Teach yourself
The Map Processor for Windows
March 1997
Introduction: Getting started
Hardware requirements
If there is no icon...
Starting Map Maker
The menu bar
The work area
The navigation buttons
Status information
Before you start... turn off your computer
1. Basic drawing and editing
The Live layer
Lines, polygons, and symbols
Drawing a simple polygon
Editing polygons
Editing lines
Editing symbols (points)
21 2. Understanding and using scans
Inside bitmaps
Making a scan
Loading a scan into Map Maker
Changing the colour
Creating tiles
31 3. Display styles
Style files
Editing styles
Edit symbol and label
Edit fill and line
Edit arrow
Style set name
Colours and styles on your printer
Creating a legend
41 4. Attaching data
Using data bands
Data points
Creating a database
53 5. Advanced editing
Cutting and joining lines
The Edit Object menu
Copying objects
Polygons with holes and satellites
Cutting and joining
Cutting with an existing line or polygon
New object set-up
getting objects into the Live layer
65 6. Node and link drawing
Deleting nodes and links
Joining nodes and links
Using nodes and links to find overlaps
75 7. Printing and exporting images
Exporting images
Poster print
The peculiarities of printers...
81 Index
Getting started - 1
Introduction: Getting started
Teach Yourself Map Maker Basics can be used as part of a course or as a self help guide
- or both. The Map Maker family of computer programs is designed to help you to
prepare maps. Until recently map making programs (sometimes called Geographical
Information Systems - G.I.S.) were expensive and highly complicated. They could
only be used by experts. These days, there are many computer graphics programs
which enable non-expert users to make drawings on the computer and there are
costly complex GIS packages. Map Maker fills the gap between these two types of
program. You do not need to be an expert in either computers or cartography to use
Map Maker. Map Maker Pro contains many of the facilities of the large complicated GIS
programs. Most importantly, Map Maker Pro enables you to produce maps to scale
and to link data to items on the map.
If you are not accustomed to using a computer with Windows, or are somewhat out of
practice with Windows, it would be a good idea to work through a tutorial on Windows before
beginning to use this guide. If your computer has Windows 3.1 there is a short on-screen
tutorial available under the Help menu of the Program Manager.
Hardware requirements
Although Map Maker will work on a 386 computer with 4Mb of RAM, the
recommended minimum specification is a 486DX or Pentium processor with 16Mb or
more of RAM. The ideal screen is one displaying 256 colours and 800 x 600 pixels but
the VGA screen (16 colours and 640 x 480 pixels) found on many laptop computers
will do.
If you are using a laptop computer, I recommend that you fit it with a
conventional mouse. It is more difficult to be accurate with other pointing devices,
such as trackerballs and touch pads. Make sure that your mouse is working properly.
If the cursor jerks across the screen, clean the inside of the mouse carefully to remove
any dust or fluff. A smoothly running mouse makes all the difference between frustration
and satisfaction with any graphics program.
2 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
The precise procedure which you will need to go through to load your program will
depend on the version of Map Maker which you are using and whether you have a
copy on diskette or whether you have downloaded the program from the Internet. It
also depends on whether you are running Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.
Map Maker Pro (16-bit) on diskette under Windows 3.1. Put disk 1 into the
disk drive. Open the File menu of the Program Manager and click on Run.
A dialogue box will appear. In the text box labelled Command line enter the
following command:
(If you are using disk drive B, type b:\setup)
Map Maker Pro on diskette under Windows 95. Put disk 1 into the disk
drive. Click on the Windows 95 Task bar Start button. Select Settings Control Panel and choose Add/Remove programs. Click on Install.
Map Maker Pro 16-bit version downloaded from our web site. Open the File
menu of the Program Manager and click on Run. A dialogue box will
appear. Use browse to find the directory where you saved the downloaded
file. In the text box labelled Command line enter the following command:
Map Maker Pro 32-bit version downloaded from our web site. Click on Start
and click on Run. A dialogue box will appear. Use browse to find the
directory where you saved the downloaded file. In the text box labelled
Open enter the following command:
After you have given the appropriate installation command from the list above,
follow the instructions on your screen.
Getting started - 3
Starting Map Maker
If Map Maker is not already running, double-click on the Map Maker icon to start the
program.. The cursor changes to an hour glass and a window appears telling you the
name of the program. Click on the OK button to clear this window. The screen
should now be almost completely empty:
(Note that the screen images in this guide were taken from a computer running Windows 95.
If you are using Windows 3.1 some of the details on your screen may look slightly different).
The screen is divided into four main areas:
The menu bar across the top of the screen.
The work area, the white space occupying most of the screen.
The navigation buttons in the bottom right corner of the screen.
The information in the bottom left corner of the screen.
4 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
The menu bar
As in any other Windows program, the menu bar contains groups of commands. A
command is triggered when the user clicks on a menu item. In Map Maker there are
six groups:
File. This group of commands pertains to the management of graphics files,
data files, styles and printing.
View. These commands determine the way in which the map is displayed on
the screen. For instance, you may choose to fill the screen with the map or to
preview the map as it would appear on a printed page.
Navigate. This set allows you to move around the map and to alter the scale.
Tools. The tools change the function of your cursor enabling you to use it to
draw, edit, measure, annotate and attach data to the map.
Utilities. This group allows you to perform more specialised functions such
as importing files from other programs. It includes a text editor and a
Help. The help system contains basic definitions and instructions.
The work area
Maps are created, viewed, and edited in the work area. While the cursor is in this
area, it takes the form of an arrow with the word "none" next to it. The word "none"
indicates that, at this moment, no tool has been selected. Move the cursor around the
screen. You will see that the blue numbers in the bottom left corner alter with the
position of the cursor. These numbers reflect the co-ordinates of the cursor in the
work area. When Map Maker is first started up, the default setting places the
co-ordinates 0,0 at the centre of the work area. As you move the cursor to the left you
will see that the X value (the first of the co-ordinate numbers) moves down the
negative scale. Move the cursor to the right of the screen and the X ordinate becomes
positive. Similarly, the Y value (the second number) is positive at the top of the
screen and negative from the centre to the bottom of the screen.
The appearance of the work area can be altered by going to the View menu:
Full screen. The full work area is used for the map. If the map on your
screen is displayed in Full screen mode and printed out, it will appear in the
same shape on the page. The actual size of the map on the page is
determined by the paper size and the margins (see File - Page set-up).
Getting started - 5
Page preview. This option allows you to see the full page on the screen
including the margins. Page Preview helps you to make maximum use of
the space on the printed page but, because the map on the screen is smaller
than it would be in the Full screen mode, it is easiest to use the Full screen
mode when you are drawing and editing a map and switch to Page preview
when you are preparing to print.
Aspect ratio. The third option (only available in Map Maker Pro) is useful
when you want to include a map of a particular shape in a word processed
document. The View - Shape to aspect ratio allows you to choose from a
range of ratios, or to define your own. For example, an aspect ratio of 2:1
means the work area will be twice as wide as it is high, 1:1 is a square, and
1:2 is twice as high as it is wide. If you select Current page shape the shape
of the work area will corrspond to the shape of the currently selected paper
with the current margin settings and orientation.
While you are drawing or editing your map, it is easier to see what is going on if
you stay in the Full screen mode.
6 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
The navigation buttons
A set of buttons in the bottom right of the screen allows you to navigate around the
To practice navigating, first load a drawing file. Go to File - Open. This dialogue box
will appear.
If you click on the items in the Directory list you can move around the directories on
your hard disk. Experiment with this until you are in C:\MAPMAKER\DEMOS. The
screen should look as it does above. In the right hand list, click once on district.dra.
The name of the file should be highlighted in the list and it should appear in the text
box above. Click on OK. A second dialogue box appears called Layer set-up. For the
moment don't worry about this and just click OK.
This demonstration map of some districts in
Colombia should appear on the screen filling the full
height of the work area. Try clicking on the + and navigation buttons. The numbers (2,4, and 8) below the
+ and - signs indicate the degree of zoom. In other
words + 2x will magnify by two times, while - 8x will
reduce the size by a factor of eight. After you have
experimented with these, try the other buttons for
moving left, right, up, and down. These buttons also
Getting started - 7
have small numbers written on them (5,50,100). If you click on the left button with
the small 5, the map will move sideways by 5% of the screen width. The 50 and 100
buttons move 50% and 100%. Note that when you click 5% left, the map appears to
move to the right. In effect, you, as observer, are moving left over the map as if you
were in an aeroplane.
The cursor can also be used to navigate. If you go to the Tools menu and select
Pan by dragging, the cursor will change to a hand. Click and hold down the left
mouse button. Then move the mouse. You will see that the map moves following the
cursor. Release the left mouse button and the cursor releases the map.
Go to Tools and select Zoom to box. Again the cursor will change, this time
to a magnifying glass. Move the cursor to some point near the top left of the screen.
Click and hold the left mouse button down. At the same time, move the mouse so
that the cursor moves right across the screen. You will see that you are drawing a
rectangle on the screen. The rectangle is the same shape (the same proportions) as the
work area. When you are near the right side of the screen release the mouse button.
The map will be magnified so that the area you defined with the rectangle now fills
the work area.
Status information
You will have observed that, as you move the cursor about the screen, the
co-ordinates in the bottom left are updated. Any change made with the navigation
buttons, such as moving sideways or vertically, zooming in and out changes the
co-ordinate system. When you first started Map Maker running, the program
assumed, by default, that one pixel (one dot) on the screen represented one metre on
the ground. Now, after loading a map, and moving around you will probably find
that the co-ordinates indicate that the area on the screen represents many kilometres.
Above the co-ordinates, written in red, you will see the Scale on paper. At the
moment, this is probably some apparently random number. This number is the scale
of the map as it would appear on paper if you were to instruct the program to print
now. This scale is determined by a number of factors: the degree that you are zoomed
in or out, the size of the paper, the margins, and whether your printer is set to print
in Landscape or Portrait format (horizontal or vertical). To select the scale you require
on your printed map you must instruct Map Maker to adjust the zoom to the desired
scale. For instance, if the Scale on paper shows 1:45606, a more sensible scale would
be a round number of the same order of magnitude, 1:50,000. Go to Navigate - Zoom
to scale and select the scale appropriate to your map, in this case 1:50,000.
8 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Before you start ... turn off your computer
The above is no more than an introductory description of the program. The success of
your mapping project depends on you formulating clearly to yourself the kind of
map you want to make, the information you have already and the information you
need to find. The best way to start to use Map Maker is to turn off your computer and
draft a rough plan on paper taking into account the following questions:
What geographical region do you want to map: a country, a province, a
single farm?
What degree of accuracy does your project really require at this stage? Do
you need an accurate scale map or a general illustration of the situation? GIS
professionals as well as students frequently waste time producing maps that
are far more accurate than necessary for a given task.
What kind of information do you want to put on the map? Do you want to
represent only the geographic features or do you want to show data? If you
plan to show data, what combination of symbols, colours or text will be most
What additional information other than the geographic features do you
need? Do you need a title, a legend, a scale bar?
What is your plan for the final product? Will it be printed on paper and if so
will it be in colour or black and white? Does it need to stand alone or will it
be integrated with the text of a report? How and where will you store it - on
diskette or in a directory on your hard disk?
Basic drawing and editing - 9
1. Basic drawing and editing
A map, in Map Maker, is made up of one or more layers. Each layer is drawn from the
contents of a graphics file which is stored on disk. A layer is like a drawing on a sheet
of tracing paper. Each layer is transparent so that lower layers are visible through
upper layers. Usually each layer deals with a single theme, such as administrative
boundaries, rivers, roads, or towns. Some layers consist of a single scanned image,
also known as a bitmap or raster image. Scanned maps are discussed in Chapter 2.
Most layers are vector layers. A vector layer is created from the numerical data stored
in a vector graphics file. It consists of graphic objects - geometric shapes described in
terms of their co-ordinates. Vector graphics files are created by entering geometric
co-ordinates into a file in a format that a computer program can read. One way to do
this is to draw graphic objects using Map Maker's drawing tools. In Map Maker there
are five types of graphic objects: lines, polygons, symbols, text objects, and arrows.
This chapter deals with the basic techniques used in Map Maker to draw and edit the
most commonly used graphic objects; lines, polygons, and symbols.
The Live layer
The Live layer is where new objects can be drawn and existing objects edited or
deleted. While you may have any number of layers displayed on the screen, there is
only ever one Live layer. The Live layer "sits on top" of all the other layers. If we
think of the map as a stack of drawings on tracing paper, the Live layer is like a new
sheet placed on top of the stack. Although you can see the objects in the layers below,
you can only draw on the top sheet. Because you can see objects in the lower layers,
you can use Map Maker tools to trace them and thereby add them to the Live layer.
You can also draw new objects on the Live layer.
The Live layer where new objects are
created and existing objects edited
Passive layers which combine to form
the background to the live layer.
Typically, each layer deals with
a theme such as roads, rivers,
administrative boundaries, or towns.
10 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
The set of objects you create in the Live layer can be saved as a graphics file by
using File - Save Live layer as. As a rule you should save the Live layer as a Map
Maker Drawing (DRA) file. The graphics file can then be loaded as a vector layer.
Objects enter the Live layer in three ways:
Drawing. You can draw an object on the screen.
Importing files. You can load one or more files containing existing objects
into the Live layer by using File - Live layer - Load file. You can merge two
graphics files into one by loading two files into the Live layer and then
saving the Live layer to a new third file.
Selecting objects from other layers. Objects and groups of objects can be
copied from other layers into the Live layer. You must first go to Layer
set-up and define the relevant layer as "hit-able." The Data Query tool can
select objects from any layer and copy them into the Live layer only after the
layer to be copied has been defined as "hit-able".
This chapter is concerned only with the first option - drawing.
Lines, polygons, and symbols
The classic definition of a straight line is the
shortest distance between two points.
Mathematicians use the word "polyline" to
describe a geometrical object made up of
one or more straight line segments. At each
corner of a polyline, the end of one straight
line segment coincides with the beginning of
the next. The point at the corner is called a
A line (or Polyline)
"vertex". For the sake of simplicity, in Map
Maker the word "line" always includes
"polylines". In Map Maker, even a simple
straight line has two vertices, one at each
end, or the "start vertex" and the "finish vertex".
