GIS Professionals face the daunting task of compiling and maintaining huge amounts of data in order to create digital map files. The problem often faced is that the existing GIS applications cannot produce a map, acceptable for final output and publication, either on paper or electronically. Maps, created in a GIS often look pixelised and on paper contain various colours and textures that do not match with what was initially present on the computer screen. As well, problems with text are common. In order to avoid such problems, several cartographic solutions are available. Some of them are described below. The Mercator Carto Editor (part of the Mercator interactive) is excellently equipped to handle and edit cartographic files. It can easily deal with muti-level cartographic objects like lines and also enables polygons with an unlimited number of points to be used. The unique masking capabilities make map origination with Mercator much easier and faster. The Map Style File contains the definitions and attributes of all the objects that occur in the map series, or on altas: inks and colours, line, area, point or text styles. The styles are used to assign graphics to the information, imported from the GIS or CAD system. The user can save the data either as graphics or in the Mercator Cartographic Format, a graphics independent storage method meaning that the user can combine the data with different map styles files, so that different maps can be created for different customers along with the same source material. Mercator provides fast high quality output on any required medium. This includes large format film, digital printing and digital output. Rolta India Limited, in collaboration with Intergraph Corporation, provides end-to-end solutions for various cartographic applications. It not only offers tools that enable one to generalise maps but also provides tools for feature-based map composition and symbolisation for screen displays and colour plots for Intergraph GIS users. Map Finisher provides symbolisation and data re-organisation capabilities, so that user-defined feature representations may be generated for plotting. Map Finisher also provides the capability to input 3-D vector files and raster images for raster/vector maps. MGE Map Publisher software offers the digital equivalent of a traditional map production photo lab. Map Publisher enables users to preview finished maps prior to generating final films by providing what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) screen displays and WYSIWYG colour plots generated using a raster plotting device. MAPublisher is a GIS cartographic suite of plug-in filters for the Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand graphic applications. One of the most important features of MAPublisher is that it will import into these high-end graphics programmes common GIS files such as mid/mif, shape, dxf, dlg, stds and gen with all the attribute database information intact. The Map-to-Page projection feature mathematically converts the Earth’s curved, three dimensional surface to flat map sheets, the transformation feature converts the native co-ordinate system to scaled map sheets, Column Mapping Tools lets you assign attributes to newly added objects and modify existing attribute columns through list, add and drop column features. Along with this, MAPublisher offers other GIS tools such as Automated Legend Tools, Auto-Labeling Tool, Merging or Linking to External Databases, Automated Raster Image Registration Tool and many other mapping tools. ACE is a professional cartographic software package which is a natural extension to all GIS, remote sensing and CAD systems. It is designed to create, edit and print high quality output maps. Since each feature on a digital map is built with vectors, vectors are the prime input to ACE to create a map. However, working with raster is also possible. Images are often large in size and can occupy a lot of memory. ACE allows to temporarily unload raster files from maps while editing other data, and then again reload them. This allows memory to be freed, thereby speeding up the editing functions. ACE has drawing and editing features that help in creating a map. Features include all vector based information, such as points, lines, polygons and text. It also allows interactive placement of text using mouse with or without user specified angle. PCI Geomatics software utilises GeoGateway technology to directly read and write raster, vector and other information from an extensive list of supported file formats. This offers the advantage of quick and direct access to data, and eliminates the need to replicate files since conversion is no longer necessary. Source.