Cartographic Symbols & Map Symbols Library
"In cartography, symbols are everything. The very nature of a map as an abstract representation of the Earth requires symbols to perform the abstraction. To not have symbols is to not have maps."
The Digital Wisdom cartographic symbol library provide graphic artists and mapmakers with a complete, well-designed contemporary set of map symbols packaged into an Illustrator vector library covering most of the features that need symbolizing on a map. Each library contains point, line and area symbols (including colors and patterns) which are fully editable and scalable. View detailed description of the symbols here.
The design of each and every symbol has been very carefully thought through to allow intuitive recognition of the main features of a map and use a minimal footprint to cut down on map clutter. These beautifully designed point, line and area symbols and color sets for both Illustrator, FreeHand and Corel Draw, are compatible with their earlier versions wherever possible, but also recognizing that a higher level of cartographic presentation, quality and efficiency possible with Illustrator 10 should be a key feature. This allows the definition of points and symbols to a higher level, depicting the purpose and function of a wide range of activities, specifically geared towards tourism, travel, orientation, navigation and entertainment.
In the Illustrator series, there is a real difference between versions 5-8 and 9. Also, there is a smaller (but significant) divide between 9 and 10 (the latter introduces the "Symbols palette" which is a natural format for a library of cartographic symbols).
FreeHand may soon be able to import Illustrator 9 and 10 files, with their Symbols and Styles intact. For now, users of FreeHand 8, 9, 10 and 11 (MX) will find their software compatible with the Illustrator 8 version of this symbol library.
Here are some compatibility conditions for using the Symbol Library in other programs:
- Illustrator CS3: all features available - artwork, Symbols (point symbols), Styles (lines, areas)
- Illustrator CS2: all features available - artwork, Symbols (point symbols), Styles (lines, areas)
- Illustrator CS: all features available - artwork, Symbols (point symbols), Styles (lines, areas)
- Illustrator 10: all features available - artwork, Symbols (point symbols), Styles (lines, areas)
- Illustrator 9: artwork, Styles palette is fine, but there is no Symbols palette
- Illustrator 8: artwork, there is no Symbols palette or Styles palette
FreeHand 10: artwork (gradients disappear, but paths comprising the parts of the symbol are retained and may be given stroke and fill colors).
For more information about editing the symbols, and printing tips, check the FAQ and tips support page.
Map Symbols was designed by Steven Gordon who is President of Cartagram, a custom cartography company specializing in tourism, terrain, city and world maps for use in all media. In addition to designing maps, Gordon creates logos and custom type. He is also coauthor of the Illustrator Wow! Book series published by Adobe Press.