A polygon
A "polygon" is an enclosed area with straight edges; it is a polyline that ends at
its starting point - or start vertex - and so encloses an area. The simplest polygon is a
triangle, therefore any polygon has a minimum of three vertices.
A "symbol" may appear on your finished map as a circle, a triangle, a cross, or
a complex shape such as a tree or a building. The appearance of the symbol depends
on the style you have chosen. It is the location of the symbol that is important. The
Basic drawing and editing - 11
location of a symbol is a geometrical point. It is the precise dot on the map around
which a symbol is eventually drawn.
Lines, polygons, and symbols are the three basic elements of maps. All three
can be mixed in a single layer but it is easier to edit and refine your map if you try to
keep the different categories of elements in separate layers. For instance, a layer of
roads will be all lines. A layer of villages may consist of symbols, one for each village.
A layer of administrative districts is composed of polygons. Although you see them
all at once, stacked on top of each other, you can only alter the Live layer. If you have
loaded the "Villages" layer into the Live layer, there is nothing to stop you from
drawing a new road on to it. However, future editing and attaching databases will be
made easier if you take "Villages" out of the Live layer and load the "Roads" layer
instead before you draw a new road.
Drawing a simple polygon
To draw a polygon, go to the Tools menu and open
the Drawing sub-menu. Select the Polygon tool.
The cursor will change to an arrow with the word
"Poly" next to it. Decide where on the screen you
want the polygon to start and place the tip of the
arrow at that point. Click and release the left mouse
button. A small red square will appear at that point.
Now move the mouse and you will see that the red
square is linked to the cursor by a blue dotted line.
Choose a location for the second vertex of the
polygon and again click and release the left mouse
button. A second small red square is drawn. The
first red square is now linked to the second by a
solid blue line and the dotted line now links the
cursor to the second vertex.
Continue drawing the outline of your
polygon by clicking the left button to draw more
vertices. If you make a mistake and click and create
a vertex in the wrong place, press the Delete key on
your keyboard. This will delete the last vertex. To
abandon the polygon altogether, press the Escape
key to delete the whole object.
Click with the left mouse
button to draw vertices
Press Delete to
delete the last vertex
12 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
To finish (or close) the polygon, you can
move the cursor so that it is directly over the first
vertex and click. Or you can close the polygon by
creating a straight line from the last vertex to the
first vertex without moving the mouse. To do
this, click with the right mouse button or press
any key on the keyboard. The act of closing the
polygon will complete the drawing of the
polygon. As soon as a polygon is drawn a
dialogue box appears which allows you to label
the polygon and choose a display style for it.
Define the label that you
want to be displayed as the
polygon's name
If, later, you want to link the polygon
to a database then you can specify a
unique ID here
Click with the Right mouse
button or press any key to
"close" the polygon
Choose the "style" that
you want Map Maker to use
when drawing the polygon
Preview of a polygon
drawn using the selected
The list on the right side of the dialogue box offers a set of 101 styles. All of these
styles can be defined by using File - Display styles - Edit or Change style set. The
style you choose determines the appearance of the polygon. For instance, in the
example above, style number 10 will produce a pale yellow polygon with no line
around its edge. Style number 6 produces a green polygon with a black border and a
Basic drawing and editing - 13
label. Choose the style you prefer. (Until you are accustomed to the program, you
will find it easier to work with polygons with border lines, such as style 6.)
A text box, called a "field", in the top left of the dialogue box allows you to
create a Display Label to label the polygon on the screen. If you do not specify a
Display Label, Map Maker will assign it a default name such as "Object 1", "Object 2",
etc. Your Display Label could be more specific, "Forest" or "Children under 5 years."
The Display Label can contain several lines of text. Not all styles include labels. For
instance, in the example above, styles 7 to 12 do not show the letter "A" in the style
list. The absence of the letter indicates that a polygon drawn in any of these styles
will not be labelled.
Below the field for the Display Label you will see a field for the "Object ID".
Every object in a Map Maker map should have a unique Object ID. The ID is a hidden
name which the program will use if you eventually link the object to a database. The
Display Label might indicate a general condition, "Arable land." However, the Object
ID will be a unique name such as "Plot 22" to distinguish that particular polygon
from all other polygons labelled "Arable land".
Click OK when you have selected the characteristics of the new polygon. The
dialogue box disappears leaving the polygon coloured according to the chosen style
and labelled with the name you have given it. Immediately under the label there is a
small blue circle. Small blue circles under object labels indicate which objects on the
screen are in the Live layer. Any object on the screen without a small blue circle is in
one of the background passive layers.
Editing polygons
Now that you have created a polygon, you can edit it
if you wish. Only one object can be edited at any one
moment and that object must be in the Live layer.
Go to the Tools menu, open the Edit
sub-menu, and choose Edit object. When you click
on Edit object, the cursor will change to a hand with
a pointing finger. Position the cursor so that the tip
of the finger is inside the polygon you wish to edit.
Click and release the left mouse button. The dialogue
box shown on the previous page now re-appears
allowing you to alter the style or the name of the
polygon. Make any necessary changes and click OK.
14 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
To edit the geometry of the object, place the
finger of the cursor inside the polygon and make a
rapid double click with the left mouse button. The
polygon will now be shown as a blue outline with
a small red square at each vertex. You are now free
to edit the shape and position of the polygon.
The polygon can be manipulated in
different ways. For instance, place the finger of the
Edit cursor inside the polygon and click and hold
down the left button of the mouse. The shape of the
cursor now changes to a hand with pinching
fingers and the word "move". Still holding the left
mouse button down, try moving the mouse. The
polygon is dragged across the screen by the cursor.
Similarly, if you click the left mouse button and
hold it down over a vertex you can drag an
individual vertex.
If you click and hold the left mouse button
down over one of the straight line segments which
make up the polygon and then move the mouse,
you will find that you have inserted a new vertex.
In this way you can take a simple sketched
polygon and gradually correct and add detail to
the boundary. To delete a vertex, click the left
mouse button and hold it down so that it is
selected by the pinching fingers of the "move"
cursor. Then press the Delete key on your
keyboard. To delete the entire polygon, press
Delete without holding the mouse button down.
At the four corners of the rectangular space
which encloses the polygon (the bounding box) you
will see four blue Control Shapes. In the top right,
is a blue square. Place the cursor on the square,
click, hold down, and drag. The entire polygon can
be stretched or compressed. The square in the
opposite corner, the lower left, remains stationary
while the polygon is stretched relative to it.
Similarly if you click, hold down, and drag on the
lower left square you can stretch or compress the
Drag the
Basic drawing and editing - 15
polygon with respect to the top right corner.
Dragging the diamond, lower right, moves the
whole polygon. Rotate the polygon by dragging
the circle in the top left.
