I've read the other posts re clear graphics, but my site problem is different.
I need to make available a high number of very detailed maps. These maps are black and which line drawings often with an immense ammount of detail (street names, icons etc etc).
I had immediately thought GIF but that makes the text very blurry - as does jpg unless I make it a high quality JPG which then blows the file size off the scale. The text size is 9pt (I'm using verdana) and the maps are generally A4 in size.
Does anyone have any magical solutions to this issue?
I believe the writer of the O'Reilly book "Tuning Web Performance" (something like that) used Java's drawPoly function to draw a railroad map of the whole east. You could certainly apply that same method to whatever you want to do, and not only could you zoom in but there would neve rbe any blurring or pixelating because its essentially a vector graphic.
I would opt for making the maps available as a gif preview online and for download in Adobe Acrobat format, PDF. If your maps are in a vector based format, eg .EPS then you could create PDF files using Adobe Illustrator. This would give you excellent quality and a relatively small file size.
This has the added advantage that if your maps are copyright then you can lock the PDF file so it can be viewed or printed but not modified or exported.
Converting the maps to .gif format shouldn't make them blurry like .jpg graphics tend to look. If they contain too many colours, gifs might look grainy, but I don't think that would be a problem in your case.
For best appearence, make sure you use an optimal colour pallette when creating the gifs.
Another alternative is to create your maps as Flash files - this has its uppers and downers, but if you're creating the maps in a vector imaging application (such as Adobe Illustrator or Serif DrawPlus) the file size will be very small.
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[This message has been edited by b'vis (edited June 20, 2000).]