Tutorial for Maps 022 – African Countries
Using the country maps
The maps in this series are for use in illustrating country information: regions, provinces, states, etc. There are several variations: country maps with and without surrounding country borders, a cutout (inverse of the country landmass map), regions with surrounding countries and without, states/provinces with surrounding countries and without.
Each version can be formatted in any manner you choose. Browse the Charts of the Months for some interesting formatting and uses. The other maps in this category can also be idea starters for you. Be sure to review the tutorial for formatting how-tos and additional usage tips.
Some of the maps contain a lot of points, making them very large with which to work. PowerFrameworks has combined the fields, which reduces the size they add to a document. You will still be able to change the fill and line colors and add gradients and other special effects, but you won't be able to edit the individual points.
Customizing your Maps
Group and size as one field if you need to resize the map. The cutout versions of maps in this series are only one field, so you can resize simply by grabbing a handle on the graphic and moving it. To rescale (recommended), hold the shift key down as you resize – for both the grouped fields and the single-field graphics.
Color in accordance with your color palette, but be sure to use enough contrast so that the maps are clearly visible. You can use color to signify regions in the world.
The drop shadows look nice when used with the maps. The bevel isn't recommended, as there are too many points in these graphics. Be mindful of layering with 3D, bevels, and shadows. The countries at the bottom of the map are in the front and the countries at the top of the map are in the back. The countries between the top and bottom countries are layered front (bottom) to back (top) between the top- and bottom-most countries.
3D works well with this if the depth is very short (3 points). Otherwise, the fields in the front obscure the fields in the back. Be mindful of layering with 3D, bevels, and shadows. The regions/states/provinces at the bottom of the map are in the front and the regions/states/provinces at the top of the map are in the back. The regions/states/provinces between the top and bottom countries are layered front (bottom) to back (top) between the top- and bottom-most regions/states/provinces.
Shadows can look nice with these maps, but make sure that they are close to the edges of the objects, otherwise, the shadows will obscure the boundaries on the maps. Be mindful of layering with 3D, bevels, and shadows. The regions/states/provinces at the bottom of the map are in the front and the regions/states/provinces at the top of the map are in the back. The regions/states/provinces between the top and bottom regions/states/provinces are layered front (bottom) to back (top) between the top- and bottom-most regions/states/provinces.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
As with any graphic, you can always import photographs into a field. Remember that the maps are multiple fields, so this won't be possible. The cutout maps are one field, however, which makes it possible to import a photograph.
Download the animated example for this series for one possible animation scheme. Also review the Chart of the Month for November 2009 for another scheme. There is also a graphic download associated with this Chart of the Month that you will want to be sure you get.
See the Chart of the Month for February 2011 for another animation possibility.
Download the animation examples for the other map series for even more ideas about usage and formatting.