In the centre of the polygon is the blue
circle containing the word "label". This circle is
the Label Controller. The appearance of the label
is governed both by the Display style and the
Label Controller. The definition of the "Display
style" governs the choice of font, the size of font
and the colour (see File - Display styles - Edit or
Change style set). The position of the label is
set by the Label Controller. Still using the Edit
object tool, make sure that the tip of the edit
finger is near the centre of the blue circle and
then click, hold down, and drag the blue circle.
Dragging the Label Controller to a different spot
changes the position of the label in the finished
polygon. In the example, the Label Controller
has been dragged into the top left of the polygon
and so the label will appear at that point.
To finish editing a polygon, move the cursor outside the polygon, avoiding the
control shapes, and click once. The squares at the vertices and the control shapes at
the corners of the bounding box disappear and the polygon is once more displayed
according to the style which you have selected for it. In the example the Display label
("Forest") has been moved to the top left. Later, if you wish to make further changes,
simply double click the cursor once again inside the polygon.
Elements within the Label Controller alter the position of the label text relative
to the label's point of location. In the lower half of the Label Controller is a rectangle
with a red square inside it. The position of the red square within the rectangle
governs the "justification" of the label. That is to say, if the red square is in centre of
the box, the label is centred on the location point. Move the red square to the left (by
clicking to the left) and all of the text will be written to the left of the location point.
This is called "right-justified" because the right edge of the text is fixed at the
specified location. Similarly, if the red square is in the right side of the rectangle, the
text will appear to the right of the location point - and be "left-justified." The blue
circle indicating that the polygon is in the Live layer also marks the label's location.
On the edge of the circle of the Label Controller you will see another small blue
circle. Position the cursor on this circle, click, hold down, and drag. The small circle
16 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
swings around the circumference of the Label Controller. As it moves, the line
crossing the centre of the Label Controller rotates. This line governs the orientation of
the label.
Right justified text
Left justified text
Rotated and
left justified text
The Label Controller can be used to adjust the position and orientation of
the Display Label. This is particularly useful if you have a number of
objects so close to each other that their Display labels overlap.
In the top of the Label Controller is a
small red circle. Click on this circle and a
dialogue box appears which allows you to
adjust the text font size within a range of
40% - 250% of the size specified in the
style. For example, if the font size of the
style is 3.0mm, then the dialogue box
offers a choice of size from 1.2mm to
7.5mm. (i.e. 0.4 x 3 = 1.2, 2.5 x 3 = 7.5)
Basic drawing and editing - 17
Size adjuster. Click on the red circle to display
a dialogue box which allows you to adjust the
font size.
Summary of the Label Controller
Angle setter. Click and drag this
circle around the perimeter of the
large circle to alter the angle
of the label.
Move the label by clicking and
dragging somewhere near the
centre of the Label Controller.
Justification box. Move the red square
to alter the justification.
Editing lines
Lines are drawn in the same way as polygons. However, since a line does not start
and finish at the same point, you cannot click over the first vertex to finish drawing a
line. To finish drawing a line, click with the right mouse button or press any key
except Delete or Escape.
Indicate the line you wish to edit by choosing
the Edit object tool and double clicking with the
cursor on the line. A bounding box of four symbols
and red squares on the vertices will appear to
indicate that you are now free to edit the line.
Polygons can be moved using the Edit Object tool
and clicking and dragging inside the polygon. Since
a line does not enclose a space, it is moved by
clicking the left mouse button, holding it down and
dragging the blue diamond control shape at the
bottom right of the bounding box.
When editing a polygon, the Label Controller appears initially in the centre of
the bounding box (the smallest rectangle to enclose the object). When editing a line, the
Label Controller appears initially half way along the line segment closest to the
18 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
middle of the line. As with polygon editing, the Label Controller for lines may be
moved by dragging with the Edit Object tool and its other functions used in the
same way as for labelling polygons.
Drag on this circle to
rotate the object
Drag on a vertex to move
it or drag on a line to
insert a new vertex and
move that
Drag on the centre of
the Label Controller to
move the label
Drag on this square to
stretch or compress the
object with respect to
the opposite corner
See chapter 5
Drag on this square to
stretch or compress the
object with respect to
the opposite corner
Drag on the diamond to
move the polygon or line
across the screen
Summary of basic editing techniques for a line or polygon
Editing symbols (points)
The symbol drawing tool is listed on the Tools - Drawing menu as Symbol (Point).
The tool performs two functions. It locates the geometric point and then draws a
symbol at that point. Select the Symbol (Point) tool. Position the cursor on the point
at which you want to draw the symbol and click and release once with the left button
of the mouse. A dialogue box, similar to that shown on page 12 appears. Choose a
style from the right hand list. Go to the field entitled "Display Label", type in the
name of the symbol and click OK.
If you choose, for instance, the symbol of a white
square and give it the name "health centre" it will look
like this:
health centre
Basic drawing and editing - 19
As with lines and polygons, the blue circle in the centre
of the baseline of the label indicates that the object is in the
Live layer. In addition, a second, smaller, blue circle marks
health centre
the geometrical point around which the symbol is drawn. In
the case of the white square, the location of this point is
obvious. The square is centred on the point. In the case of
more complex symbols the location point may not be obvious
so the small blue circle is useful to show the precise centre of
the symbol. When you click with the Edit Object tool on the
smaller blue circle you will be free to edit the symbol.
As with lines and polygons, a single click allows you to
edit the name and the style of the symbol and a double click
allows you to edit the geometry. However, in the case of a
symbol, the geometry consists of no more than the location of
the point on the map. The geometry is shown by a single red
vertex square and the Label Controller. The Label Controller
can be moved around the point but not away from it. Use the
Label Controller to alter the appearance of the label in the
same way you used it for polygon and line labels.
health centre
20 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Understanding and using scans - 21
2. Understanding and using scans
Map Maker works with two kinds of graphics file: vector files and scanned images.
Chapter 1 dealt with editing vector files. A vector file contains graphic objects such as
lines, polygons, and points. These are described in terms of their geometrical
co-ordinates. A scanned image, also called a bitmap or raster image, is like a
photograph or photocopy. It is simply a pattern of light and shade and sometimes
colours which your eye interprets as a picture. Bitmaps are usually made using a
scanner. A scanner works like a photocopier except that the result is saved onto disk
rather than on paper. Bitmaps can also be made by saving the image from the screen
in a computer program, such as Map Maker, CorelDraw, or Windows Paint Brush.
The next couple of pages contain a fairly technical explanation of bitmaps.
While this may be a bit daunting to some readers, it is worth taking the trouble to
understand how bitmaps work so as to avoid confusion and frustration when
working with them.
Inside bitmaps
The three representations of a polygon shown below are all bitmaps. They are each
made up of square dots called pixels. The image on the left has more dots per inch each pixel is smaller - than the images on the right so it appears as a more accurate
representation of a polygon. In the image on the right, each pixel can be seen as a
large square. We can see too that the pale fill colour of the polygon is actually made
up of a mixture of white and coloured pixels which in the image on the left are mixed
together by the eye to form a smooth tone.
The same polygon in a vector file would be described in terms of its geometry
and attributes. The geometric description would consist of five pairs of ordinates (X
and Y) for each of the five corners. The attributes in this case would be the fill colour,
22 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
the colour of the line around the edge and the thickness of the line. The information
needed in a vector file to describe a polygon a few millimetres across would be no
more and no less than that required to describe a polygon the size of the entire page.
