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I share maps out of OSM in PDF form so I can use them as bases to create my own maps in Illustrator. I am having a problem that seems specific to Portland, Maine.

The map appears correct in the PDF, but when I open it in Illustrator, the bodies of water are gone or greatly diminished (harbor turned into a skinny river). (Area here: Most importantly, this leaves me without a defined coastline and makes the map unusable for me.

I have read in this forum of others having similar difficulties, but I have tried several locations down the US East Coast and Portland is the only area where I have come up with a problem. Can someone suggest a fix or workaround for a technically-unskilled user such as myself?

Thanks much

asked 08 Mar '21, 02:47

John%20Friedmann's gravatar image

John Friedmann
accept rate: 0%

Illustrator can have particular issues with loading PDFs produced by Mapnik (the rendering software that OpenStreetMap uses). If the coastline geometry is too big for Illustrator to handle - including the 'invisible' sections beyond the clipping box - then it will just refuse to load it.

You might be able to use another PDF-handling program to clip the PDF before loading it into Illustrator. Alternatively, a quick and dirty hack would be to screenshot the PDF, load the screenshot into Illustrator, then use the "Trace Image" function to vectorise the blue coastline area. Paste and scale it into your PDF.

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answered 10 Mar '21, 20:15

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

Thanks, I'll try clipping the PDF through another program and see if that works.

(13 Mar '21, 16:14) John Friedmann


I think the reason for the water area around the Fore River not being rendered is because it's not mapped as a water area, only the coastline and river line are mapped. Whereas other places have the water area mapped as well, like around the Ipswich River to the south. I don't know if this is specifically the cause of your problem but it certainly is a difference.


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answered 08 Mar '21, 08:09

BCNorwich's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Interesting, not sure how to fix but it is a difference. Thanks

(09 Mar '21, 19:52) John Friedmann

Also, North America appears to have been broken at the last attempt.

(10 Mar '21, 02:21) InsertUser

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question asked: 08 Mar '21, 02:47

question was seen: 1,130 times

last updated: 13 Mar '21, 16:14

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum