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Wil Tirion plots star maps. At one stage he was using Illustrator on a Mac. Graduated from a drawing table and Rotring pens. I find his maps easier to use in the field than a laptop or netbook with 'red screen'. Its the overview aspect I suppose.

Quite a lot of published maps pass through Illustrator or similar at some stage for careful human retouching and intervention. For larger scale (quantity, not map scale) stuff then you tend to have a source data set containing the raw geospatial data and feed that through a series of processes to handle styling, annotation placement and white space management, and even division into map sheets.

Engineering maps tend to be generated far more directly from the source data, and as the quality of things like Google maps improves it gets harder and harder to meet people's cartographic expectations without human intervention.

Yes. I make maps and the finishing is done in Illustrator and occasionally Photoshop. I have a backlog of orders for custom maps (printed).

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