Ortelius is a piece of specialist cartography software from MapDiva. Ortelius is designed to be used on Mac OS 10.5 or later. It is an incredibly easy to use package which should be familiar to anyone that has ever used their more general piece of software, Artboard.
Ortelius comes pre-loaded with a selection of royalty free maps which you can use to create your own illustrations. These maps include vector outlines of the world, as well as several continents, regions and countries. You can make your own maps out of these templates, or use your own GIS map data to produce maps at any scale.
Orteilus can be used to produce maps “just for fun”, or to produce detailed, fully geo-referenced maps with professional color ramps and palettes. The software supports 2+ buttoned mice, as well as pen based graphics tablets.
Novices should find that Ortelius is incredibly easy to use and allows them to make illustrated maps quickly and easily as well as other illustrations – illustrated movie posters or books art illustrations. Experienced designers will appreciate the ability to create and save styles, allowing for rapid map development in the future. This, combined with the range of symbols available in the built-in collection, and the possibility to add your own custom map symbols, makes this a great package for any event organizer, game creator, or other person that needs to work with maps on a regular basis.
There is a free trial of Ortelius available. The trial is fully functional and can be used for as long as you wish. The only limitation of the trial is that it produces watermarked images.
Ortelius is more expensive than MapDiva’s other application, Artboard. The standard edition costs $99, and there is an education edition available for $49. For what you get, however, the price is very good. The collection of free templates alone is worth the investment.