Oct 072009

Since Digimap ceased to generate EPS files we have had a number of enquiries about suitable alternatives. Currently, Digimap’s mapping facilities will only produce PDF files. However, there are a number of options for those who prefer to use other formats. The following notes may help.

Note that EDINA does not endorse or recommend any of the products or services detailed here or guarantee their quality or performance.

PDF files generated from Digimap can be converted to various other formats including PNG, SVG, and PS/EPS using free software called Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/). The only down side to this that we have found is that it seems to blur the PS/EPS because of the ‘Digimap’ watermark.

You can also edit the vectors in Inkscape. If you want to put the map (or a bit of it) into a Word document there is a nifty little command in Acrobat under Tools –> Select & Zoom–> Snapshot Tool which allows you to define an area and then paste it into Word (or another programme) – note this is lower resolution than you can create with Inkscape.

The PDFs themselves can be opened in CS3 Adobe Illustrator as editable vector graphics and then exported to various formats. The PDFs can also be opened and converted to EPS in GhostView but this seems to treat them as images rather than vectors.

There are various software packages that will convert from vector PDF to DXF (e.g. http://www.trixsystems.com/pdfFLY.html) but we have not found any which are free of charge.

If DXF/DWG is required for OS MasterMap, the best option is to download GML and use Dotted Eyes’ InterpOSe software to convert from GML to DXF/DWG.

 October 7, 2009  Posted by at 4:09 pm Help

  3 Responses to “In lieu of EPS files…”

  1. I am quite grateful for your suggestions, however, the solutions you present all seem to be negative and have disadvantages! Why isn’t there a way of replacing the options to have EPS?

  2. As part of the re-engineering which was required for Digimap the software which produced EPS files has been replaced. This old software was unsupported and we were encountering compatibility issues with the operating systems on our service machines. We could no longer continue to run that software.
    The new software, however, does not generate EPS files directly, despite the fact that this was one of our key requirements in the procurement process. Additional software is required to enable Digimap to offer EPS files and integrating this is not a straightforward task.
    EPS files have been a perennial source of complaints from users over the past 10 years, since many printers won’t print them and various software will only read specific versions of EPS (although Digimap could only produce one version). Do also remember that Digimap’s mapping facilities are intended and designed to produce files for printing; they are not intended to offer data files. We would always recommend that those requiring data for CAD or GIS should download it from the Data Download facilities and use appropriate conversion tools.
    In light of the fact that EPS files have proven to be useful for a purpose for which they were not intended, we are looking at other (better) ways to meet this need. In particular, we are looking at ways of producing DXF, DXG, WMF, JPG and TIF files.
    We cannot guarantee to be able to produce these, but work is underway to examine the possibilities.

  3. Thank you for a response to the query. Finally I have a detailed explaination of why the EPS files are discontinued. It makes sense that PDF’s are available to use for everyone.

    Although, I am extremely delighted to hear if you are looking into ways of producing other formats, especially DWG/DXF’s straight from digimap. It saves the hassle of editing the data when the converted from EPS to DWG!

    Many thanks in advance

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