Reduce islands on map cut

I have been looking for a solution to laser cutting a city map that happens to have a LOT of small islands/tidal areas in several surrounding rivers. I’d like to kind of combine them into larger sets so there will be less of them to place after the cut (sort of a 3d map with a water layer, then roads engraved so I’m cutting out all water). Am I missing a way to do this either with snazzy maps (or other map source) when creating the map or illustrator or inkscape after the fact? I did a test cut and wound up with like a zillion little land pieces many of which are teeny tiny.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Ungroup the objects in your editing software, then select and delete the ones you don’t want.

Thanks for the quick response! I can delete them but what if I want to combine them into one land mass as all together they make up a significant feature but individually there are just too many to deal with?

That would require manually editing the nodes on each object, merging them together, etc. Quite a lot of work.

I’d have to see what you’re working with to give more direct advice, but @eflyguy might be right, this might be a manual process. This begs the question of “how important is this to you?”

I don’t mind the manual part of the process. I just didn’t want to do it all manually and then realize there was a much easier way! :laughing:

Thanks for your replies!

Again, if you post the map in question we might be able to offer more pointed advice. It’ll depend a lot on your source material and exactly what you’re trying to do.


So it would be combining these into one big land area.

I should add that this is just part of the map…there are many areas similar to this.

You would be better off editing those areas as a bitmap, and using a paintbrush to fill in the gaps, then importing the finished areas to your vector program, and tracing the outlines to produce the required cut paths.

At least, that’s how I would do it.

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Another possibility is to find an alternate version of the area that has the islands like you want them and use that. Many mapping sites have automatic amounts of detail at various zoom levels.

Openstreetmap lets you export maps as svgs, people have had good success with them.

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If you’re using Illustrator the ShapeBuilder tool will make very quick work of that.