Best method for producing electronic sports arena drawings?
September 24, 2008 7:56 PM   Subscribe

SportsGeekFilter: I'm interested in making high resolution stadium seating charts for my local sports venues. I want to include more than just the basic section number info (like row, seat #, possibly bathroom data). Right now, my tool kit seems limited to lines, boxes and curves (ala MS Paint). I'm struggling with the shape and scale. Am I stuck doing this from scratch or is there a software program out there that can help me?

I'd like for the chart to look similar to the charts we've all seen of our professional sports arenas: areal view, basic lines and curves, some symbols, color for flare. But I want the images to be much larger to afford more detailed information. I'm fairly technical and can hold my own in photoshop and illustrator... but I'd rather not hand crank every line and angle.
posted by shew to Technology (6 answers total)
Google sketchup
posted by pompomtom at 8:24 PM on September 24, 2008

Looking for something 2D (not so complex as google sketchup). Thanks.
posted by shew at 8:50 PM on September 24, 2008

Google layout?
posted by demon666 at 9:24 PM on September 24, 2008

I interned at a very popular speedway a few years back. They had done a lot of renovating and needed a new track map for their new interactive ticket mapping system. This place wasn't the most professional in the world and so it got passed down to me, the unpaid college intern. The instruction given was to trace aerial photos in Illustrator. They chose Illustrator so that it would integrate easily into Flash (and probably because I was highly skilled in Illustrator at the time). I'm sure there are easier ways of doing it, but for the amount of detail you expect, I'm honestly not sure what else you would use.

FWIW, they didn't use my maps and finally ponied up for an outside firm to do it.

If I were to approach this problem now, I would probably use Corel Draw as it is a little more intuitive when you are working with exact measurements, scalability, etc. At the very least, make sure you get it in vector format. Don't do this in Photoshop. You are going to want to scale it up for posters and maybe even integrate it into an interactive web app.

If I were you, I'd find a freelance graphic designer - maybe a student? Hire them to do it. Colleges and universities are cranking out fantastic vector illustrators these days. You could probably have all of your maps done by a student for less than it would cost to buy a fancy program to do it.
posted by bristolcat at 8:12 AM on September 25, 2008

I had to create vector maps for all the buildings in the school district I work for. At first we were going to trace some raster maps we already had, but I ended up contacting the company that built the schools and they gave me CAD files for them all. I imported the CAD files in Illustrator, turned off layers I didn't need (plumbing, electric, etc), exported as an SWF, imported into Flash, and created all the rooms and text in Flash. We have the Flash integrated with a backend to show a lot of dynamic data so this may not be necessary, but I would try getting the CAD files if possible. HTH
posted by Kupo? at 11:30 AM on September 25, 2008

CAD is the way to do this, a skilled operator could whip out a seating chart in about an hour. Might be worth hiring someone then importing it into illustrator.
posted by Mitheral at 12:17 PM on September 25, 2008

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