Cartography, The Study and creation of maps, has long been a marriage of art and science. A map is a visual representation of a place, and its principal task is to communicate information. It can show the real world—past, present or future—and can even illustrate an imaginary world. Maps also have been instrumental in allowing us to explore parts of our world. Centuries ago, sailors used early maps to navigate the globe, and pioneers used rough hand-drawn maps to locate mountain passes on their way west. More recently, we use maps to help us get around town or to travel from one place to another. Cartographers want to take advantage of the freedom and flexibility that drawing and editing tools provide, while also using automated geoprocessing tools to build the foundation of a map. Map templates, for example, help automate the process of creating maps. Automating many of the basic tasks associated with creating a map allows cartographers to spend their time on the more artistic parts of their craft. I haven’t found a GIS program that has drawing and layout tools of a program like CorelDraw or Illustrator. CorelDraw, for example, includes smart drawing tools that recognize shapes while you are drawing, tools for text layout, dynamic guides to help with layout and design, creative tools for generating different image effects, trace tools for converting raster images into shapes and an eyedropper tool that is able to copy the properties from one object to another with just one click of a button. Illustrator has a Live Paint function that lets users apply color to any area of a map or drawing and use overlapping paths to create new shapes (figure 2). This tool is perfect for creating conceptual bubbles on a map. Adobe Streamline and Corel OCR Trace can be used to extract vector images from scanned photographs and maps. Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular ‘Circles and Lines’ tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn’s quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst’s free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we’ll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst! Follow Lynn on Twitter Source.