Tag Archives: Professional Map Making

Convert Area or Line Objects to Point Objects

You may have symbols on your map, which consist of many different line and/or area objects. Editing and moving around these Symbols can get tedious. In OCAD Mapping Solution, there’s a function to Convert Area and Line Objects to a Point Symbol (Wiki).

A typical example for this function would be the import of a PDF. Vector objects in PDF files are imported as Image Objects (grey objects) and can be converted to Point Symbols (green objects). Learn here, how to Create a Point Symbol out of Vector Data (Video).

Convert Line and Area Objects to Point Objects

Your map becomes more consistent and better structured.

Create Objects with Pairs of Coordinates

In OCAD, you can create objects with pair of coordinates. Copy coordinates e.g. from Google Maps to clipboard. When you press Paste in the OCAD window (Ctrl + V or in the Menu Object> Paste), a dialogue window appears.

Now you have three options:
You can move the view to this coordinates, create point objects at the coordinates or create line or area objects (only available if more than one pair of coordinates exists).

To use this function properly, a coordinate system has to be defined and the pasted coordinates need to fit to this coordinate system.

Link to HowTo-Video
More information on our Wiki

Supported formats so far:
– Google: 47.4563036,7.6405326
– Google: -24.8512749,-59.8029067
– OpenStreetMap: 47.45295/7.64673
– OpenStreetMap: -37.762/-62.183
– OpenStreetMap: 46.3103041, 4.8142705
– geo.admin.ch: 615’582.01, 256’284.55
– geo.admin.ch: 47.45648, 7.64039
– geo.admin.ch: 47°27′23.313″N 7°38′25.401″E

Change between Drawing Modes

This function makes it easier to combine curves and straight lines. Furthermore, this drawing mode might be more intuitive for people new to OCAD.

Change between Drawing Modes

First activate the option Curve mode: Change to straight line mode when clicking in drawing area in the Preferences -> Drawing and Editing tab.

Start drawing the curve as usual. To draw a straight line, just click in the drawing area. This way, you can easy switch between straight line mode and curve mode. Double click the left mouse button to finish drawing.

Animation and more information.


OCAD as Cloudable Application

OCAD 2018 runs as app on clouds like DropBox or OneDrive. Install your Team or Single User Licenses in the Cloud.

Especially the installation of OCAD Team User Licenses in the Cloud, has many advantages.

– You have only one installation and it’s therefore also much easier to update
– It’s becoming easier to transfer a Team license from one member to another one
– When a Team member starts OCAD, he can choose an available license.

OCAD Tipps with Mouse and Keyboard

For the complete workflow, please visit our Wiki.

Declination / Rotate Map

Declination – Background Information

Magnetic meridians. Source: Wikipedia.

Does a compass point to the geographic North Pole? No. Does a compass point directly to the magnetic North Pole? Not necessarily.
The compass is always oriented in the direction of the local magnetic meridians and therefore usually shows neither exactly to the geographic nor straight to the magnetic North Pole. The Declination is defined as the angle between the direction of the magnetic meridians and the direction to the geographic North Pole at the observation site.
If magnetic north lies west of geographical north, the declination is called western and counts as negative; if magnetic north lies east of geographical north, the declination is called eastern and counts as positive.
An observer in middle and northern Europe sees the Arctic magnetic pole to the west of the geographical North Pole. At the same time, however, he notes that the local magnetic meridians are pointing in a direction just east of the geographical pole, so that the declination here is a few degrees east.

World Magnetic Model. Source: NOAA.

Declination varies both from place to place and with the passage of time. The reason for this are complex fluid motions in the outer core of the Earth which cause the magnetic field to change slowly with time. That’s why old maps have to be adjusted to the new declination time by time.
The declination in Switzerland is currently only around 2° and is therefore neglected in almost every map. 1° difference would mean 1.7m deviation for 100m. In the example below, you should miss the control by about 10m on the right (purple x)  when running straight with your compass ( 2.1° declination, 280m distance).

How can you adjust the Declination in OCAD?

In OCAD, there’s a new function called Rotate Map to Magnetic North.
This function considers the Magnetic declination and the Grid convergence of your current position and suggests by how much the map should be rotated. Learn more about this new function here.

In the Map Menu, there are two more functions where you could rotate your map. Do not edit the Angle in the function Set Scale and Coordinate System. Only change the angle there, if you start a new map and haven’t drawn any objects yet. The function Rotate Map is basically the same as Rotate Map to Magnetic North, but not that sophisticated.

Things to consider

Every time you rotate the map, the position accuracy of your objects is reduced a bit due to rounding differences. Therefore, we recommend not to adjust your map every year to the current declination, but maybe every fifth year.

A possible workflow would also be to rotate the map only before you print and export it. This way, you avoid rounding errors. The disadvantage is, that if you rotate the map at once with a big angle, non-rotated objects oriented to north could possible suddenly interact with rotated objects in a negative manner. Therefore, we do not recommend this workflow.