A quick animated map

This post shows you how to make a simple animated map using ArcGIS and Corel Photopaint (click on the map to show):

The animation is actually just a series of images, combined into a single file in GIF format.

You need ArcGIS (I have 9.3) and Corel Photo Paint (X3).

Start with designing your map in ArcGIS:

Go to File > Export and export the map in a raster format, e.g. as frame1.gif.

Then move the marker  a bit (or whatever you want to animate).

Export this frame as well: File > Export, name it frame2.gif. Continue creating individual frames and exporting them. I made 4 frames (frame1.gif to frame4.gif).

Now go to Corel Photo-Paint and load the first image of your animation (frame1.gif).

Click Movie > Create from Document. This creates a movie with a first frame.

Click Movie > Insert from File and add the second frame (frame2.gif). Repeat this, adding all frames.

Go to Movie > Play Movie and see what it looks like. (Hit Esc to stop.)

Go to File > Export and save the movie in ‘GIF Animation’ format, e.g. as mapanimation1.gif. A window with export options comes up – here you set looping (Frame Repetition) and how fast it should run (Frame Delay).

Done!  Now use this animation in your PowerPoint presentation or on your website.


2 thoughts on “A quick animated map

    1. To be clear, this animation is just a series of four interchanging images. I don’t think animated GIFs are actually that useful in a transportation application – I imagine for a logistics/transportation/asset management application you rather need a contentious timescale, and maybe real time tracking.
      However, it makes me think: imagine a server getting location data, and generating an image like the above every hour, then some process assembling them into animated GIFs. That could be a low-cost asset tracking application.

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