Digital Mapping Techniques '99 -- Workshop Proceedings
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-386

Avenza's MAPublisher

By Susan Muleme

Avenza Software, Inc.
3385 Harvester Road, Suite 205
Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7N 3N2
Telephone: (905) 639-3330
Fax: (905) 639-7057


Avenza Software Inc., the developers of MAPublisher, is a small company located in Burlington, Ontario. MAPublisher is a suite of Plug-Ins and Xtras for Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand. MAPublisher adds GIS capabilities to these two graphics applications. It adds graphics capabilities that are unavailable with a typical GIS. MAPublisher is used by government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses worldwide to create publication quality mapping products from GIS data sources.


The founder of Avenza was hired by the graphics department of a major company to make maps. He quickly realized that he was spending hours completing work that was already available. Why scan and screen digitize endless sheets of paper maps when accurate and georeferenced vectors were readily available? Why spend hours adding database attributes to vectors when this data had already been collected? In 1995, along with a GIS programmer and two other partners, he realized the need for a better way of making maps. This realization led to the creation of Avenza and its main product, MAPublisher. Avenza is now a small but innovative company employing about 10 people. The staff includes an engineer, a web designer/system administrator, a cartographer and a core group of programmers. Avenza is located in Burlington, Ontario, on the outskirts of Toronto.

What is MAPublisher?

MAPublisher is a suite of Plug-Ins and Xtras for Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand that bridges Geographic Information System (GIS) technology with high-end graphics software for high resolution printing and electronic publishing technology. Cartographic quality map production is now faster, easier, and better. Avenza understands that GIS graphic tasks are best performed in the right environment such as powerful illustration programs like Macromedia Freehand and Adobe Illustrator. MAPublisher takes you into this environment seamlessly and effortlessly with the right GIS data management tools to facilitate the map production process. Using this fast, intuitive system, your map can transcend the ordinary and become a work of art.

Why Use MAPublisher?
Graphics Functionality Unavailable With Your GIS

MAPublisher gives you the ability to perform GIS tasks in a graphics environment, and allows you to add graphic attributes unavailable with most GIS products on the market. With MAPublisher and Adobe Illustrator or Macromdia FreeHand, you have

* Powerful graphics tools for total control of cartographic visualization.

* Unlimited colour choices including 24 bit colour and the ability to print CMYK four-colour separations.

* The ability to attach text to paths to create natural flowing labels.

* Complete typeface, point size, leading, kerning, tracking and alignment control and the ability to embed text.

* Minimal pre-press and printing problems.

* Automated crop and trim mark creation.

* Trapping for compensation of misregistration.

* The ability to convert custom colours to process colours for printing.

* And all of the other features of your graphics program!

What can I do with MAPublisher?

* Import the most widely used GIS data files (Generate, Shapefile, MID/MIF, DXF, DLG, SDTS).

* Export data Shapefiles, MID/MIF or PDFs.

* Create žSmartÓ PDFs with queriable databases with pdfPLUS (another Avenza product).

* Import, merge, create and edit any database files.

* View a floating window of map attribute information.

* Assign, edit, analyze and query map attributes.

* Tile map files together in real world coordinates.

* Automate raster image registration of DRGs and other types of georeferenced raster image.

* Automate your legend creation and labeling.

* Change map projections with the fully customizable projection editor (has 119 projections and over 40 ellipsoids).

* Quickly identify geographic locations and display the map scale and anchors in a floating window.

Who Uses MAPublisher?

MAPublisher is used by professionals in a wide variety of fields including geology, engineering, forestry, municipal planning, mining and exploration, graphic design, advertising, real estate, law, defense, newspapers, and television media. Many municipal, provincial, state, federal, and international governments use this product to produce maps and graphics; evidence is provided in talks delivered at this meeting. MAPublisher is being used to teach cartographic concepts at educational institutions around the world. For example, the University of Waterloo uses MAPublisher to teach projections to its students; ITC in the Netherlands uses MAPublisher in combination with ILWIS to teach geomatics concepts from GIS to remote sensing imagery analysis.


Please visit Avenzas website,, for more information about MAPublisher. For examples of MAPublisher maps, check in the Products-Demos section of the web page. If you have any technical or sales questions about MAPublisher, or if you would like to book a training session, you can contact Avenza in a number of ways:

* Sales Department and Order Desk [, or tel. (800)884-2555, ex.50]

* General Information [ or tel. (905) 639-3330]

* Technical Support [ or tel. (905) 639 2329]

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