A new cartography application for Mac OS X, Ortelius, by Mapdiva, has just appeared. I’ve not heard of it before, but from the screenshots on the site, it looks nice. I like especially how it handles the cartography of junctions properly where one road is a sequence of dashes, by moving the dash-sequence appropriately, but I would be interested to know if it can handle this at either end, by lengthening one of the dashes.

I’m particularly interested to know whether it would be possible to create ISSOM/ISOM orienteering maps with it. It might be possible. Currently there isn’t a compelling solution for the Mac – I’ve created the City of London and Queen Mary College orienteering maps with Adobe Illustrator and a plugin supplying the standard orienteering symbols, strokes and swatches, but it’s not a very “intelligent” solution and requires a lot of manual tweaking. This is one area where the PC solution, OCAD, (which has a near-monopoly) is considerably cleverer – but the application is a lot less attractive to work with. Ortelius is a lot cheaper than OCAD too.

I’m not sure what formats Ortelius imports and exports – hopefully it doesn’t just create the maps in Yet Another Proprietary Format. The technical documentation on the site is at the moment very scant.

Maybe I’ll be able to persuade my club to buy me a copy, so I can give it a full review.

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