desired changes to it, and continue drawing.

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.

Ortl-Odessa

Drawing City-Block Style Maps

City-block style maps (sometimes referred to as “European-style”) are characterized by their use of negative space. Shapes – in the form of city blocks – define the positive space, whereas the road areas are negative space. Ortelius excels at designing modern style road maps, with connectable tracks and built-in symbols, and it also has great tools for creating city-block style maps.

Tutorial Details

Program : Ortelius 1.x+
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Combining Objects
Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes

Source Map

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In this example, we trace city blocks from this 1892 map of Odessa (Ukraine, formerly Russia), Wagner & Debe. Some cartographic sleuthing: the map is undated, but was possibly produced earlier than 1892, as the Protestant Hospital, completed in 1892, is not shown (source: North Dakota State University Library online).

When setting up our drawing file, the source map is placed on its own layer and a new layer is created, called “Blocks,” to hold our new drawing objects.

Drawing With the Irregular Polygon Tool

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Any of Ortelius’ drawing tools can be used when creating city blocks. Your choice of tool will often depend on the layout and orientation of the blocks you are drawing. The Irregular Polygon tool is an extremely flexible choice when blocks are irregular in shape and orientation. Use the Irregular Polygon tool and a color-filled style to draw individual city blocks, clicking on each corner of the shape. When your final point is placed on top of your first point, the polygon will close automatically. Making sure polygons are closed will assure proper display, particularly if blocks are outlined.

Hint: To clip blocks neatly to maps edges, temporarily disable Layer > Clip Objects To Map Layer in the main menu and draw shapes slightly beyond the map border. Enable it again when you are finished drawing your blocks.

Drawing With the Bezier Path Tool

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People are sometimes (quite pleasantly) surprised at how advanced Ortelius’ Bezier Path tool is for drawing shapes with straight lines and curves. Choose the Bezier Path tool and a color-filled style. Although you are drawing a path, it will be represented as a filled object when an area style is applied. Single-click on corner points to trace corners; click and drag curve handles to draw curves; hold the CMND or OPT modifier keys while adjusting the curve handles. Placing your last point on top of the first point automatically ends the path. Optionally, you can formally close the path by choosing Edit > Paths & Tracks > Close from the main menu. Curve handles can be further adjusted as needed.

If you are unfamiliar working with Bezier curves in Ortelius, try your hand with our hands-on exercises.

Hands-on exercise. See Ortelius File > New From Template > Exercises & Demos > 2-Paths Exercise.

Combining Objects

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When faced with situations such as this circle with an internal median area (a classic doughnut!), try drawing the circle using the Oval tool and a line symbol then clipping the area out using the Combine > Difference command. Begin this technique by drawing the positive space (the road) and then subtracting it from the background to create your negative space. This technique is described in detail below.

Draw ‘Positive Space’ In Gridded Areas

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Where city blocks are laid out in a regularly gridded pattern you can quickly create blocks using path outlines and a few Combine operations. Begin by drawing the road grid with Paths or Tracks. Note you can draw roads of varying widths. Next, draw the background shape (shown here in green) and send it backward under the roads by choosing Graphic > Send To Back from the main menu. We draw the background shape last so you can see your source map while tracing the roads ;).

Edit > Paths & Tracks > Outline

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Next, select the roads and choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Outline from the main menu to turn the roads from lines into polygons.

Combine > Union

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Combine all the new road polygons into a single object by selecting them and choosing Combine > Union from the main menu.

Create ‘Negative Space’ Combine > Difference

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With the background and foreground polygons selected, choose Combine > Difference from the main menu. The roads will be subtracted from the background polygon creating negative space. The blocks are a single object when selected.

Combine > Break Apart

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If further editing is desired, select the blocks object and choose Combine > Break Apart from the main menu. Each block is now its own individual shape object. Optionally, even further refinement is achieved by selecting a block and converting it from a shape to a path (chose Graphic > Convert To Path from the main menu). Each individual corner node can then be moved and edited. Path objects can be converted back to shape objects at any time.

Working with all blocks as a single object is the most efficient way to re-color and symbolize the map. Once you are satisfied with the layout of the blocks, select all and choose Combine > Append to combine all blocks into a single object again.

Add Text

Unlike road features drawn with the Track tool, roads in a city-block style map are not objects – they are negative space. Use the Text Box and Text On Path tools to add label text for roads. To label city blocks and other features, right click the objects and choose Add Label.

Some differences between maps with roads as primary feature vs. blocks as primary feature…
neither “right or wrong” it just depends on the style you’re looking for > both use in large scale (local scale) mapping good for showing neighborhoods, towns, small cities;

some applications of city block style > tourism maps, land use planning maps, location maps, campus maps, pedistrian maps, etc.

Differences (pros/cons)
1. blocks can be easily attributed, e.g., land use/land cover or districts, and new styles applied; can add style components such as shadows to enhance look; because they are negative space and not repersented with objects, street text must be placed with Text tool rather than labeling function associated with point, line, and polygon features;
blocks as focus can result in a more organic looking map with irregular shaped blocks and streets – show nooks and cranies, etc., tends to feature the city blocks as the most prominent feature so good for applications where this is important
2. road maps (with tracks) are more easily labeled using tracks; similar look can be had using cased line styles and connector tracks (show example) though result is more regular spacing; can have background ploygons behind road network to show land use or districts; tends to feature road network as most prominant feature so good for transportation/navigation purposes

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Using the techniques described above, you can create your own fully editable European-style city block map. With Ortelius’ slick style swapping, the look of your map is easily updated to create unique versions of this classic map style.

EuropeLabeled-300x270

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.