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Old December 27th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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Maps needed for inclusion in Doc

Hi - I have been looking for simple road map that can legally be used in the U.S for broadcast. I don't need satalite or any geographic info just a simple road map that I will animate and use without copyright issues. Specifically I am looking for the Lake George area NY. Currently I am using a google map placeholder in the sequence but need to replace with something of higher quality and without the copyright issues. I have tried the fee Nasa mapping software but this ends up looking more like a terrain map. I would simply scan and use a good quality road map if there were no copyright issues, I don't even need the map quest or google world stype map and I will animate myself.

Thanks for any help.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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Rich,

check Wikimedia; I just did a very quick search
and came up with this:
File:Map of New York NA.png - Wikimedia Commons
You might find others...
Good luck

Best

Vasco
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Old December 27th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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Hi Vasco, - Thanks for the tip, I checked and it looks like its covered under the "Free Content License" The image may not be quite what I am looking for but its very close, I will search around for another with a bit more detail focusing on Lake George to Lake Placid. Thanks much again for passing this on as I might end up using this one! ~
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Old December 30th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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You can buy the rights to many online maps, but both to avoid copyright and to get what I actually want, I usually adapt my own maps.
Depending on the area in question, I find an online vector map or I scan an appropriate map. I clean it up as necessary in PhotoShop then add the material I need such as roads or localities. I'm more likely to add my material in Illustrator or Corel Draw so that I can smoothly scale if I choose.
A more powerful option is to find someone who uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) program such as MapInfo or ArcGIS and appeal to thier better nature. They can generate digital stills with almost any amount of detail or emphasis. The latest versions of ArcGIS can generate AVI files from geographic data. Very useful for demonstrating things like loss of forest over time.
If this is a project that would be of interest to NYS Tourism or any other part of the governement, you might contact them about your project. They undoubtedly have material they could share.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 04:25 AM   #5
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Great points! I think I need to enlist the services of a mapping / graphic pro as never can seem to make time for these small details :)
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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interesting point...I always wondeed if there's on the web any site without copyright issues where i can download and use maps on the docs....
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:44 AM   #7
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I really wish there was, I have no problem in paying for high quality maps to use, kind of like the royalty free music out there. There must be a better solution, if I find anything willl post it back.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #8
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I make maps myself - sorry for not noticing this thread before. In the US you can use TIGER street data for free, which comes from the Census Bureau. You would have to make the map yourself from shapefiles however, and that gets involved. But people have done this for you - visit GPSFileDepot - Custom Maps, Ximage hosting, tutorials, articles and more for your GPSr and you will find a lot of free maps in Garmin format. These can also be used on your computer with Mapsource (PC) or Roadtrip (Mac) and you will find info about that on the site too. If you have any doubts about using the maps you can contact the authors through the site (some of my maps are there too!).

The other possibility is OpenStreetMap. I have not done much with this, but I think it's similar to open source software. See their site here: OpenStreetMap

If you want to "roll your own", the most powerful program I know of (but still easy to use) is Globalmapper: GIS Mapping Software - GPS Mapping Software - Satellite Maps - Aerial Photos [Global Mapper]. The free download is fully functional but can't export data. However, if you contact them they will give you a limited time free key to unlock all the features.

Without getting into anything advanced, try this with Globalmapper. Start the program and choose Search > Address to find your place of interest. Click Create point from address, then OK, then close. You now have a blank page centered on this location. Now choose File > Download Online Imagery and you will see a long list of data sources. One of them is Open Streetmap. You can also use USGS topo maps by choosing USGS Digital Raster Graphics.

When you click OK, the screen will be filled with a map from the source you chose. The map detail will depend on what zoom level you are at, and it may take some experimentation to get the hang of it. But this is a very simple and powerful way to grab data from different sources. Of course, there are many other things that this program can do. Unfortunately, it's Windows-only, and in fact, all of the powerful mapping software only runs on Windows.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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Boyd - Thanks much for posting this information. This will be a valuable resource for those of us tinkering with map images in our projects. I have not attempted any of your techniques yet but I will report back here. Great stuff - thanks again!
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Old January 12th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #10
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Happy to help. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #11
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Hi Boyd, my point is:
what should i pay if i have to use this stuff for a documentary?
Coild you use only USA maps?


thx
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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Marcus, can you give us a few more details on what you need or want?
Is there one map or many?
Does it have to be animated in some way? An extending route map, for example or a zoom in?
What kinds of details are important (i.e. road maps, Google-like pictures from the air, illustrated features, topography, administrative and political boarders, geographic features, etc.).
Does other kinds of statistical data have to be integrated in the map. Amount of milk produced by County (this is upper New York, yes?)
Do you expect it to be keyed in some way so parts of the map have to be chroma key blue or green.
Is there a color palette or any style guidance proscribed for the rest of the projects graphic that needs to be adhered to for the maps?
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Old January 27th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #13
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Marc - For my uses I would be looking for something for TV documentary / lifestyle programming and would show a road map, mostly U.S with a route plan and animated lines following the route, key not needed. Ideally I just need the high res map images and then I could animate the rest. Copyright free maps that could be downloaded or perhaps a service that provides these maps would be most welcome without all the time and fuss of creating them using some of the aforementioned methods
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Old March 27th, 2010, 06:16 PM   #14
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Hi guys...

Rich, I'm sorry if I'm unuseful on this, but, I really advice you to consider to hire a motion graphics artist or graphic designer to make it for you. Just drop them the copyrighted original you have as reference (the info is public, the layout and design is what is under copyright), and they'll make it in a snap, specially with a simple abstract design as I think you need.

Even an skilled GD student can make it, if you can later work with the animation and look on your own. Don't know if you are profficient with After FX or Photoshop or Illustrator, those make an excellent combo for that.

I've been doing my own maps for years now, and even got hired by others.

The most important thing is to use vector graphics all the way, enable motion blur (not as a filter FX but as a layer property in AFX) and add some soft overall blur for the output (got to check for thin detail, specially if horizontal, because it will shake like hell all over the screen).
If you can blur individual elements separately, better.

And I'll be finally hideous with this, but... Use a video monitor to check the clips if you can!

Cheers!
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Old April 4th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #15
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Hi Federico - Good ideas here! I think hiring someone for this work would probably be the best option I agree as the composition time is the main issue I have.
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