The only difference would be the locations of the co-ordinates. The number of
ordinate pairs would be the same. In a bitmap however, the larger the image, the
larger the graphics file needed to describe it. Every point in the image is identified by
a pixel which must be described in the bitmap file.
For example, if the bitmap contains 300 dots per inch (d.p.i.) and the image is
4" x 3" then the bitmap needs to describe (300 x 4) x (300 x 3) pixels, that is 1,080,000
pixels. The amount of data attached to each pixel is determined by the number of
colours or tones which the image requires. Each pixel is described by a number in the
range of colours you have selected. If you select a black and white image (such as for
a simple line drawing) then the only numbers in the range are 0 for white and 1 for
Computers store data in units called "bytes". Each byte is made up of eight bits.
A bit is the basic element of the computer's memory and it is like a simple switch. It
can be either be off or on. Off represents the number zero and on represents the
number 1. So, in a black and white image, the data for each pixel can be stored in just
one bit. This means that the data for eight pixels can be stored in one byte. In the
example, the 4" x 3" image contains 1,080,000 pixels. If it is a black and white - or 1-bit
- image then it needs a file of 135,000 bytes - that is to say 1,080,000 bits / 8 bytes.
More than one bit is needed to describe each pixel if your image uses more
than two colours (black and white). In theory, you could have any number of bits but
there are certain numbers of bits which are commonly used:
1 bit
21 = two colours, black and white
4 bits
24 = 16 colours
8 bits
28 = 256 colours or 256 grey tones (e.g. aerial photos, etc.)
24 bits
224 = 16,777,216 colours
Sixteen colour or 4 bit images are becoming less common and 24 bit images require
large amounts of disk space and memory to process them. The most frequently used
bitmaps are 1-bit and 8-bit images. An 8-bit image requires one byte for each pixel.
This is the basic theory of bitmaps but, of course, there are more complications.
Inside the simple polygon on the right of the previous page, you see large areas
consisting of a single colour - white. For situations like this programmers have
devised techniques for compressing bitmap data. If, for example, the computer
encounters 12 pixels in a row all of which are coloured white, then, instead of writing
twelve zeros in a row, it will write an encoded instruction, 12 x 0. Programmers
Understanding and using scans - 23
working for different companies have devised a variety of coding systems, as you
will discover when you start to examine the range of image processing software. To
avoid confusion and problems of compatibility between systems - and to make the
program faster - Map Maker Student uses only uncompressed bitmaps (Map Maker Pro
now supports a form of compression called PackBits). If you have a compressed
bitmap file, one of the many image processing programs available will enable you to
load the compressed file and re-save it in an uncompressed format.
Compressed files are not the only hazard. The above explanation of bitmaps is
a general description of the way data for each pixel is stored. But, before the
computer can even begin to read the data stored in a bitmap file, it needs some
information about the whole image. In our example the 4" x 3" image contains
1,080,000 pixels but so too does a 8" x 1.5" image. The computer needs to know the
dimensions of the image for which the pixels are being supplied. It also needs to
know if it is a 1-bit or 8-bit image and, if it is an 8-bit (256 colour) image, what are the
colours. This data is contained in the header at the beginning of each bitmap file.
Unfortunately, as with compressed data, programmers have invented a variety of
methods of storing this information. The result is that there are many different file
formats each using a different file extension. Common bitmap formats include BMP,
TIF, GIF, PCX and JPG. Map Maker can use the two most common formats BMP and
TIF (often written as TIFF - Tagged Image File Format). The file extension BMP is
ambiguous because, though BMP originally meant Windows Bitmap and usually still
does, the same file extension is used for OS/2 Bitmaps. In Map Maker always use
Windows Bitmaps.
If you have a file in another format you will need to convert it. Frequently
images downloaded from the World Wide Web are contained in GIF or JPG files. You
will need to use image processing software to convert the bitmap file to the
uncompressed BMP or TIF format (BMP is fractionally faster in Map Maker). If you do
not already have image processing software, the shareware version of Alchemy's
Graphic Workshop is available from the World Wide Web. Go to the Map Maker web
site (http://www.ibmpcug.co.uk/~MapMaker) and click on the relevant link.
Making a scan
A wide range of scanners is now available on the market and an even wider range of
software for using scanners. It is not possible to scan directly into Map Maker. Create
a scan using scanning software, save the file as an uncompressed TIF or BMP file,
and load that file as a layer in Map Maker.
The cheapest scanners are handheld with a roller on the front which records
the image as it is rolled over the paper. It is difficult to use a hand held scanner well.
24 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Unless you push the scanner evenly the image becomes slightly twisted so, though a
hand held scanner can be used, it is not recommended. A number of models are
available which work like a fax machine with the paper passing automatically over
the scanning head. These scanners were primarily developed for "Optical Character
Recognition" in which the computer automatically reads text from the page. They
make good scans but can only accept A4 or letter size paper. As with fax machines, if
the rollers becomes dusty or greasy you may find the image stretching.
It is possible to make a scan using a normal fax machine. Some fax machines
are designed to plug into a computer. If yours is not, you will need to install a fax
modem. Then attach the computer to one telephone line and the fax to another. Call
your computer from the fax and send the map as a fax. Most fax software provides
the option to save the image as an uncompressed TIF file. The image transmitted by a
fax machine is likely to be of rather poor quality but it may be adequate for your
When possible use a flat-bed scanner. This looks like a photocopier. Lay your
map, aerial photograph or whatever on the glass sheet and lower the lid carefully
taking care that the map is placed squarely on the glass. A little care at this stage
saves problems later. If possible place the map so that North is upwards, towards the
hinge of the lid.
The scanner will almost certainly come with its own scanning software but you
can also use it with other image processing software. Though there are differences,
practically all image processing programs use the word Acquire as the menu
command to make a scan. Usually the command is listed in the File menu.
When you click on the Acquire command a dialogue box will appear. Again,
the appearance of this dialogue box varies from program to program but there are
three key elements to look for.
Preview. Click on a button labelled Preview (or sometimes Pre-Scan). After
a few seconds a crude representation of the map as it lies on the sheet of
glass will appear in a small window. The dotted rectangle on this window
indicates the extent of the scan. Use the mouse to drag and stretch the
rectangle so that it covers the area that you want to scan and no more.
Image type. As explained above, a bitmap can use different numbers of bits
to store each pixel. You need to specify the type of image you want. Look for
a facility called Scan mode or a similar name. The different image types
may be identified in different ways:
1 bit, Line art, Black and white or Mono all describe a simple black and
white scan suitable for a line drawing with clear black lines on white
paper, such as a simple outline map.
Understanding and using scans - 25
Half-Tone or Dithered. These terms also refer to 1-bit (black and white)
options but they are used for interpreting images containing tones of grey
(or colours in the original). The result is like a black and white
photograph in a newspaper; the different greys are represented by black
dots of different size. A half tone image uses dots on a regular grid and
achieves the grey effect by varying dot size. A dithered image uses dots of
uniform size but varies the spacing. Not all scanners have dithering
options. If you have a choice buy a scanner that does.
