Customize Your Maps

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Customize your maps using Illustrator

Using a combination of the Adobe Illustrator EPS file and a selection of the JPEG relief files, masks and paths that are included you can customize your maps using a limitless variety of styles and effects, these are just a few examples using the South Africa, Arctic and Antarctic maps.
It’s a matter of preference whether you place the JPEG files in Illustrator or copy/paste the Illustrator content as Smart Vector Layers in Photoshop. We prefer the latter as Photoshop has better image editing tools but once placed the text on these layers cannot be edited.


This example uses the default colour scheme of the Illustrator EPS but with the country borders white. The text has been changed from the default Verdana to variants of PageSerif.


Here the country area colours have been changed using Photoshop Hue Saturation although the same result could have been achieved in Illustrator. The town location dots have been changed to white.


An image of a random texture has been added above the other images using the Blending Mode Multiply at 25% opacity. The background needs to be white. The blue sea layer has been turned off.


This example uses a JPEG relief file (PHA). The ocean floor relief is muted by copy/pasting the Illustrator Ocean/Lakes layer above it and reducing it’s opacity to 70%. The Borders were increased to 2pt Stroke and changed to white in Illustrator.


Here the muted ocean floor relief is retained and the Country areas have been copy/pasted from Illustrator and then the Blending Mode changed to Color in Photoshop. This retains the relief but eliminates the vegetation colour.


Using the same settings for the Country areas in this example a Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer has been added above the land mass in order to alter the individual colours. The town location dots have been changed to white.


This example uses the JPEG relief file (PHA) with the default Illustrator text pasted into Photoshop. The political boundaries are not shown here, but they could be pasted in from Illustrator as outlines or filled shapes (compound paths), using Blending Modes to modify the result.


This example uses the same JPEG relief file (PHA) but with another relief image (POL) placed above it with opacity reduced to 60%, a combination that gives a pleasing result. The default Illustrator text has been pasted in. This technique is used for some non editable To-Go files.


The Photoshop Layer Blending Modes are very effective tools. Here the background is filled with blue (R38 G181 B211), above that is the PHA relief image set to Color Dodge 76%, above that POL relief image again using Divide 100% and above that POL again with Saturation 67%.


This example uses the default Illustrator file with no relief imagery, but some text emboldened. The territorial claims are included as both outline and filled areas (compound paths). These three examples show some of the effects that can be applied when adding additional graphics to a map.


This example uses the grayscale relief file (BASE) colorized blue. Above this just the territorial claims compound paths have been pasted in with Blending Mode Linear Dodge 100% giving them a translucent appearance. Above that is the the default Illustrator file with Blending mode Multiply 100%.


This final example uses both PHA and POL relief files (To-Go style) as described earlier but with the addition of territorial claims Illustrator compound paths pasted in above. These are set Blending Mode Normal 55%, this allows the areas to be defined while allowing the background images to show through.

IMPORTANT! When copying layers from Illustrator include the Box Rule layer with Stroke set to zero.
This will ensure perfect registration when they are pasted into Photoshop as a Vector Smart Object.