Essential in cartography is a legible, self-explanatory and elegant symbology when it comes to symbol point data on our map canvases. Great font based symbol palettes come with our GIS software, either of commercial or of open source code, which has meticulously been designed to meet the requirements of great symbology.
The vast majority of GIS software users will be happy merely to select a good combination of these pre-installed symbols and make a pretty map. And that is very acceptable since we all started from there. Still, they are set in concrete, since there eventually will come the time to start searching for fresher symbols in their system, just to find nothing new in there.
Thankfully, GIS software allows us to import new symbols in picture format, hence unveil a whole new world of opportunities in map design.
Let’s follow this very creative step-by-step procedure to start integrating great symbols to our map.
First of all, we need a credible easy-to-learn and easy-to-use graphic design software to design and/or edit our symbols, before importing them in our GIS.
One really great graphic design software, free to download, free to use, is InkScape. Simply go to https://inkscape.org/en/ and get the installation files from the download button (pic 01).
Follow the setup instructions and when done, open InkScape from the icon created on your Desktop (pic 02).