M5.28 Report on Guidelines to produce publication ready maps

This report has been compiled by Dominik Mikiewicz (MIZPAN) with contribution made by users of the wp5-geo-edit@mnhn.fr mailing list, especially Andreas Müller (BGBM), Pere Roca (CSIC) and Pablo Sastre Olmos (CSIC)

A previous testing of the Edit map viewer by taxonomists from the RoyalMuseum for Central Africa identified the following requirements for the service in terms of quality map printing: 

  • Need for black and white or gray scale maps, not only color maps for
    paper journals where colored pages are either not allowed or too expensive - print
  • to cope with black and white or gray-scale maps more easily
    distinguishable symbols will be needed - cartographic design related
  • providing options with 400 dpi minimal resolution - print related
  • files generated for download can be very large, need options to compress
    them if high quality images are needed - ‘print’ related
  • Many journals request Tiff format, would thus be easier to have the
    option to have the image of the map directly in Tiff to avoid that the end-user
    has to do the conversion himself locally - ‘print’ related
  • Provide maps in a size optimized for common page standards (A5, A4 ….) -
    print related
  • Have clear and nice background maps going from whole continent level to
    the level of a small river basin - map design related

While designing a quality map involves many different aspects, including cartographic design, graphic design, printing, etc., this document deliberately focuses only on the printing aspect of the map production as it was not clear what a quality printing exactly means.

It has been established that the following aspects of printing should be addressed to allow their proper implementation within the map viewer:

Colours, Resolution, Map / graphic size, Font issues, File formats

Please read more here