Trails of (Foggy) San Francisco

I should be careful about making declaring what month it is. After my last post, now I have to come back and correct the record: it’s mid August. Heck, it’s early Late August. It’s definitely been a foggy August out here in the Richmond District, though the sun came out yesterday.

Having put in a few solid weeks of work, the San Francisco map is looking beautiful, loose ends and all. I’ve added lots of landmarks and now trail mileages. Haven’t written a word of text, but my to-do lists could fill all the space on the map. Heck, my THANK YOU list could fill half the map, and I’m sort of a recluse. I’m planning to print in September, so I have my work cut out for me. Which will make me even more of a recluse. I do remember to field check things around the city from time to time. This week I’m hoping to get out and scout views from Russian, Nob, and Telegraph Hills. 

The other day I went to check on the Arboretum and ended up walking a couple miles to document which paths got moved. Sort of dead reckoning with the map and my memory of how things were, plus tracing the newly seeded lawn where the old geometric paths have been removed and rerouted. Interesting to see old, familiar places made ADA-accessible. 

Since the finished map has a semi-opaque relief layer, it’s a little frustrating to output it. I am working as far as I can in FreeHand, then importing it to Illustrator, where I have to move the relief to a mid-level layer, grab the brush and beach fills and make a copy with a swatch pattern for brush and beach sand respectively (Illustrator doesn’t import FreeHand’s tiled or postscript fills). And adjust a bit of type. I think by week’s end I’ll have made a couple files that make this transition as easy as possible (say 50% easier). I’m not ready to work in Illustrator yet; there are just too many stupid things it does. (Old time FreeHand users can list dozens or hundreds of shortcomings; a few more practical Illustrator converts have invented, and shared, scripts that replicate some of what Illustrator ought to do; for which I am highly grateful).

I AM enjoying Illustrator CS4’s capability to make multiple, overlapping artboards; once the file IS set up in Illustrator I can play with how the front and back sides of the map overlap, and keep adjusting the position of the artboards to print out samples of each side exactly how I want them.  Heck, I’m even using the map to navigate around the city.

When I get a few more projects out of the way this week I’ll post some images. I promised that last month, didn’t I. It’s been a heck of a month.

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