Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a detailed map illustration made of country shapes sitting very precisely alongside each other. I'd like to simplify the paths to reduce the file size of my SVG but still have the edges of the shapes match each other.

When I use Simplify Paths, the shapes end up with gaps or overlaps because the paths have different angles and curves, of course, and are treated differently.

See: simplify

Any ideas?

share|improve this question
    
If you have a latitude and longitude based GIS file for the map (e.g. a SHP file or GeoJSON) then you can use mapshaper.org which is really good, then export SVG into Illustrator. Unfortunately it doesn't allow SVG or any other Illustrator-friendly file format to be imported, and converting into GIS formats seems fiddly – user568458 Jul 19 at 9:29

If you want to retain the exact shape, you can not use Simplify. Simplify is not smart enough to understand where the path edge is... it just sees anchors and the angle of the handles from the anchors.

Your best bet would be to manually remove some anchors and adjust the path as you go.

I hate to tout third party stuff... but VectorScribe from http://www.astutegraphics.com has a "Smart Remove" option for anchors that works stunningly well. You could always download the FREE 7 day trial if you are using CS5 or earlier (Astutegraphics.com plug ins don't yet work with CS6).

share|improve this answer

If it is a monocolour map then just remove one colour and fill the background with that colour.

You can also draw very simple shapes beneath, so the detailed artwork overlaps it everywhere.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.