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66213mapping questions from a novice

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  • george
    Aug 23, 2013
      All feedback is appreciated.

      I am starting from square zero. I have never created a map at all.

      My only computer is an Acer Chromebook, so everything is Google in the
      cloud. I have no access to any other software, no Apple, no Microsoft,
      etc, and I hope I can keep it that way.

      My first project is to create a sort of slide show with different
      versions of the Bay Area:

      San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 5

      San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 2

      San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area (CSA) 12

      Arbitron Radio Market 9 counties

      Nielsen DMA TV Market 10 full counties, plus 1 partial county

      plus possibly other similar ones

      Here is an svg map in the wikimedia/wikipedia commons


      When I right-click on this map, and select View page source this is what
      I see

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

      <!-- Generator: Adobe Illustrator 15.1.0, SVG Export Plug-In . SVG
      Version: 6.00 Build 0) -->

      <!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN"

      <svg version="1.1" id="Counties_of_California"

      x="0px" y="0px" width="620.844px" height="733.027px" viewBox="0 0
      620.844 733.027" enable-background="new 0 0 620.844 733.027"


      <polyline id="_x30_01_Alameda" fill="#FF0000" stroke="#FFFFFF"
      stroke-miterlimit="1" points="160.354,327.507 160.446,327.867

      and then, of course, a gigantic file with (apparently) all the data
      points to create polygons for Alameda County and all the other
      California counties.

      So, here are some questions:

      1. Right near the top of the page source is Adobe Illustrator 15.0.1. Is
      it necessary to use Illustrator, or a similar package, to accomplish
      creating these type of maps?

      2. Is it unavoidable to duplicate the very large data points delineation
      for county polygons in each map created? Or might there be a more
      elegant solution?

      3. For a complete novice such as myself, what may be a good tutorial to
      learn what I need to know to code to create such maps?

      4. What potential dead-ends do I face because I don't know enough to
      know what I don't know?

      Thanks to everyone who can offer advice.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]