Create a Map in Illustrator

    ●  Illustrator has a "template" feature designed for tracing over drawings and backgrounds.

    ●   "Template" layers automatically lock the layer and reduces the transparency by 50 percent so you can see what you're doing.

Learn About:

Template Layers in Illustrator Transparency Stroke vs. Fill

  •   This tutorial is part of a series:

  ●   153-map-template-ai.htm   ●   150-road-maps-ai.htm   ●   274-coastline-brush-ai.htm
  ●   180-image-trace-symbols-ai.htm    ●   158_border_Ps.htm    ●   320-map-text-ai.htm

  •   This tutorial is part of the What in the World? Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Find an Image ~

Find a map of the country you choose and copy it.

copy map

Step #2: Open Illustrator ~

Open a new Web Document in Illustrator approximately 800 x 600 is usually fine, the size is not important right now …

800 by 600

… and paste the image.

Step #3: Free Transform Tool ~

Get the Free Transform Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (e) …

… and, holding alt-shift-key.png adjust the image to fit.

Step #4: Template ~

Now, click the drop down menu in the upper corner of the Layers Palette and select Template …






Changing a layer to a "Template" layer reduces the Transparency to 50% so you can see what you're doing, turns the eye  in to the template icon  and locks the layer lock.


Step #5: New Layer ~

Create a New Layer above your template layer.

Step #6: Colors ~

Set the Stroke to Black and the Fill to whatever you want.

Step #7: Pencil Tool ~

Double-Click on the Pencil Tool to open the dialogue box …

… check all three Options …

… and begin tracing around the edge.

Step #8: Again ~

Make ANOTHER new layer and lock everything else …

… and draw ANOTHER smaller shape inside.

Step #9: Darken the Color ~

Set Stroke to OFF and darken the Fill.

Step #10: Feather ~

Now go to: Effect > Stylize > Feather and select Preview …

… feather the selection as much as you like.

Step #11: One More ~

Make ONE MORE small shape, change the Fill to brown and feather again.

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.