Tuesday, February 26, 2013

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills Student Spotlight- Introduction to Adobe Illustrator

GIS3015 Cartographic Skills, Instructor, Mrs. Trisha Holtzclaw

Introduction to Adobe Illustrator

In this weeks lab we were introduced to Adobe Illustrator and covered the main tools that will be utilized throughout the semester. The deliverables for this lab assignment included a map of Florida displaying both county and city layers in addition to the essential map elements.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Export a map from ArcGIS into Adobe Illustrator
  • Add/change basic  map elements in Adobe Illustrator
  • Examine the basic Adobe Illustrator tools
  • Organize layers and objects in Adobe Illustrator
  • Export map as .jpeg file from Adobe Illustrator


The following student was chosen for his exceptional work on the Introduction to Adobe Illustrator assignment:

Ryan Leath

About Ryan: Ryan is a 2010 graduate of Florida State Univeristy with a BS in Geography.  His future goals include a Masters in GIS 
and he is happy to be back in school after a short but eventful break.  Ryan currently lives in Orlando where he enjoys cooking and the great outdoors.  Great work Ryan - enjoy your time in the spotlight!

What we like: Ryan's map had a fantastic layout, design, and background color. He also included a unique border around his map to help personalize his work and make it his own. Great work Ryan!

"I spent some time earlier in the week just playing with the functions in AI. I made a couple different layers, drawing little designs on each of them and then playing with the visibility, lock and unlock, and pushing different layers to the top and bottom. I should have read through the beginning of the lab exercise though, I could not figure out the pencil and pen drawing tools for the life of me. I've got that down now.

As with all things in ArcGIS and AI, make sure to have the right layer selected. I was playing with the gradient mesh tool in my Neatline layer and everything was looking good until I wanted to take out the mesh appearance. I think I double clicked something because somehow I no longer had any layers selected. So after 10 minutes of frustration of not being able to get rid of the gradient mesh I figured out what was going on and fixed it.

I was also able to add a number of text sublayers to my Neatline layer by clicking on different parts of the artboard with my text tool still activated. Had to delete those little green spots one by one.

All in all though this was a very fun lab. I can not wait to load some of our other labs into AI and see what I can do. Making a sun and figuring out how to properly color with the gradient mesh would have made this map a lot better I think."

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