Ask A Cartographer


February 23 2011 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

I want create a new symbols in GIS and this symbols works with GIS software like a style format. Some symbols in GIS are not clear and not enough in my country.  My Question: what is a software that can I used to create and design symbols?


Mapping Center Answer:

First, I think you are most likely referring to picture marker symbols or marker or picture fill symbols, since creating colors, color ramps, line symbols, and most other ArcMap symbols does not require any special software. However, to create picture marker symbols, you would use either a graphic image file (in .emf or .bmp format) or a font. A sample of the pictures used in the styles that are installed with ArcGIS are located in this directory: C:\\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Styles\Pictures.

Creating a graphic image file can be done using a whole variety of software, including ArcMap -- you just need to export the image in .emf or .bmp format. For fonts, you would need to use software for font creation. There are several free font editor applications that can help you draw a symbol in a vector format, like the glyphs provided in ArcGIS within Esri fonts. One of the free font editors is FontCreator, but there are many to choose from out on the Web.

Once you have the graphic image file or the font, you can create the new picture marker symbols or marker or picture fill symbols - here is a link to the online help subject about how to create new symbols. Another good resource is the presentation we gave a few years ago at the Esri User Conference -- you can download it with the bottom notes from here on Mapping Center -- go to the Other Resources - Presentations (Older) page and scroll down to the "Getting to Know Symbols and Styles" presentation to download the PDF.

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