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Frequently Asked Questions - Mountain High Maps
For additional information, please see the Mountain High Maps Online User Guide.

Q: How do the file naming conventions work for Windows Mountain High Maps?

Q: How can I prepare a map with a "natural" colorized look as in your ads?

A: Follow the detailed instructions on your Hints & Tips User Guide on the Mountain High Maps CD-ROM that came with the product, or access it directly on this web site - see the User Guide and select the Photoshop Guide.

Selective colorizing describes how to apply colors, textures or tones over land and sea areas using the TIFF one bit mask supplied with each map. Then, consult chapter Coloring with selection tools. Using the lasso tool to outline a specific area, say a mountain area, apply a different color over the selected area. Proceed in smaller and smaller lasso area to build up a color to denote the highest ground. Using the "feather" factor, allows color tones to blend easily into surrounding area for a smoother color transition.

Q: How can I colorize a map with the same color legends that you have used in the Mountain High Maps collection.

A: You will find the Elevation, Vegetation and Political color palettes on any disc - see under Extras > Psettings > Mountain, Desert, Ocean, Vegetation, Political [ these files are suffixed .AHU in Windows ]

To use these, load your map image or other object, make your selection, then Image > Adjust > Hue/Saturation > Load > Select appropriate Psetting from CD-ROM location as directed above.


Q: Our Mountain High Maps package only came with 2 discs instead of four.

A: Turn over the CD-ROM jewel cases - you will see the other two discs in the package - they are packed in two-disc slimline jewel cases - giving four discs in total; discs 1 & 2 are packed in one jewel case, discs 3 & 4 are in the second jewel case.

Q: The TIFF relief map will not appear when I place it behind the Illustrator EPS outline map.

A: This problem has been linked to a conflict with installed plug-ins. We suggest reinstalling Illustrator and testing the Place Art before installing any further Plug-ins to identify the troublesome item.

Q: Africa 1.01 mkd.TIFF has a broken image when importing into picture box in QuarkXPress 4.

A: The reason is that this file (unfortunately) has PATHS in it. The solution/workround is to remove all the paths from this file - you can do this in Adobe Photoshop - then re-save the file and it will come into Quark OK.

An alternative approach, in Quark import file into picture box as normal, then go to ITEM in menu bar at top of screen then down to CLIPPING. This will bring up a dialog box and in this go to TYPE - this will probably be "embedded path". Change this to "ITEM" and the broken image will be displayed normally.

Q: When using a colorized image, changing it to CMYK, saving it as EPS - all in Photoshop, there is serious color change when the image is viewed in QuarkXPress.

A: When a file is saved out of Photoshop as an CMYK EPS (assuming it was saved in five-file DCS format), the preview is low-res and is not actually the file that prints when output for separation (the remaining four files - C, M, Y, and K - are used for separations). Therefore the file that is viewed in QuarkXPress is always poor because it's low res. If you want to see the file with more accurate screen colours, it must be saved as a CMYK TIFF - but these are not so good for output as separations.

Alternatively, you should check that the Color Management System (CMS) is active in QuarkXPress (Edit > Preferences menu) and that you have your CMS set up correctly in Photoshop. If it's set up in one but not the other it could cause problems. If your not sure, you should use Photoshop defaults and switch CMS off in Quark - but this could cause greater inconsistencies when viewed on screen.

Q: Is there a way to modify country masks so that they join without the two pixel border gap using Photoshop?

A: Yes, there are a couple of suggested procedures:

First method : Open first country mask, change to grayscale. Make new channel (#2), copy and paste first country into this channel. Delete first country from Black channel (#1), then LOAD channel #2 into Black channel (thus first country now appears in Black channel as marching ants). Via MODIFY, EXPAND selection by ONE PIXEL. DELETE selected country area with white and deselect. Create new channel (#3), open second choice country and copy/paste into channel #3. LOAD channel #3 into Black channel. Via MODIFY, EXPAND selection ONE pixel, then DELETE selected country area with white and deselect. Continue this until all chosen countries completed.

