distribution maps - free and easy

Stinger Stinger at FIU.EDU
Tue Apr 11 16:59:52 CDT 2000


Here is a FREE and EASY way to make maps.

Actually, I am a big fan of ArcView (especially after first learning some
ArcInfo with its 3 meters of manuals).  IDRISI is almost as good now for basic
stuff and a lot cheaper (and more portable to less powerful machines).  There
is a significant learning curve with both.  What works well is usually to do
the map in a GIS and then export it into Photoshop or Illustrator(especially
with the map publisher 3.5 plugin) to make it pretty.

HOWEVER, If you want the most parsimonious method (and FREE), I suggest just
using the xerox map viewer on the web.  Here's how.  This isn't as difficult
as it seems.  The URL below can be loaded into any recent web browser and it
will display a dot map of the pairs of coordinates written after the "mark="
statement.  You just put your locations in as lat and long in decimel degrees
and plug them into the statement below.  The two numbers after each pair of
coordinates are the mark type and size (in pixels) that you want.  Thus, there
is a lot of flexibility here and they have maps of the whole world.  You can
zoom to whatever scale you want.  When you get the map looking like you want
it, just "save image as" in your browser and use it like any other graphic
file in word, wordperfect, photoshop, whatever.


There is a page that explains how to do this in detail, at



Gerald "Stinger" Guala, Ph.D.
Keeper of the Herbarium
Fairchild Tropical Garden
11935 Old Cutler Rd.
Miami, FL 33156


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