I have an old scanned map showing data from a 1980 survey. The map is in a PNG format. The original data has been lost over time and this is the only surviving image from the survey. Few regions on the map have been faded out and not readable.

My ultimate goal is to redraw this image in Illustrator. Is there any way to improve the readability of this map ?

Any input will be really helpful.

enter image description here

  • Out of curiosity, can you edit the question to describe what data is supposed to be contained in the map, and what of the data shown is significant and how? Also, do you still have the map itself and can re-scan it, or is this image file - hopefully not in JPEG format - the only surviving item? Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 9:48
  • The map shows the data from a aeromagnetic survey from 1980. The wiggles represent the strength of the magnetic field. This plot contains data from other surveys as well. I'm trying to extract the East-West trending lines which is the main focus of this map. I only have an image of this map in a PNG format.
    – Thoram
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


I would just redraw it, in a suitable vector application, instead of trying to digitally improve the scan. For this is would try to scan as faithful and color representation without any noise removal so that i can use human eyes to eyeball info.

In addition to normal color channels I would try to scan the thing in UV ranges too as the detail can be visible in tose ranges aswell

  • I forgot to mention that all I have is a PNG image of the map. I was planning to redraw the map in Illustrator, but was wondering if there is a way to make it more readable specially in faded out zones. Would printing and re-scanning the map in UV ranges be of any help?
    – Thoram
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 14:24
  • 3
    @Thoram if thats your only source then, nothing can be done.
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 15:10
  • 2
    @Thoram: printing it out would not add any more data (in UV ranges or elsewhere) that cannot be retrieved through playing with Brightness/Contrast. Jooja's 2nd paragraph is only for when you still have the original.
    – Jongware
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 16:06

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