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Magazine of Cartography


















Digital and vector cartographic bases

        Digital cartographic bases are intended for the production of thematic maps illustrating the research materials published in the collection of scientific works.

   ArcInfo    Adone Illustrator    Adobe PDF


Problem: lack of cartographic basics

        The problem with many scientific publications is the quality of graphic materials provided by the authors of the articles. Maps of the territory of Ukraine submitted to the editorial board are more like drawings or charts. This situation arose due to the lack of quality geographic blank maps (contour maps) and the popular technology of geoinformation mapping today.

        Indeed, using geographic information systems (GIS) you can quickly make a map. But the latter do not always have a presentable appearance. This is because GIS is designed to collect and process geodata, as well as visualize them. This process is not identical to the preparation of maps for printing or publishing on the Internet. Presentable maps become editable in vector graphic editors: Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or Inkskape.

        Today, the most popular GIS allows to create qualitative maps based on special contour maps, composed of a set of thematic layers, which are reconciled, generalized and smoothed, that is, adapted for publication. In the absence of such authors use geodata downloaded from geoportals or unknown how they were obtained from cartographic enterprises. The contours of such "foundations" are too detailed, contain sharp contours. The thematic layers have different origins and details, so there are discrepancies during the overlay. For example, the contour of the state border does not coincide with the boundary of the border region or the outline of the river that passes through. There are also obvious errors.

        In addition to this, some cartographic layers from open sources contain a lot of "trash" - erroneous and non-existent contours, duplicates, etc. All this negatively affects the presentation and quality of the author's map.

        It is enough to compare such a "self-made" with a map in the classic atlas. For some "issued" made by non-specialists (non-cartographers), foreign scholars have introduced a special term "monster map", that is, "cartographic monster".


Specialized content of the maps

        The second aspect of the problem of self-mapping is the different detalization of the thematic layers. For scientist, a detailed map of the rivers of Ukraine, which also contains lakes, seas and reservoirs, may be needed. The map of the relief on the area or region can successfully complement the exploration of a geologist or geophysicist. A vegetation map is needed by the ecologist. At the same time, domestic specialists in socio-economic geography need a map of Ukraine with oblasts, regions and cities. The rest of the components on the maps should be simplified.

        Thus, it is not possible to produce a unified geographical basis for all those wishing to engage in "magic mapping".


Problem formulation

        Thus, the above problem is reduced to the following provisions:
        - scientists of the Earth want to present the results of the work and performed research in cartographic form;
        - specialists prefer self-mapping and do not count on the help of their colleagues;
        - blank maps should consist of components with varying detail that are interchangeable.


Cartographic Designer

        It is possible to propose a standard technology accepted on the enterprises of the industry to edit a map after GIS in a vector editor. However, this method is relatively complex and takes a lot of time.

        The solution that we propose can be called "cartographic designer". A series of contour maps has been developed for collecting and geo-referencing received data and mapping bases for presentation of research results, journalistic investigations, geo-visualizations.

        All these bases are made in GIS, converted into vector format and prepared for printing or rendering on the screen. At the same time, they retain compatibility with the original basis in GIS. If the projection was permanent the thematic content is completely coincident in the contours.

        If necessary, a map can be published on the Internet in a vector format (PDF or SVG). These contour maps are also easily imported into two-dimensional animation programs (Adobe Animator).


Terminological discrepancy

        It should be noted that this section of the site is devoted to the compilation of maps based on the results of research and information collected. Geospatial calculations use non-mapping bases or contour maps and geodata described in the relevant section.

        The correct name of the specified product is the cartographic basis. This concept and "geographical basis" are similar in meaning and are used in parallel. However, there is a difference between them. The geographical basis of the map is a set of elements of the content of the cartographic image that reflects the presence and position of the components of the geographical space, which are needed for understanding and geographic referencing of the thematic content of the map. These are hydrography, relief (natural) and settlements, administrative and state boundaries (socio-economic objects).

        Sometimes the mathematical basis of the map is added to the space components. In this case we get "cartographic" basis. In foreign literature, in this sense, the term "blank map" is used, literally "blank map" that is a map compiled to add additional (thematic) information to it. Often non-cartographers and non-geographers use the phrase "contour map" because they are familiar with the concept in school, which is not correct. However, it is precisely the representatives of non-specialty geography who are looking for the right material to make their geospatial data.
        Thus, the notion of "cartographic basis" has the most accurate content, therefore, we will use it in the text later.


Coverage of the territory

        Firstly the materials of the cartographic designer cover the territory of Ukraine. There are maps for separate regions and districts, as well as for economic regions Carpathian, Central, Donetsk, Prydniprovsky, Metropolitan, Northeastern and Black Sea regions, and others like that. In addition to the bases presented on the site there are many others that we did not have time to publish.


Getting and downloading the basics

        For the authors of the scientific journal blank maps are free, more precisely, their cost is included in the publication fee. After accepting the article by the editorial board, the amount of prepayment will be deducted from the cost of publication.

        However, the publication in the magazine is not mandatory for the use of cartographic materials. As a rule, the cost of the fund does not exceed the payment of a small article from 100 to 300 UAH. We do not object to using the basics for making own maps for further sale.

        We can provide a discount on a contour map, provided that the link to our resource is included in your article published in another magazine. You can also get the basics for free by exchanging it to other data which origin was verified, including available intermediate versions and service files associated with the production of this data.

        All of the foundations are original, we can show intermediate versions of the files.


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