Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. Ask MetaFilter is where thousands of life’s little questions are answered. I have to make a map of some kind in Illustrator, and I have illustrator’s block or something. It can be anything, real or fictional, it can be as weird as you could think of. I live in southern California, Long Beach specifically, and originally I was going to make a map of the LA metro train system, but try to do it in the style of , but the LA system is pretty non-complicated, unlike the one in Vignelli’s map. I was thinking of doing another city with a complicated train system, like London or Moscow or something, but not really knowing the geography at all I think would make it difficult. Other than that I’m thinking of making a map of crime in Long Beach, or walkability (using Walk Score), or maybe combining the two. The thing is I’ll have to go through and manually adjust all the statistics for these things. So I was wondering if there’s some way to get access to spacial data that I can just import into Illustrator in some way. What information is out there? What could I get my hands on? What can I easily use with Illustrator? do you have to make the whole thing from scratch? if not, to start your base map out, and you only have illustrator skills and not ArcGIS skills, i would look on city websites for PDF maps. you can usually drag those into illustrator and clean them up for what you need. looking on a city’s MPO website will usually do the trick. That’s a great idea! My teacher’s okay with borrowing like that, just as long as I do enough work with the pieces I borrowed to show I didn’t cut and paste a project together. . it can import geodata in many formats, including shapefiles, and export them to some other formats, including vector. you can also use it to browse a database like postgis, though a db isn’t required. So I was wondering if there’s some way to get access to spacial data that I can just import into Illustrator in some way. I personally love transit maps, so I think you should stick with the railroad idea! Here are some suggestions, in order of complexity (kind of): Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. Ask MetaFilter is where thousands of life’s little questions are answered. Source.