Line art
Different styles of one-bit image
4 bit or 16 colour.
Greyscale. A grey scale image is a colour
bitmap in which each "colour" in the bitmap is
a different intensity of grey. In theory a grey
scale could use any number of bits but ,by
convention, greyscale usually refers to an 8-bit
bitmap in which there are 256 intensities of
grey from black to white.
8 bit or 256 colours.
24 bit or 16 million colours or RGB colour
Some programs do not offer colour options at the
scanning stage. After you have made the scan you are
allowed to edit the image. Look for a menu usually
called Image to select the type of colour image you
want (4 bit, 8 bit, or 24 bit).
8-bit greyscale
(But note that the printer
used to print this tutorial
converts the image to a
fine half-tone)
In summary:
To scan a drawing, use Line art (1 bit)
To scan a black and white aerial photo, use grey scale or dithered.
26 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
To scan a coloured map either use one-bit dithered or 8 bit colour or, if
you have no option, just colour.
Resolution. The manufacturers of scanners place importance on the number
of dots per inch their scanner can manage, some can produce 600 dots per
inch (dpi) - some 1200 dpi or more. These high resolutions are beautiful on
paper but impractical on the computer screen. Suppose your screen contains
800 pixels from side to side. An image which has been scanned at 600 dpi
will only display 1.3" of the map across the entire screen unless you zoom
out. When you zoom out on a scan, you slow down the program and loose
clarity. Try to scan your map at a sensible resolution for the kind of work that
you want to do. If, for instance, your screen is 10" wide with 800 pixels from
side to side - a fairly typical size - a scanned image of 200 dpi will appear on
the screen two and a half times larger than it appears on paper. As a general
rule, scans of 100, 150, or 200 dpi produce useful results on the screen.
Experiment to learn the resolution that works best on your screen.
Once that you have set the parameters, click on the button labelled Scan (or
sometimes just OK). The image should appear on the screen. You may need to leave
the scanning dialogue box in order to return to the main image processing program.
At this point is wise to check that the image is properly aligned. Is North at the top?
Is the edge of the image parallel to the edge of the window? If not you may need to
re-scan after adjusting the original in the scanner. The image processor probably has
a tool for rotating the image. However, unless you are rotating by a multiple of 90
degrees, rotation using the image processor tool reduces the quality of the scan.
Whenever possible re-scan rather than attempt a fine adjustment from within the
The next step is to save the image to a file on disk. Click on File - Save as to
select your format option. In Map Maker the file format Windows Bitmap (BMP) is
easiest to use. If this format is not available, select Tagged Image File Format (TIF). If
you are allowed to select a "sub-format" ensure that this is set to "uncompressed".
Give a name to the file and save it making a note of the directory you choose.
(Ideally, you should have already created a directory specifically for your map data.)
Loading a scan into Map Maker
Now that you have a scanned file, you are ready to return to Map Maker. In Map
Maker go to File - Open. From the list in the left side of the dialogue box select the
appropriate file type, BMP or TIF. Navigate to the directory in which you stored the
file, select the file, and click OK. The scanned image will appear on the screen. The
Understanding and using scans - 27
scan is loaded so that one pixel (one dot) of the original scan is displayed as one pixel
on the screen. Your image is probably too big to appear on the screen in its entirety.
Experiment with the navigation buttons at the bottom right of the screen to move left,
right, up and down. Try selecting Tools - Pan by dragging. Click and hold down
anywhere on the screen move the mouse and you will see the image moving with the
cursor. When you release the mouse button the image re-draws itself at the new
position. Try clicking on the zoom in and zoom out buttons. As you zoom in you
will see the image becoming more crude as each pixel becomes visible as a separate
square. Note that as you zoom out the image becomes broken and unclear and
slower to re-draw. The term "natural scale" means that one pixel in the bitmap file is
represented by one pixel on the screen. Your interpretation of a scan will be most
accurate when you work with it at its natural scale.
Go to File - Clear screen and then reload the file. The last file you viewed can
be opened by going to the File menu and selecting the file from the list shown just
below the Exit command in the File menu. Re-loading the scan ensures that it is once
again displayed at its natural scale. Move the cursor about the screen and observe the
co-ordinates in the bottom left corner of the screen. You will see that, by default, Map
Maker is set so that one pixel on the image is equated with one metre on the ground.
For example, if your screen if 800 pixels from side to side and you move the cursor
first to the extreme left and read the X ordinate (the first of the two co-ordinates) and
then move the cursor to the extreme right and again read the X ordinate, the second
figure is 800 metres greater than the first.
Map Maker assumes that one
pixel is equal to one meter because the
scanned map is not yet calibrated. A
file fresh from the scanner is no more
than a collection of dots. Until the
program is instructed otherwise, Map
Maker assigns a default scale of one
meter : one pixel. Your next step is to
calibrate the image to the correct scale.
Select Tools - Calibrate scan. The
cursor changes to crossed hairs. Find a
point on your scanned map for which
you know the actual co-ordinates or
the point you want to take as a
reference point. If you know the scale
of your original paper map, then
simply click once with the left mouse
button and release. This dialogue box
28 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
appears. Enter the scale of the scan in the
third field down. In this example the scale is
1:50,000. The next field down (dots per inch)
should already show the resolution you
chose when you made the scan. Enter the
resolution manually if your scanner does not
add this data automatically. If North is not at
the top of your scan, enter in a figure in
degrees for the actual rotation. It makes life
easier if you can make your scans with North
at the top.
If you know the co-ordinates of your reference point, you may enter them
now. If you do not know the co-ordinates you may assign them arbitrarily. The
co-ordinates on a map may or may not have anything to do with the location of the
map on the earth. Until you are able to relate your scanned map to other maps, the
arbitrary co-ordinates you assign now will simply allow you to find your way
around your scan. (The scale of the scan is another matter. The scale tells you the size
of the map compared to the size of the place it represents. If the distances
represented by the map are important to you, you cannot assign an arbitrary scale.)
The arbitrary value of your co-ordinates must never the less be chosen
carefully. You could simply assign zero to both the X and Y ordinates so that all other
points on the map will be shown with respect to this zero point. In theory, this is fine
but it means that any point on the map to the left or below the reference point has
one or two negative ordinates. In practice it is easy to confuse 5 metres with -5
metres. For this reason, it is good practice to assign large numbers to the co-ordinates
of your reference point, 10,000 metres (or more depending on your map), to ensure
that all the locations on your map will have positive and unambiguous co-ordinates.
Sometimes you have to figure out the scale of
the scan. You may have an aerial photograph
which has not been produced to scale, a sketch map
or a map with a scale bar and no scale. To determine
the scale in such cases, you must know the distance
between two fixed points in the area represented by
the scan. Select Tool - Calibrate scan. Make a
double click on one known point. Now drag the
cursor to the second point and click again. A
dialogue box similar to the box described above will
appear but here you enter the distance in metres
between the reference point and the second point.
