[Qgis-developer] Request for Enhancement: PDF export for
Milo van der Linden
milovanderlinden at gmail.com
Wed Mar 3 16:03:13 EST 2010
I have a question.
This summer I met someone of use-it http://www.use-it.be/ belgium at the
OpenStreetMap State of the Map.
Use-IT creates free paper maps for youth-hostels targeting a specific
audience. Currently they are using the tool chain:
OpenStreetMap website -> export svg -> import in Illustrator -> lots and
lots of manual labour and finally produce eye candy like this:
Recently, the contact reached out to me. He could not find a solution within
the OpenStreetMap community or it's related technology partners. Now I am
helping him out looking at new ways to speed up their labour process.
I am investigating the qGIS pdf export and it looks promising in combination
with the OpenStreetMap plugin but texts come out as letter-outlines instead
of fonts and the PDF layers structure is hard to work with. I would like to
know if the developers of the layouter/export would be interested in about 2
weeks of work to enhance the layout manager to something that creates pdf
that is perfectly fit for post-processing.
*****************1. PROCESSING PROBLEM*
This remains almost impossible - only supercomputers are able to
deliver an svg-file of a city of reasonable size, and even that is
still only a 50% shot. It took us a full night to render a city, and
were able to get there only with one of about ten available
xml-rulesheets (called z12). How could this be tackled?
This one is tackled with the OSM plugin in combination with the PDF export.
As far as I can see, the way osm data is presented in qGIS is simplified,
but this is good! We don't need shading, outlines and a whole lot of fencies
in this fase. The eye-candy will be created in Illustrator. So, as far as I
can see; qGIS tackles this issue.
*****************2. LAYER PROBLEM*
The svg does not contain separate layers with a clear content (like
'parks', 'roads', 'rivers'). Only the layers 'Map' and 'Map
Decoration' appear, but all the information is thrown together in
the layer 'Map'. You say it's a matter of someone finding the time
to improve this - but who is the best person to address?
In the OpenStreetMap data format, there are basically 3 layers: points,
lines and polygons. The "real" layering is organised in attributes called
tags. To be more generic; It would be good to push elements to a pdf layer
based upon grouping by attribute. In case of openstreetmap data, it would
mean applying some rules to strip out the tags into the required attributes
and then in the layout manager tell the pdf export to "group by attribute
*****************3. TYPOGRAPHICAL PROBLEM*
Layouters prefer to work with Adobe Illustrator to make maps. It's
what they know best, and Inkscape is just not as good yet.
Osmarender renders svg files. It is possible to open an svg-file in
Illustrator, but then you get typographical problems, illustrated
below. Our question: could Osmarender be made to deliver an eps-file
(always works in Inkscape AND Illustrator) instead of an svg?
This is what happened to a small part of Antwerp (Belgium):
SVG IN INKSCAPE
> opens fine
> text is fully editable
> see image 'svg_inkscape'
SVG IN ILLUSTRATOR
> opens upside down and with mistakes
> text is still editable as text (so it's not flattened), but does
not appear on a horizontal path in the street. Furthermore, every
letter is on a different path, so it's impossible to select an
> see images 'svg_illustrator' and 'svg_illustrator_detail'
SVG SAVED AS EPS IN INKSCAPE AND THEN OPENED IN ILLUSTRATOR
> opens fine
> text is flattened and not editable anymore, and therefore useless
> see images 'eps_illustrator' and 'eps_illustrator_detail'
Again; as far as I can see, it is qGIS to the rescue! The whole process of
going from svg through inkscape to Adobe Illustrator is greatly smartened by
using PDF export instead. Only one thing is needed here: to export fonts as
text and not as letter contours. Horizontal text would be excelent. In that
way, the designers can throw away what they do not need and use Illustrators
smart tools to make text follow lines and so on.
Now, what I would like to know (my contact has some funds to spend on this
- Who can I address with my enhancement questions?
- Who would be willing to spend about 40 hours on this and at what rate?
- Would this fit the roadmap of qGIS development?
- Would others like to join up and provide extra funding for this?
I am curious to see what responses will be coming!
Milo van der Linden
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Qgis-developer