Then create one further channel and into this copy/paste the OCEAN mask. LOAD Ocean mask into Black channel, select INVERSE and DELETE selected area with Black. This will give you Countries fill area WITHOUT the two pixel border line between them and yet retain the correct coastline.

Second method : Edit the relevant BORDER mask (using, for example, the eraser tool to remove sections of border as required) and add this to the selected countries.

Q: What is the map projection formula for the Gall World Map?

Q: PowerPoint (or other presentation software) will not accept files from Photoshop because their file sizes are too large.

A: Reduce resolution of image in order to make file size acceptable to the presentation software. Generally try to keep these files less than 5 megabytes - better still, determine the pixel size of the PowerPoint screen you ill be using and save the Mountain High Maps image to that size, preferably as 8 bit indexed color - these will load very quickly and ensure a smooth transition between slides in the presentation.

Another alternative is to use the low resolution JPEG images found in each map portfolio under the directory Low-Resolution.

Q: How do I create an animated GIF of a rotating globe?

A: Easiest technique is to take one of the many animation sequences and open the .MOV or .AVI file in Adobe Premiere, select output as frames, and let Premiere output a series of 120 or 192 frames. We typically select say every tenth frame - if the sequence is 8 seconds at 15 frames per second, we would select 12 equally spaced out frames out of 120 for our web animation. We next use Adobe Photoshop to open the selected sequence. We could decide to elimate the black background and this can be done either by using the magic wand and making the background area around the globe transparent, or better still, make a circular mask exactly the same size as the globe and use the mask in Photoshop Channels to select only the colored globe. Lastly in Photoshop we could resize the image to suit our application and possibly optimize the load times by not making the globe image too large - suggest 80 to 100 pixels diameter. Save the image in both PSD and GIF since you may need to come back to this step later! Lastly, we use the final 12 GIF images in a GIF construction application to make the web animation - several applications are available on the web for download and trial. Timing of the image loading each frame is best figured out by trial and error but allow for an interval frame where no action takes place - say 200 milliseconds. Quicker load times can be achieved by reducing the number of frames, or reducing the size of the globe. GIF animations software usually resolve which parts of the image have changed from frame to frame and similar component colors run faster than sequences with many color changes, so a consistent solid sea color proves quicker than ocean floor relief as well as being somewhat more realistic.

Q: How do I crop out a selected area within an Illustrator file and include the TIFF relief map for the selected area?

Q: When I select Paths they have straight lines appearing....?

Q: How can I create a Star Burst effect on a globe view?

Q: On certain Photoshop paths e.g. coastlines, additional lines appear connecting two random points along the path - what are they?

A: The coastline paths in the JPEG files are not closed, and should not therefore be used for making selections. They are included - as are the other paths - for easier and smoother rendering of line effects, as in rivers, graticules, etc. Digital Wisdom will eventually include closed paths, however, because of the level of detail in our paths, we have experienced one or two memory problems, which will increase as include yet more paths.

Paths also have quality limitations - masks (supplied as matching TIFF bitmap files) give a much better quality of line than paths, and present fewer problems with memory.


Q: My "Scratch disk full" message?

A: You will need to either delete files from your hard drive to release space for your temporary files, or increase the size of your scratch disk.

Q: Photoshop cannot open file

A: You may need to switch on Photoshop primary and secondary scratch disk using File > Preferences > Memory, and increase Physical Memory Usage percentage. You also have the option to increase Virtual Memory using Control Panel or Get Info options. Lastly, you may find it necessary to obtain more memory; to process an image, as a rule of thumb you will need ideally about seven times the size in Mbytes of the original image, however, as much as you can get is the best advice.

Q: Photoshop could not parse JPEG file

A: There are several possible reasons. It could be a dirty or damaged CD-ROM disc which should be checked and cleaned. If the file can be copied to the hard drive, this should be done and opened in Photoshop using the copy on the hard drive. Lastly, the file on disc could be corrupt and you should contact Digital Wisdom to arrange for a replacement. We will require the damaged CD-ROM disc to be returned as proof of purchase and for our quality control testing.

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