Understanding and using scans - 29
Once you have entered the data in either one of the dialogue boxes to calibrate
the scan, click on OK. The scan automatically reloads in order to accommodate the
scale. Now, as you move the cursor around the scan, you will see that the
co-ordinates in the bottom left reflect locations on the ground. The co-ordinates you
chose for your reference point will be shown when you place the cursor over that
point. Select Tool - Measurement - Tape measure. Try measuring some distances
by clicking the mouse button to draw a line. The distance is shown in red letters in
the bottom left corner. Using Tools - Measurement - Area measurer, you can draw
polygonal areas. Now, when the polygon is complete, its area will be shown. If your
image has been correctly calibrated, the measurements will be true ground
Changing the colour.
Full colour scans and greyscale images look very impressive on the screen. But you
may find, once you start measuring and drawing over these images, that the strong
tones make it difficult to see what you are doing. The scanned image is too intrusive.
This is why we recommend that you use one-bit black and white images whenever
possible, either as line art or dithered. You may find it more pleasant to work with a
one- bit image if you change it from black and white to a pale colour.
Load a one-bit scan using File - Open. Then go to File - Layer Manager. Your
file will already be selected in the layer list. Click on Layer set-up. Because it is a
one-bit scan layer, Map Maker will display a colour chart. You will see a small white
circle in the top left over the colour black. Move the cursor and click to select some
other colour, such as mid grey. The white circle moves to that colour. Click OK to
return to the Layer Manager. Click OK again and the scan will reload having
converted the black dots to the colour you chose.
It is easier to work on a grey and white background than one which is black and white
30 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Now, if you try drawing or using the tape measure, it is easier to see what you
are doing. The scan has become a useful but non-intrusive background against which
drawing and measuring lines are easier to see. It will also be easier to see the objects
you have drawn against this pale background when you come to print your map.
If you plan to regularly display one-bit scans in a particular colour, go to File Display styles - Set scan colour and choose the colour. In future, all one-bit scans
will be displayed automatically in that colour until you change it.
Creating tiles
Most flat-bed scanners only take A4 or letter sized originals. Larger scanners are
considerably more expensive. It is possible to scan a large map in sections if you
make sure that each one is well aligned. With practice and a good image processing
program you should be able to "stitch" the scans together to make one big file. The
alternative is to use Map Maker to put the different images together by importing a
series of layers without actually merging the files.
First determine the scale of the original map. Then identify reference points
with known co-ordinates on each scanned section. Load each scan separately and
calibrate it using the method described above. (Map Maker will not allow you to use
the Calibrate Scan tool if more than one layer is present). When all the scans are
calibrated, load them as layers. If the calibrations are correct, the scans will appear,
not as superimposed layers, but as adjacent tiles. In fact, they are layers but each scan
occupies a different area of the layer it is in so that viewed from "above" they appear
to be adjacent.
This group of scans can now be saved as a Map Assembly (a MAP file). When
you next load the MAP file all the scans will be loaded together.
Four scans each loaded
into a layer appear as
four tiles in the finished
Display styles - 31
3. Display styles
A modern word processor allows the user to determine the appearance of text. One
method is to select an individual word or paragraph, set its font type, size, colour
and specify whether it is printed in bold, italic, underlined, etc. The second method is
to select one particular named style which can be applied consistently throughout the
document to similar items. The second method has two advantages:
It is quick. In one simple operation a named style is chosen and
automatically applied to all the selected text.
Whenever the user changes an element of the style, the change is
immediately reflected in the appearance of all the text to which the style has
been assigned.
Unlike many graphics programs, Map Maker allows the user the option to select a
uniform and consistent style to be applied to a particular layer or to be used through
out a mapping project. In Map Maker it is not necessary to specify the details of the
appearance of every graphic object as it is created. The user can select a style to be
applied to the object and, just as in a word processor style set, each style can be
modified by the user and the modifications will be reflected in every object to which
the style is assigned.
style = 3
Geometry and
style number
(usually stored
in a DRA file)
Line 4
Text Times Italic
Text Arial bold
Style definitions
Final appearance
(stored in a STL file)
The final appearance of each object is determined by a combination of the style
number attached to each object and the corresponding style definition stored in a
separate style file. Although each object is unique, one style definition file may be
32 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
used in all your maps and layers within maps. Whenever you change a style
definition, all the objects in all the maps to which that style is assigned will reflect the
change. This facility allows you to develop a map style which is unique to your own
or your team's mapping project.
Style files
Style definitions are stored in Map Maker style files with a STL extension. Each style
file contains 101 styles numbered from zero to 100. Map Maker comes with a default
style set (called DEFAULT.STL). When you first start drawing objects in Map Maker,
they will be drawn using these default styles because this style set is selected as the
current style set. At any one time, one style set is always selected as the current set. Go
to the File menu. Observe that the name of the current style set appears in brackets
after the item Display Styles. Each style definition contains the following elements:
Polygon fill texture and colour.
Line colour, width, and type (e.g. dotted, dashed or solid). Line styles apply
to the perimeters of polygons as well as to line objects.
Symbol type, size, and colour.
Arrow style and colour.
Text font and colour applied to text objects and the labels of lines, symbols,
polygons, and arrows. The font height of text objects must be manually
selected for each object. However the font height of the labels of other objects
is defined as part of the style set.
The user chooses whether to display a label for symbols, lines, and polygons
or to display them unlabeled.
Go to the Tools menu and select Drawing - Polygon. Draw a simple polygon on the
screen. The moment you close the polygon, a dialogue box will appear allowing you
to define the characteristics of the polygon (See Chapter 1). On the right side of the
box is a list of display styles. These are the polygon styles in the current style set. For
each style in the list there are five bits of information:
Style number
19 Province
Style name
Line style
Text style
Polygon fill style
Display styles - 33
If the letter "A" does not appear in the coloured rectangle it means that the style has
been defined so that polygons are not labelled. Click on number 19 in the style list to
apply style number 19 to your polygon. If you draw a symbol rather than a polygon,
the same dialogue box will appear, however the style list will offer you a choice of
symbol styles rather than styles for polygons. The names of the styles will be the
Editing styles
You can begin by using the default styles which are supplied with Map Maker. Later
you can practice creating your own style set. Go to File - Display Styles - Edit or
Change style set. The following dialogue box appears:
Choose a style from the style list on the right hand side. Here style number 0 has
been selected. A preview of a polygon, a symbol, and an arrow drawn using style 0
style are shown in the centre of the dialogue box. As explained above, the style for
line objects is the same as that used to draw the perimeter of polygons. Lines in style
0 look like the edge of this polygon.
Alter the name of the style by clicking on the top field and typing in a new
name. As you type in the name, the name in the right hand style list is
simultaneously updated. You can assign names to the styles which relate to the
themes of your map, "winter wheat", "fire hydrant", "fault line", etc. Use the buttons
on the left to change other aspects of the style.
34 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Edit symbol and label
Click on the Edit symbol and label
button to call up this dialogue box. The
list in the upper right shows the
available symbol types. Choose the
symbol type you want to assign to the
style number which you are editing. The
first eight are simple geometric symbols:
squares, circles, triangles and stars
shown as solid shapes or in outline. In
addition to the eight basic shapes, you
can create your own symbols (in Map
Maker Pro only) and use data symbols.
