You can print maps at large scales using mapping software.
Whether you need a wall-sized map, city-wide street level detail, or large area coverage, Maptitude has the tools to get the job done. In this article we describe how to use Layouts to create the custom output you require. You can use these tools to print posters and setup a printout to a large-scale plotter while maintaining a high-resolution image featuring minute details.
This article will go over how to create large printouts from a Maptitude layout:
- Download a free mapping software trial of Maptitude Desktop or use your existing Maptitude Desktop license.
- Create one or more maps to use on your large size map layout. Here are some tips to consider for maps that you plan to print at large sizes:
- When printing a large map in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), labels, line widths, and point symbols will be enlarged proportionately. For example, a 10pt label may 40pt or more and a 3pt wide line may be 12pt or more on your printed map. You may want to reduce the sizes of these items so they will not appear too large on the printed layout.
- When printing a large map using the ‘Use actual point sizes’ option, a 10pt label will still be 10pt and a 3pt wide line will still be 3pt in the printed map, regardless of what size the map is. If you are enlarging the map, however, there will be room for more labels to display than in the original map window. You should right-click on any map that uses this option, choose Properties, check the Always redraw map box, and click OK. This will let you see on the layout exactly how the map will print, including which features will be labeled.
- If you will be placing several maps in WYSIWYG mode, you may want to make the window sizes proportional to how they will appear in the layout so that labels, line widths, and point symbols will be similar in the maps. This is not necessary if you will be ‘Use actual point sizes’ option.
- If you intend to print a map at a fixed scale (e.g., 1 inch = 500 miles), make all the changes to your map, then zoom out to show the entire region you want to display, then set the scale to the fixed scale you want. This will ensure that your map is centered correctly on the printed page.
- Go to Tools>Report>New Layout
- Click and choose a large-format printer and large page size (e.g., ARCH E, C0, A1). Alternatively, you can choose any page size and enter multiple page dimensions in the Pages Across and/or Pages Down spinners.
- Click OK.
- Click and drag a rectangle on the layout where you want a map to be located.
- Choose the map you want to place.
- Make choices as follows:
To do this… Do this… What will happen: Place the map in WYSIWYG mode Uncheck the Use actual point sizes and Print at fixed scale boxes The printed map will be an exact match of the one in the original map window. The scale of the map will change and the size of labels, line widths, and point symbols change depending on whether the map is larger or smaller than the original map window. Show the same geographic region in the printed map but preserve the size of labels, line widths, and point symbols Check the Use actual point sizes box and uncheck the Print at Fixed Scale box. The printed map will show the same region and the scale will be larger or smaller depending on whether the map is larger or smaller than the original map window. The point size of labels, line widths, and point features, however, will remain the point size specified in the map window regardless of the size on the page. More or fewer labels may be visible on the printed page than in your original map window depending on whether the map is placed larger or smaller. Print the map at the same scale as the map window Check the Print at fixed scale box The map will be placed in the layout at the same scale specified in the map. If the printed map is smaller than the original map window, less area will be visible. If the map is larger, then more area will be visible. Have the map fill the area you dragged on the layout Uncheck the Keep map’s aspect ratio box. The printed map will fill the rectangle you dragged and display more than the region shown in the original map window. Keep the aspect ratio of the layout map the same as in the map window Check the Keep map’s aspect ratio box. The map will be displayed as large as it can to fit in the rectangle you dragged while showing just the geographic area visible in the original map window.
- Click OK.
- Right-click on the map and choose Properties. You can change the style of the map border or add a shadow (the default is a ¼ point black border). You can also choose to have the map always redraw (this takes more time to display but is preferable when you are using the Use actual point sizes option). Click OK when you are done.
- Add any additional maps to the layout, use the Text tool to add a title or other text, and use the Image tool to add a logo or other image.
- Use the Pointer tool to move or resize items. Shift-click on several items with the Pointer tool and use the alignment buttons to arrange the items on the layout page.
- Click when you are done.
For more information on creating layouts, please see the video tutorial on creating layout reports in Maptitude.