These are discussed in a later chapter.
In this example a solid circle has been selected. A number of factors determine
the appearance of this symbol. To change its colour, click on the Symbol colour
The small white circle in this dialogue box indicates the current colour. Use the
mouse to move the circle around the palette and select a colour. The preview band
indicates how solid fills, text, hatched fills and lines will appear in that colour. When
you have selected a colour, click OK. The other symbols in the list will now appear in
that colour.
As an alternative to selecting a colour with the Symbol colour button, select
the tick box Use fill style. Now the symbol will be drawn using the fill colour and
pattern selected for polygons. The perimeter line will be drawn in the colour used for
the lines and polygons of the current style. This alternative method is particularly
useful when you want to assign a uniform style to a layer which contains both points
and polygons.
Display styles - 35
Symbol size is given in millimetres. The size refers to the size on paper when
the symbol is printed - not to the size on the screen. A symbol 3.0 mms tall will
remain that size even though the scale of the map changes. In other words, once you
have set the size of a symbol, the size will remain constant regardless of the degree of
zoom. Try altering the symbol size. The dialogue box allows you to preview the
symbols as they will appear on the screen.
Below the Symbol size field are two tick boxes: With symbol and With label.
The default tick in each of these boxes means that the symbol will be displayed with
its label. Click on the box to de-select the With symbols option. Now you will be able
to locate labels precisely but their attached symbols will not be displayed. If you
de-select the With labels option you will create a style in which the symbol is
displayed without a label.
The dialogue box for Label colour allows you to choose the colour used for
the text and works in the same way as the box for Symbol colour. However,
Windows only allows you to assign pure colours to text. Many of the colours which
you can use for polygon fills and the like, are dithered colours; that is to say they are
mixtures of pure colours which your eye combines to make new colours. As you
select colours from the palette you will observe that the preview of the text remains
the same pure colour throughout a range of dithered colours.
The list of available fonts is composed of all the "TrueType" fonts installed on
your computer. TrueType is a proprietary name for a commonly used font definition.
TrueType fonts are available for other alphabets as well. To label your map in Greek,
Arabic or Cyrillic, for example, install the appropriate TrueType font and select it for
the styles you use in your map.
The Text height, like the Symbol size is specified in millimetres. Tick boxes
allow you to specify whether the text is bold and/or italic.
Edit fill and line
Once you have edited the symbol and labels style, press the Edit fill and line button
to define the appearance of polygons and lines. Click on the Fill colour button and
follow the same procedure used to select the symbol colour .
The top right corner of the dialogue box list illustrates six hatched fills, or
patterns, used to differentiate polygons. As with coloured text, Windows only permits
pure colours for the lines in hatched patterns. Printers do not always display
Windows hatching in the same way. Some machines print a diagonal hatch, for
instance, as a dark tone made up of tightly spaced lines. Experiment with your
printer to find the best effects.
36 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Solid colours may be opaque or translucent. Opaque polygon fills conceal
objects in the layers beneath. Translucent or semi-transparent colours are easier to
use, however, not all printers produce translucent fills properly.
Unless you de-select it by clicking
on the Label polygons tick box, a
display label in the text style defined by
Edit symbol and label will appear at
the label location point in the of the
polygon (see Chapter 1). As a rule, line
objects do not need to be labelled so the
Label lines tick box is, by default,
turned off. If you decide to label lines, to
give roads names, for example, place a
tick in the box beside Label lines. A
label will be placed along the line.
The Line width is given in millimetres. The first three line types (solid, dotted,
and dashed) are usually narrow, typically 0.1mm to 0.5mm. Other line types may be
thicker. For instance, the fourth line type is a double line useful for drawing roads. It
needs to be quite thick, 0.8mm or wider, to be effective. The remaining line styles are
composed of symbols (squares, circles, and triangles) drawn at intervals along the
line. The intervals between these symbols, as well as the spacing in the dotted and
dashed line types, can be changed by altering the Spacing value. An effective dotted
line, for example, can be created using a line width of 0.2mm and a spacing of
Edit arrow
The arrow or "arrow object" is used to locate a
text object in relation to a point on the map.
Click on Edit arrow. The text font is selected in
the same way as in the Edit symbol and label
dialogue box. Line type and fill colour are edited
as in the Edit fill and line dialogue box. The Edit
arrow dialogue box contains a selection of
arrow-head designs and gives you the option to
place a box around the text object.
Display styles - 37
Style set name
Finally we come to the name of the style set. The name is shown at the bottom left of
the display style editor. This is not the file name which must have the suffix STL (e.g.
AGRI.STL). The name you choose for the style set will appear in the File menu in
brackets after Display styles, for example, Display styles [arable]. Select this set
using the Create/Change style set button.
Colours and styles on your printer
Before you define a set of elaborate personal styles, it is wise to develop an
understanding of the way your particular printer interprets style commands. In
theory, when working within the Windows environment, printers are interchangeable.
In practice, printers are not all the same and their behaviour varies according to the
way they are set up. For instance, if (under File - Printer - Printer set-up) your
printer offers a choice of resolution (dots per inch) you will need to experiment with
different resolutions to see their effect on the printing style.
Go to the File - Display styles menu. Here you find two functions which will
help you test your printer's capability. Print colour set will print out a replica of the
colour palette described above. This is particularly important for black and white
printers. Printers do not agree on their interpretation of colours. It is helpful to keep
the replica palette pinned to the wall next to your computer. Later, when you define
a style, you will be able to refer to it to select a colour that it will look reasonable
when it is printed.
The Print colour set function is an important guide. It is also useful to
preview style sets themselves using Print style set. You can print all 101 styles or
select a sub-group to preview.
38 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics
Creating a legend
The legend (or key) enables your readers to interpret the styles and understand your
map. Map Maker will generate a legend from a legend definition file with the
extension LEG. Go to File - Display styles - Edit legend (key). This dialogue box
appears :
Your legend will be created in the empty
field on the left. Click on the New entry
button. A second dialogue box appears.
You must choose an Object type for each
entry; the options are a symbol, a line or a
polygon. In each case, the style list will
show the list of symbols, lines or polygons
and a preview of the selected option at the
top left. Enter the explanatory text to
appear in the legend in the caption field.
You are free to specify a style file other
than the default style file, so one legend
may contain entries from a variety of
different style sets. Click OK. The entry
will be added to the list.
To edit a legend that you created earlier, click on Load file. This will allow you
to select an existing LEG file. The text in the Title field will be displayed as the title of
the finished legend.
Display styles - 39
Finally, to display the legend on your map, go to
Tools and select Furniture maker. Click and drag the
cursor to draw a box on the screen and release the
mouse button to complete the box. The Page
furniture dialogue box will appear. Select Legend
(key) and click OK. In the next dialogue box, click on
Choose file to select the legend file you have just
created, or type in the name of a LEG file. A border
style and a background colour may be selected by
clicking on Panel style. However, if you click on OK,
a simple line will be drawn around the legend box.
Change the size and position of the box by clicking
and dragging with the mouse.
Land quality
Good quality
Major town
Minor town
Poor quality
40 - Teach yourself Map Maker basics